WASHINGTON, D.C.—They were a bunch of Hillary Clinton fangirls, the women who filed into the Woman’s National Democratic Club here last week to volunteer for the Democratic nominee. Phones pressed to their ears for hours, they dialed hundreds of residents of North Carolina and Ohio to make sure the Democrats on the other end of their lines would vote.
Their efforts—and the recent door-knocking some had done in swing states like Pennsylvania, and the return trips others planned for the upcoming weekend—were all in service to a candidate they feel duty-bound to defend: not only a woman who could be the nation’s first to serve as president, but a candidate who looks, thinks, lives, and talks kind of like them.
“I want someone to be president who understands me, who understands what it feels like to be a woman in today’s world, to have to deal with the barriers that we’ve had to face and has broken down so many of those barriers,” 27-year-old volunteer Jamie Whalen told me Wednesday night. “I want my kids to be able to say one day—if I have kids—to think that they can also be president, too. It means a lot to see the person in the highest office be someone who looks like you.”
Clinton’s support among Washingtonians is expected. This is a town where high achievers like Clinton are glorified, where new acquaintances are more likely to ask “Who do you work for?” than “How’re you doing?”, and where status seekers and do-gooders are difficult to distinguish from one another. It’s not all that surprising that dozens of ostensibly loyal Democrats would turn out for their party’s nominee—to make some calls so they could say they helped out a potential future president.