Hillary Clinton, the first woman to be nominated as a presidential candidate for a major political party in U.S. history, lost in the Electoral College to now-President Donald Trump. She won the popular vote (by several million votes), but, sadly, did not win the 2016 presidential election. Much of the country mourned, including women who feel frustrated in their thwarted attempts to break the proverbial glass ceiling that’s keeping women down.
Who is relating to Clinton extra hard lately? An 8-year-old girl in College Park, Maryland.
Martha Kennedy Morales, a third grader, ran for class president at her school. She lost to a popular fourth-grade boy. (At their private Quaker school, third and fourth grade are combined).
First, their election was deemed invalid, as six of the students hadn’t filled out their ballots correctly. (They’re kids, after all). Then, she lost by one vote. In turn, she became vice president.
Martha’s father had been posting about the election (and his daughter’s campaign) on Facebook, which is apparently how news of it eventually reached Clinton herself. And when news did reach her? Clinton, as first reported by the Washington Post, sent the budding politician a letter with words of encouragement and fortitude—plus a lot of honesty.
Martha explained this turn of events herself very casually and endearingly, referring to the former secretary of State as “Hillary,” in an interview:
"It started by my dad posting on Facebook about me running for class president. And then, I guess, somebody told Hillary…"
— The Hill (@thehill) December 17, 2018
“My mom was just picking me up from school, and she pulled the letter out of her purse,” Martha explained of this magic moment. “I opened it up, and it was a letter from Hillary Clinton. I was very surprised.”
Clinton’s letter, dated Dec. 6, reads:
I learned from your father, Albert’s post on Facebook about your election experience running for Class President at . . . . Congratulations on being elected Vice President!
While I know you may have been disappointed that you did not win President, I am so proud of you for deciding to run in the first place. As I know too well, it’s not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that’s only been sought by boys. The most important thing is that you fought for what you believed in, and that is always worth it. As you continue to learn and grow in the years ahead, never stop standing up for what is right and seeking opportunities to be a leader, and know that I am cheering you on for a future of great success.
With best wishes and warm regards, I am
Hillary Rodham Clinton
The line, “As I know too well, it’s not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that’s only been sought by boys,” feels particularly poignant, as we’re still living under the disappointing (to put it lightly) results of the 2016 presidential election today.
In speaking to CNN, Albert Morales said:
“As a father, my wife and I are thrilled because she does look up to the secretary. We try to encourage her to learn as much about public figures as possible. It’s just been really nice to see someone like the secretary take the time to actually write a little girl who lost an election by one vote, but got back up.”
Of her election loss, Martha said in her CNN Newsroom interview, “it’s disappointing to figure out that you lost something that you fought for really hard and you put a lot of effort into it,” though she says she is happy to be vice president. Clearly, she is mature beyond her years.
And for skeptics who may worry the letter is fake, a Clinton spokesperson confirmed to CNN that it is the real deal. And Martha? She’s working on a thank you note. Even better: She plans to run for class president again, should the opportunity arise.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.