Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hillary Clinton's Grand Rapids Speech Via Twitter

In order to have attended the annual dinner last night at the Grand Rapids Economic Club, you had to be a member. It was an exclusive crowd, and given the organization, a smart one. Hillary Clinton was being honored, and electricity was in the air. While these private speeches will never be available via transcript, as we learned during Chuck Hagel's conformation hearing, a few attendees kept the twitterfeed @HillaryClinton updated throughout her address. 

Hillary Clinton addresses a crowd of 2,200 at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids’ 26th Annual Dinner on Monday, June 18. (Zane McMillin | MLive.com)
My new Twitter friend, T.J. Bucholz was the most assiduous among them. Here is the progress of the speech as he tweeted it with a few elaborations contributed by anonymous tweeters who did not acknowledge my request to quote them (so, except for direct quotes from Hillary, I shall paraphrase). For certain, though, it was T.J. Who totally rocked the tweets tonight! Thank you, T.J.!
T.J. Bucholz Sellout crowd of 2,200 greets in #grandrapids with cheers, whistles, and a standing ovation! Gives tribute to former US President and Grand Rapidian Gerald Ford in #grandrapids.
T.J. Bucholz "Success is not our birthright. It has to be earned by every generation." #grandrapids
T.J. Bucholz sharing five lessons on how to solve problems and inspire leaders. 1) Leadership is a team sport.
T.J. Bucholz demonstrating staggering intellect and enormous grasp of issues impacting America today. #grandrapids
T.J. Bucholzadvocates for completion of buildtheNITC in #Detroit, says data and facts point to its importance to Michigan, region.
Anonymous tweeter: “If barriers for women in the workplace are brought down, GDP will go up."  #Japan an example.
Anonymous tweeter: "We should never be so big to fail to remember the small countries that have been working with us for years"
T.J. Bucholz"You" can't win if you don't show up."
T.J. Bucholz World is competing in Africa, wants 2 see American businesses competing for level playing field there. #grandrapids
Anonymous tweeter: "If boosting exports is one of our economic goals, we should be out there making the case."
T.J. Bucholz "A whisper can be more powerful than a shout." #grandrapids
T.J. Bucholz Time to get on a soapbox, but important for America to build continued relationships with other countries.
T.J. Bucholz "Follow the trendlines, not the headlines."
T.J. Bucholz "What makes America America is our values."
T.J. Bucholz ClintonFdn focus now on early childhood development, opportunities 4 women & girls, and econdevelopment.
T.J. Bucholz wants to learn more about GR-based #firststeps early childhood program for best practices nationally.
When Hillary, at this point, identified Sam Walton as one of her heroes, there were a number of disgruntled tweets from several quarters. Uh-oh! But then she explained her reason for that statement citing her partnership with Walton on an education project when she was FLOAR.

My old pal from 2008 who went by the screen name “Alice Paul” was a teenager then. Her step-mom was a teacher in Little Rock. Alice was at the school one day early in WJC's tenure as governor, and Hillary drove up (yes, drove up – everybody watch out!), parked in front of the school, and began carrying boxes from the trunk of the car and depositing them in the hallway of the school. The boxes were filled with coats. Hillary had collected unused children's coats from friends. She had heard that the children did not have coats. She asked to speak with the principal and told her that she would be back with more. After she emptied the trunk, she did return. Alice was stunned. Who is that woman?

From her first days as FLOAR she was deeply involved in improving education and conditions for kids in Arkansas.
T.J. Bucholz cites Marshall Plan, saying America rebuilding Germany, Japan helped shape world positively.
We all know by now the impact of the Marshall Plan on her thinking.  Her dad was just back from the war.  It was also my first public speaking topic when I was in eighth grade, so I studied it pretty thoroughly.  I also feel drawn to George Marshall and his very successful plan.  It is something Hillary and I have in common.

At this point, nearing the end of the speech, several women tweeters noted that she was getting choked up and was near tears as she entertained her first question.  (Time for some (((Hillary-hugs)))!  We're here, Hill!  We've got your back.)

A few random remarks:
At the beginning: “Most of our policy debates seem to take place in an evidence-free zone.”
During the Q & A: “ We must decide what our national priorities are before we redesign tax code.”
And from T.J.
T.J. Bucholz on tax code: "it's not about being smaller or bigger. It's about being smarter." America could save $ by simplifying
It all goes to show you, no matter how you get your messages from Hillary, they are always pithy.  We never hear her speak without learning something new or finding excellent advice - usually both.  That was the case last night.  We are all so happy that she has (re-)joined Twitter, and we have a central clearing house.  Rock on, Hillary!  We are always at your side no matter how hard we have to try to find your words.  

I am a bit disappointed that the ladies who tweeted at this event did not answer my requests for permissions.  T.J. did immediately.  There is strength in sisterhood and power in connections.  While he cannot be my sister,  of all the tweeters I approached, T.J. was the only response - immediate, and very enthusiastic.  I am thinking a lot about that.  Thanks a million, T.J.!