I learned about it through a press release, to which I replied faster than any reflex I've ever had.
One camera, one producer, one reporter (me).
That's not an excerpt from the e-mail I wrote back to media relations; that's the whole thing.
At work, my Bureau Chief told me Hillary Clinton was giving remarks at UM. I said, "I know, I'm covering it!" She was happy for me, obviously, and said if I wasn't covering it for UMTV, she would've credentialed me through NBC. That was too cool.
And then the night finally arrived.
I left work early because I had this awful feeling in my belly regarding the unknown traffic situation on the roads due to her appearance. When Joe Biden was nearby, the main road I take from work to home was closed off. I didn't realize initially the road was closed because of Biden until I saw what looked like a presidential car drive past me. Until that point, I thought something absolutely horrible had happened in Coral Gables. Dramatic, yes, but there were police officers at literally every single intersection.
Anyway, on the day Clinton came to campus, it took me a half hour to get back to campus. I curled my hair, decided what to wear and ended up with exactly what I initially planned on after trying on many outfits and not being satisfied. I made throat coat tea because my throat was scratchy and I had a long night ahead of me. I watched The Bachelor.
I arrived at the event and met up with my friend and producer for this shoot and the other reporter working for NewsVision with me. She was going to be on the media risers shooting the remarks and Q&A with President Donna Shalala. I would be in the press room to watch the speech, and my story would be on the student reaction.
University of Miami President Shalala and Hillary Clinton are great friends since Shalala served as U.S. President Bill Clinton's Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Because former First Lady Hillary Clinton is still protected by Secret Service, all of the camera equipment gets sniffed by a bomb dog. After the sweep, my producer and I shot some exterior shots of the event and location, shot my stand up and also did 3 interviews with students who were waiting in line.
I was having genuine fun.
Usually on shoots, I am by myself to deal with equipment and being a reporter all at once. So while I'm asking a person questions for the story, I'm also trying to look through the lens and make sure the shot is framed, the lighting is correct and the audio is working. It's a lot to think about, so I owe a huge thanks to my producer on this shoot, Carlee Rasner, who is largely the reason that on this night, I was able to do my job and enjoy myself all at once.
So I was in the press room for the very first time. I love the press room. I want to live my whole life in the press room. There was free coffee, tea, water, cookies, etc. And I heard there was sushi although I missed it. Press rooms look just like they do in the movies: long tables with folding chairs, and reporters with laptops.
We found "Reserved UMTV" and sat down. In case you're lost, it's the one directly behind, "Reserved NY Times."
I grabbed my laptop and opened TweetDeck, also known as the greatest program to ever exist. TweetDeck makes it insanely easy for you to keep tabs on way too many things at once (which is what we were all doing in the press room). My TweetDeck is set up with columns: my personal Twitter feed, my TV/media Twitter feed, news, news about the media, and mentions to me. I was glad to see so many other laptops with TweetDeck open too. I tweeted, "Does @HillaryClinton have butterflies?"
At a point, the playlist that had been on in the press room played Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop." This was Bill Clinton's campaign song in the 90s and as soon as it came on I, for lack of a better description, freaked out.
Me: This was Clinton's campaign song in the 90s, are you dying? I'm dying.
Everyone else: **keyboards typing, Twitters tweeting, free coffee pouring**
Alright, well. That happened.
I went into the event room where 6,000 people were waiting for Hillary Clinton and I waited too. I'd spend the rest of the evening in the press room, but I wanted to see her come out. She did. I teared up. Put your politics aside for just a moment and understand and consider that this woman is among the most powerful women in the world… and potentially the next POTUS. Just think about the doors that have been closed so she could have a conversation. Or the times she's sat in the situation room more aware of how a decision she made would impact us than we could probably ever be.
The magnitude of the night was not lost on me. I felt very lucky to be exactly where I was at that exact moment doing what I was doing.
After Clinton's speech, I headed outside with Carlee to conduct some more student reaction interviews.
We finished up and I felt like we definitely had more than enough to make a great story. I met up with the other reporter to share and swap footage. Afterward, Taco Bell. Because dinner.
I started editing my story and went to sleep around 3 a.m. with it mostly done. I woke up at 8 a.m to finish other things and get on with my day. After so little sleep, I felt like a zombie re-incarnate for most of the day.
I went to my first class to hand in a paper and stayed, but I skipped my next two classes so I could eat lunch and take a shower before anchoring NewsVision that night.
We opened the show with teases relating to Hillary's visit. We aired the packages back to back, and I said, "THE ONE QUESTION STILL ON EVERYONE'S MIND- WILL SHE COME BACK AS A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE?"
I breathed a big sigh. And I slept really well that night.
Sometimes the former Secretary of State comes to campus and just throws everything off… or reminds you that your priorities are just where they should be.
You heard it here first,
See the package here.