It’s my job to follow Hillary Clinton around the country with a camera. Here’s what it’s like.
No two days are ever the same — but all of them are jam-packed.
As a campaign video producer, I’ve been filming Hillary all over the country for more than three months. In that time I’ve learned two things:
- Any place with a door can double as an office; and
- Just when exhaustion starts to set in, you’ll inevitably meet someone whose story will reenergize you.
Hillary talks to hundreds of new people each day at rallies, along rope lines, in coffee shops and in town halls. And it’s remarkable to watch her listen, take in what they have to say, and think about what she can do to improve their lives.
Here’s a glimpse into a typical day on the road with Hillary — though there’s really no such thing as “typical” when you’re running for president.
Wednesday, December 16
8:00am Woke up in Omaha, Nebraska. (Although it‘s a solid minute or two before I remember what city we’re in and what day it was.)
8:25am Brief lesson in ironing from Barbara Kinney, campaign photographer and my roommate on the road.
9:00am Wrangle my gear together. Somehow, grabbing fully charged batteries has a recharge effect on me, too.
9:21am The traveling team departs the hotel for the day — but not before Hillary’s had a chance to chat with the wonderful Hilton staff!
9:24am Hillary calls into a morning radio show from the “Scooby Van.” (Like I said, anything with a door can double as an office.) This is already her second interview of the day.
9:40am Before kicking into high gear for the day, Hillary needs her iced tea fix. No ice to be found — so room temperature tea it is!
9:58am Hillary is getting ready to give remarks on the economy. She’s joined by a longtime friend who knows a thing or two about the subject.
10:57am I hitch a ride with Warren and Susie Buffett to the next event. They tell me how excited they are to be campaigning for Hillary today — and can’t imagine how she keeps up with such a demanding schedule. As we pull into the venue, Susie tells me to get ready for a “funky little place.” Bring on the funk!
11:10am More than 900 people pack the old gymnastics gym in Omaha for Hillary’s remarks. Nebraska is excited to see Hillary. At one point, she says “I need your help!” and someone in the crowd yells back “You got it!” I always knew I liked the Midwest.
12:00pm After the speech, Hillary greets a fired-up line of supporters, including a high school student who hands her something special — a book of poetry he wrote about the neglect and abandonment he faced as a child. She is honored to take the book and promises to read it.
12:54pm Arrive at the airport. Next stop: Iowa City.
2:00pm Arrive in Iowa City. Our first order of business is a special surprise for Iowa State Director Matt Paul! We tell him Hillary wants to have a “serious chat.” But it’s actually just a decoy for a birthday celebration, complete with what Hillary calls “a good old fashioned sheet cake.” (As you can see, Matt promptly takes a bite out of it.)
2:30pm Iowa City town hall. Someone asks Hillary if she’d rather be president or Beyoncé. Her response: “I want to be as good a president as Beyoncé is a performer.”
4:09pm We depart the Iowa City town hall — and on the way out encounter a group of University of Iowa students with a lifesize cutout of Hillary. Photos ensue.
5:24pm Arrive in Mason City for a TV interview. Hillary points out that the taping room would be a great place to throw a party. I don’t disagree.
6:01pm Hillary meets three new Iowa caucus volunteer leaders who will accompany her on stage. She is VERY excited to have their help!
6:58pm Final question of the day comes from a young woman in the crowd: “After eight years of a Clinton presidency, what is your vision for America in 2024?” You know what they say … save the best for last.
All in all, it was a great day to be out on the trail. We got to hear from so many people, of every age and from all walks of life, about what’s on their minds and what keeps them up at night. And in the end, that’s what makes this job so worthwhile.
It was surreal to get an impromptu tax lesson from Warren Buffett, but what I’ll always remember is watching Hillary read that young man’s collection of poetry as we rode home.
We meet brave and inspiring people everywhere we go — like that young man, and the countless others who shared their hopes and fears with us today.
And it’s their stories that that make us want to get up and keep going, day after day.
Until next time!
For more campaign updates, visit the Hillary for America Feed.