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Hillary and Chelsea Clinton visit the Paramount

Mediator Helen Thorpe alongside Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.
Photo: Samantha Camp · The Sentry

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter Chelsea visited Denver’s Paramount Theatre on Nov. 4. Tattered Cover hosted the event, whose initial venue was a church, but which quickly transformed to something much larger as interest and ticket sales exploded.  

The Clinton duo were here promoting their new book, The Book of Gutsy Women, which they wrote together. The mediator for the night was local author Helen Thorpe.

Lines wrapped all the way around the block as thousands waited eagerly to see the two. Although the event was not inherently political, anywhere a prominent politician goes there are protesters. A small group walked up and down the line, and stood in front of the theatre, holding “Free Julian Assange” signs. These were peaceful protesters. If only all the protestors were so calm.  

A man in his late 20s bashed out the window of a car with a hockey skate while screaming about Hillary Clinton and threatening those waiting in line. Police arrived quickly and apprehended him, at which point the man proclaimed himself to be Jewish and the police Nazis who were persecuting him for his religious beliefs. It’s safe to say waiting outside was just as exciting as listening to Hillary and Chelsea speak.  

Madness aside, the night was a hands-down success. Thousands of women—and a slim minority of men—came out to celebrate Gutsy Women’s release and hear Hillary and Chelsea speak.  

The majority of the almost-two-hour event was spent discussing various women highlighted in the book, which seeks to draw attention to women who have stood up to persecution, to authority, or simply to the difficulty of being a woman in a masculine world. The book shares the stories of what these women did, with the added spin of the recounting of the tales coming from Hillary and Chelsea’s own words. Gutsy Women features many well-known women, such as Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, and, notably, Greta Thunberg. 

Among the list of over one hundred names, however, are lesser known female leaders, such as Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician from Flint, Michigan, who drew national attention to the water crisis there. Dr. Mona was one of the many women Hillary and Chelsea talked about onstage, where they discussed not only the lives of these women but also how they inspired or affected the Clinton duo.  

Particularly inspiring was how humanizing the event was. Chelsea razzed her mother for writing everything in long-hand and being partially inept with technology, while Hillary discussed being a grandmother and facetiming with Chelsea’s children, one of whom is just three months old.  

Of course, no event with such a prominent politician can be entirely devoid of politics. While much of the talk centered around Gutsy Women and the stories therein, this conversation often looped around to making political points about the current president of the United States, with many of Hillary’s comments being met with applause and laughter.  

Hillary Clinton’s closing thoughts for the night encouraged every woman out there to be gutsy, as is echoed in the book’s dedication page: “For everyone looking for inspiration to live their own gutsy life.” 

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