When Huma Met Hillary: ‘Our Eyes Connected’

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

When Huma Abedin first met her longtime friend and boss Hillary Clinton in 1996, she was hooked.

“Oh my God, she’s so beautiful and she’s so little!” Abedin recalled in a recent interview on the “Call Your Girlfriend” podcast about the first time she met the Democratic presidential candidate.

It was election night in 1996, and Abedin and a few other White House interns were at an event in Little Rock with the then-first couple. President Clinton had just defeated then-Kansas Sen. Bob Dole for re-election, and the crowd was electric, Abedin said.

“You know these things that happen in your life that just stick?” Abedin asked on the podcast. “That she walked by and she shook my hand and our eyes connected and I just remember having this moment where I thought ‘wow, this is amazing.'”

“It just inspired me,” Abedin gushed.

Abedin has worked for Clinton in various roles ever since. She served as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is currently working as vice chair of Clinton’s presidential campaign. Her main role has been to manage logistical issues for her hero, who she calls “boss” throughout the “Call Your Girlfriend” interview. She handles scheduling and provides policy updates for Clinton when she needs them.

She is also often seen ordering food or coffee for the 68-year-old candidate. The pair are largely inseparable. According to one recent report, they sometimes share a hotel room on the road.

Abedin admitted that she had a “fangirl moment” in that fateful face-to-face with Clinton.

“You know, it’s just sort of…because people look different on TV. And I just thought ‘wow,'” Abedin recalled. “And I had such a fangirl moment and I was hooked.”

“I still remember the look on her face,” Abedin continued. “And it’s funny, and she would probably be so annoyed that I say this, but I remember thinking ‘Oh my God, she’s so beautiful and she’s so little!'”

Follow Chuck on Twitter