Mikayla Bodey was in downtown Columbus Sunday working on her future. She was among a platoon of volunteers who think helping Hillary Clinton win her party’s nomination this summer so she can be elected president this fall will help their futures, and the future of others whether they know it or not.
Working on the behalf of the Clinton campaign, and in advance of the fast-approaching Ohio primary on March 15, Mikayla Bodey, born and raised in rural Ohio where Republicans generally outnumber Democrats, wants to steer others into Hillary’s lane.
What volunteers for Clinton were doing today in Columbus was identical to what volunteers in Cleveland and Cincinnati were doing. This coordinated statewide get-out-the-vote [GOTV] effort took on greater value after Clinton won the South Carolina primary yesterday over her challenger, Vt. Sen. Bernie Sanders, 74-26 percent, an impressive and some said historic margin.
Clinton’s GOTV sessions plumbed voters for their level of support for the former Secretary of State, who won early races in Iowa and Nevada but not in New Hampshire. In two days, on Super Tuesday, a dozen states, many of them in the South, will hold their primaries. In her speech yesterday, Hillary Clinton said her campaign is now going national. Ohio, as it always is, is the big state to win, especially in the General Election when its 18 Electoral College votes can decide the winner. The primary winner in Ohio in 2008 was Clinton, who beat Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Volunteers working the phones today and those who went door-to-door want her to win next month.
Not yet old enough to legally buy an alcoholic drink, Bodey’s the daughter of a small farmer, but her vision of a what a modern day farmer’s daughter has the opportunity to do to that a farmer’s daughter didn’t have before should be heeded. Her rural roots belie her self-realization as a young women professional on the move, but even better, she represents the highly prized youth vote. The youth vote is sought after but it’s elusive because youth by its very nature doesn’t instinctively understand or appreciate dependability. If a candidate can catch the winds of youth, that would be beautiful thing, as The Donald might say. Electoral history advises not to bet your bank on them. Anyway, isn’t dependable youth oxymoronic?
At the still tender young age of 20, Mikayla Bodey has apparently peered into the future, at least to the extent anyone, especially anyone her age, can. What this smart, informed young woman, and first-generation college student saw helped convince her that, in her own best interest, it was time she changed political lanes to ride with Hillary.
Her journey from the John Kasich Republican lane to Hillary Clinton’s progressive Democratic lane begins in rural Champagne County, population 40,097. She’s the daughter of a small farmer raised in a Republican household who cast her first vote as a registered Republican. The first in her family to go to college, Bodey explained why she made a Tokyo drift lane change from Kasich to Clinton.
The Republican brand “wasn’t talking to me anymore,” she said, describing herself as a “young, motivated, professional women ready to go into the workforce.” When Bodey says Republicans “won’t get me there,” the GOP should wake up and perk up, but that’s increasingly not happening.
The candidate whose captured her attention and to whom she’s lending her support to now is Hillary Clinton. At the urging of a friend, Mikayla agreed to attended an “Organizing for Women” rally for Hillary, held a couple months ago at the Athenaeum, a short distance from where Mikayla was volunteering her time Sunday. The crowd wasn’t big at the event, but then the event wasn’t a campaign rally, it was to launch a group. A first-generation college student, Bodey went, saw and listened. Then that moment happened, one she’ll always remember. She was raptured to support Mrs. Clinton when Hillary encountered Bodey on the rope line, then took time to embrace her.
“It’s going to be OK, we’re going to do this together,” Clinton told the farmer’s daughter. They hugged. “It was incredibly motivating,” Bodey said, recalling she got it together enough for a selfie with HRC. Ever since that brief encounter with the 68-year old Clinton, Hillary’s been her number one in Bodey’s book.
Still at the beginning of this century, Mikayla laughed a bit when she said Hillary can “catapult young people into the next century.” Unlike Republicans running for president, Bodey says Hillary’s is on the forefront, especially on subjects like women’s rights, equal pay for equal work and economic development. Hillary can “come to the table with confidence” she said, and “make tough decisions … at this critical time in the country’s history.”
“I’m more than happy to support Hillary in 2016, and hopefully the other voters of Ohio will agree with me.”