Monsignor William J. Linder
It’s been my enormous privilege to have witnessed the grace and diplomacy of Hillary Clinton in action well before she was the Secretary of State or Democratic nominee for president.
It confirms, to me, that her leadership qualities have deep and far-reaching roots and further casts her in remarkable contrast to her GOP counterpart.
During the Clinton Administration, I traveled with Bill, Hillary and Chelsea to Ireland as part of the official delegation involved in the peace talks. Conflict had plagued Northern Ireland for years as groups of republican and loyalist paramilitaries, British security forces and civil rights groups clashed violently. An estimated 3,500 were killed during a span of roughly three decades.
As First Lady, Hillary played a vital role in the peace talks. She leveraged her position and strategically arranged meetings with groups of women as a grassroots method to get real buy-in for the peace accords. She made multiple trips back to meet with local women to help solidify support for the reconciliation effort.
In working closely with Hillary, what I saw was an extremely intelligent individual with a tremendous commitment to the peace effort. She showed an astounding level of personal investment in improving the quality of life for those residing in a strife-filled region. Hillary ingratiated herself with members of all parties and “was soon on first name terms with Irish leaders of every stripe,” the Irish Central reported. While I met with groups that were interested in learning about launching community development corporations, I also got an insider’s view into Hillary as a leader in her own right and a genuine people person.
Her leadership style is to hear from the people themselves. When she visited New Community years ago as First Lady, Hillary wanted to get a real grasp on the challenges teenage mothers face. So she met with them at Babyland 3. She wanted to hear their ideas so they knew they were important. Her interest was not with the politicians or news media, who clamored for her attention behind the closed door. She gave the teen moms her undivided attention—and then departed without a minute of media fanfare
In contrast, presidential hopeful Donald Trump has shown an alarming lack of interest in real people’s ideas or problems. Despite having a well-known presence in Atlantic City, Trump has put no effort into reaching out to New Jersey residents who are literally at his doorstep. Rather, he chases the spotlight and feeds the beat of the 24-hour news cycle with outrageous and inflammatory statements. Let me be clear, these things are telling of a person’s character.