This past Monday I finally won the ticket for one of my university’s many hosted political events, and I was able to sit in on the live broadcast of the most recent Democratic event: the Town Hall thing a ma-jig.

I went in to the event largely undecided, but leaning Sanders. I left a strong supporter of O’Malley. Perhaps it’s because I’ve heard the least about and from him (last Democratic debate anyone?) that his ideas seemed the most refreshing, but I thought he was the most effective in considering problems from a well-rounded, multi-causal perspective. He looked for not only treatment, but prevention in his tactics, and seemed to have clear examples of numerous successes to support his claims.

Sanders and Hillary were both more political in their approaches, meaning louder and with more arm waving and attention to certain previous voting stances. Their cases seemed far more redundant, but then, they’ve also had much louder voices than O’Malley in this campaign cycle. At the very least, as was nice summed up by Hillary, the Democratic campaign has remained one of issues, rather than insults.

I will say that Clinton used her time as anchor very effectively in mingling with the departing crowds. She went above and beyond just shaking hands and smiling for photos to spend a few moments asking about a girl’s arm cast and relating to when she broke her own elbow a few years prior, sympathizing that it takes a long time to heal. She also jumped at the chance to record a video for a friend of some people present who had been unable to attend, and continued to shake hands after being told by her person that it was time to go. While I’m sure it’s all a part of political strategy, I think it’s an effective and humanizing strategy (especially because I was one of the lucky ones who got to shake her hand after she was told they needed to go). Her face-to-face persona is very different than her stage persona, but in a way that I very much appreciate and would like to see represent my/our country in civil discourse domestically and internationally.

I’m glad I was able to attend the event and connect with the ideals and efforts shared by the Democratic Party (I identify as Independent, but in my opinion, it would be difficult to support any of the Republican candidates this go-around, especially whilst having a uterus). If nothing else, the experience offered a chance to hear first hand how those candidates would like to see themselves heard and represented, and united in the idea that we are all working to improve our community in the ways we find best suited.

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