I returned to Lafayette Park Wednesday near the White House to follow up on Tuesday’s quest to hunt down random strangers willing to speak about the 2016 election. This time, I asked about a possible president Hillary Clinton with my fellow intern, Kelly.
Granted, my sample size over the past few days is small, but I can confirm what polls are saying: People really don’t like either candidate. Opposition has been plentiful.
People seemed more timid and hesitant to talk about Clinton than Donald Trump for whatever reason, and men have been the most willing to talk.
Note: I had to make it clear a couple times that I was asking about Hillary and not Bill. People had plenty to say about them both.
I sought out someone wearing something American. His name was Bob, and he assured me this was his real name. So meet “Bob.”
Bob: “Oh no, not a chance, a terrible idea.”
Me: So you don’t like her at all?
Me: Is there anything you do like about her?
Bob: “She was married to Bill. I like Bill.”
Even with an impeachment, Bill still gets all the love.
I soon found my most intriguing subject, Guy Aga. This Israeli provided the most in-depth discussion of how he has seen the campaign unfold from his side of the world. Foreigners are now 2-2 on being my favorite to talk to (and this guy didn’t even have a dog with him).
Guy: “Well actually we don’t know much about her. In Israel, we think she is like Obama. I don’t know, I think we prefer Trump.”
Me: What is the news coverage of her like? Is it favorable of her?
Guy: “No, there’s no favorable opinion. No one in Israel actually deals with her.”
Me: What does Netenyahu think?
Guy: “I think he’s thinking about the right thing for Israel. That’s exactly what he should be thinking about.”
Me: Do you think he’s supporting a specific candidate?
Guy: “Do you want the political answer or the real answer? I don’t know what’s going through the outside, I don’t know what he’s showing, but I think he supports the one, the candidate that supports Israel the most, like the one that says ‘I will support Israel’. Obama and Hillary are good for Israel, but not that good. Trump may bring the change and we want peace. That’s what we want.”
Israel polling shows that the population overall favors Clinton, however Jewish Israelis believe that Trump will better protect their country. Regardless of who wins, a majority of Israelis believe that the next president will be better than President Obama.
This next interview almost didn’t. After approaching two men about their opinions on Hillary, they shooed us away. After a brief moment, one of the men, Dan, called us back.
Dan: “I don’t think it would be a very good one. I think for her taking money from foreign countries really shows her allegiance is not to American people but to foreign countries. What I know from her past, I don’t like what I’ve seen.”
Me: What’s one thing that you really dislike about her?
Dan: “Taking money from foreign countries, that’s one thing. I really don’t like that at all. I think that is not right.”
Me: Is there anything you do like about her?
Dan: “Not really. I don’t like her much at all. I’ve been around too long and seen what happened.”
Me: Do you have a positive opinion of Bill Clinton?
Dan: “More positive of Bill for some reason, I don’t know why. I think he was a little more himself. I think she’s more of a poser. She does whatever the teleprompter probably tells her to do.”
I think I know why.
Wandering around the area, we came across a man who told us his name is Owl. Seems legit, right? He didn’t provide a last name or really much else. He said he’s been hiking the Appalachian Trail for some time though. Maybe he’s onto something.
Owl: “I’m basically completely disconnected from media, and I really haven’t tuned in.”
Kelly: So you have no opinion?
Owl: “Not really.”
Me: Is there anything you dislike about her past?
Owl: “Not too much specifically.”
Me: Do you know anybody talking about her?
Owl: “No, not really.”
Me: How long have you been hiking?
Owl: “So I started March 25, and I’m just off for a short break.”
He probably is ready to get back on that hike. A few days off and a Washington intern asks you your feelings on Clinton. He has to be thinking, ‘What in the hell?’
The last person willing to talk was someone we had set our sights on the whole time. The area outside the White House often has live entertainers, either dancing or singing in the street. We waited for Lloyd to end his dance routine (which was very good, if I must say) and headed up to him. With hair like this, how could he not be friendly?
Lloyd: “If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I think she would make a lot of things, like girl power, like a lot of things would be changed. I mean I don’t think it would be bad because women deserve equal rights as men.”
Me: Do you support what she’s talking about?
Lloyd: “I would rather support her than Donald Trump.”
Women are supporting Clinton more than Trump in national polling, so that ‘girl power’ must be playing a key role.
Well maybe not…
All the women we approached blew us off hard. I couldn’t tell if they were Hillary supporters. We spent some time searching for anybody wearing a Hillary shirt. Nothing. I’ll send you out with one encounter though.
Me: What do you think of a President Clinton?
A woman gave us an immediate thumbs down.
“That’s what I think about her.”
America has spoken.