As U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal was attending the UConn women's basketball team's NCAA championship victory rally in Hartford Sunday afternoon, his Yale Law School classmate Hillary Rodham Clinton was announcing that she will run for president in 2016.
"I've known Hillary Clinton since our graduation from law school about 40 years ago and have kept in touch, in fact worked with her over these 40 years on a mass variety of projects and activities and causes that are close to both of our hearts," Blumenthal said. "She is really engaging as a colleague, as a friend, as someone who penetrates all of the unessentials, irrelevancies to an issue and really hones down, drills down on what's important. When she talks about children or working families or about the need for a better education, more jobs, she has a passion."
In response to her announcement about her bid for the presidency, he said "she has a passion, a sparkling, penetrating intellect, a real sense of right and wrong that I think will impress the American people."
"The more people know Hillary Clinton, the more the real Hillary is there, the more I think they will like her and respect her," Blumenthal said.
So, who is the real Hillary? Blumenthal mentioned her ability to find humor in serious situations while also maintaining focus at the task at hand.
"I hope people will see her sense of humor, her joking about what can be funny even in serious negotiations," Blumenthal said. "She has a sparkling, effervescent sense of humor. She sees fun in life and she also sees what's serious about family and commitment to her family. When she talks about her grandchildren, she has a sense of delight and fun. I hope people will see her sense of humor about her, about her husband. Nobody can joke more about Bill Clinton than Hillary Clinton and I hope people see that sense of humor as well as her sense of purpose and the reason she is running for president, which I think that will spark admiration and affection among the American people."
When asked what he thinks her challenges will be in the election, he said that "every issue will be on the table, but that she is grounded and can handle it.
"Politics these days can be tough and nasty, but she has a big heart and she's developed an ability to work through whatever the criticisms are and absorb the ones that make sense and reject the name-calling and the nastiness," Blumenthal said. "I think her sense of personal awareness and her sense of what's right and wrong, what the country needs now. Hillary Clinton is passionate about moving the country forward. About using the perspectives and insights she brings as a woman. Sometimes it's been tough for her to be a woman in the White House, in the Senate, in world affairs as Secretary of State, but she has developed a real sense of self that I think will impress the American people."
Blumenthal described Hillary Rodham Clinton as a dedicated student who out-shined many of her classmates.
"When we were in law school, she was by far a better student than either Bill Clinton or me and I think she's going to show herself to be a very serious study of the American people," Blumenthal said. "She's going to be not only a student of the American people, of American problems, of American opportunities, but she's going to use those lessons in a way that's unprecedented."
He said that she would bring insight to the presidential seat as a woman and someone with "vast experience and qualifications.
"Nobody has better experience and qualifications," Blumenthal said. "From day one when I met her back in law school, she's always prided herself on knowing a subject, whether it was legal issues or children's issues or economics issues or foreign affairs issues, she's always been top of the class. Smarter than her husband in class at least and I think her sense of humor and purpose will really prevail."