You know it's always fascinating to watch the beginning of the next really big thing. Well, that's what it was like at the Watermark's inaugural Lead On Conference today when Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, took the stage.
To put it into perspective, the number of attendees, tech sponsors and Silicon Valley glitterati at this Bay Area tech conference for women was staggering. Over 5,000 attended, albeit predominantly woman, but what did one expect. The price point was set to allow open the flood gates to open, and they came: young and old across race and diversity. This was not a meeting of solely older, affluent white women talking among themselves behind closed doors. Nope, it was a large, interesting and diverse crowd that commandeered the use of the men's bathrooms - gutsy; young and more mature shall we say; and from mixed ethnicity and race. The cherry on the cake, for wonks like me, was the attendance by an equally wide swatch from the major national press corps. Go figure. It seemed that everyone was there to see Madame Hillary and boy, oh boy she delivered.
Hillary was big, bold and energized in a way that we, party loyalists, had not seen for way too long. It was sublime for those of us that hungered for her words - sort of like a yummy piece of good chocolate. She hit issue after issue from wage and gender equality, to rebuilding the Middle Class, and onto her vision for the role of technology for the future of America with a bit of foreign policy mixed in. We got to watch the emergence of her platform for 2016 in real time, and it was a real treat made even better by the proverbial fireside chat with Kara Swisher, the tech pundit. Frankly, there is no waiting for Hillary -- clearly, she is ready to go.