Gloria Steinem, writer, activist and founder of Ms. Magazine, made a brief campaign stop at U.S. presidential candidate Hilary Clinton’s Boulder Coordinated Campaign Office on Friday afternoon. She was in town to promote her 2015 memoir, My Life on the Road. (She discusses the book here.) About 100 listeners crammed into the campaign office, in a strip mall off Arapahoe Avenue, to hear Steinem speak for about 15 minutes.

“I just came to say thank you,” Steinem told the crowd of mostly women and mostly Clinton campaign volunteers. “This [campaign] will be something that you write about and think about and build on for the rest of your lives.”

Just as Donald Trump’s Colorado supporters are seeking to reach beyond their base of reliable voters, Steinem encouraged Clinton campaign volunteers to engage Independents and Republicans. She suggested telling these voters that they won’t be leaving the Republican Party because “the Republican Party left them.” She also advised the audience about how to talk to Trump supporters point-by-point, prompting them to consider how issues of concern—such as the economy or national security–would likely play out under Clinton, and then under Trump.

Steinem also offered her theory on Trump’s appeal: “Part of it is only that he hasn’t been there, only that he has been absent [from politics] up until now, so people can project their hopes or their anger at whatever they view as the government right now, onto him,” she said. “Also, he is a brand, not a person. He is the Kardashian of the political candidates.”

The feminist pioneer also praised Clinton’s presidential qualifications as the most extensive in U.S. history and delivered Hillary-esque criticism of the Republican presidential candidate (calling him “megalomaniacal”). Steinem also praised the idea of creating a single-payer healthcare system at the state level—something that could happen in Colorado if Amendment 69 passes—and she stressed the importance of each vote and the gravity of the 2016 election overall. “I’ve never, ever, ever, in my very long life, seen an election that is more crucial,” said, Steinem, 82.

Clinton still leads in Colorado polls, but her edge might be decreasing, which could be why Steinem reminded her listeners, “I have learned the hard way that every single, solitary vote makes a huge difference.”

Haley Gray
Haley Gray
Haley Gray is a Boulder-based freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in 5280, Roads and Kingdoms, Boulder Magazine, and the Albuquerque Journal.