MANASSAS, Va. –Hillary Clinton needs more people like Bernice Nadine Breeding.
After Hillary Clinton finished speaking and shaking hands in a middle school gym in this small town on Sunday afternoon, Breeding, a 70-year-old property administrator, ambled around looking for someone to take her money.
Breeding had a $100 check in her hand made out to Hillary Clinton. "I want Hillary to be president and I think she needs money," said Breeding.
As the gym emptied, Breeding found a Clinton staffer in the back of the room urging a few straggling reporters to get on the press bus. She handed the staffer the check, which was pink and crumpled and marked with thick black pen, and apologized in her strong Virginia accent for the modesty of the contribution ("I’m a senior," she said) and for not donating the money directly to Clinton ‘s web site.
The web site is "Hillary Clinton dot com," as Clinton now reminds audiences in nearly every speech or campaign appearance. On Sunday afternoon, she also talked about her $5 million loan to her own campaign as a source of pride, and a tacit appeal for donations. If she is going to be able to compete with Obama’s million flowing in effortlessly off the Internet, she is going to need more and more of the small donations her campaign ignored for months. Her predicament though, is personified by Breeding. The voters who are most passionate about Clinton’s candidacy are often working-class women or seniors, who may not be fluent in Google-ese.
"I pulled her up on the Internet but didn’t have a credit card," said Breeding, who described herself as "excited" when Clinton spoke of the loan she had made to her own campaign because Breeding knew she could help, and had come to the gym for the expressed purpose of giving her the money.
"I’d been wanting to give it. So I thought I’d come here," said Breeding, as the staffer walked away with her check and promised to make sure it got into the right people’s hands. "I walked up trying to give it to somebody so that she can get in there and straighten up all that mess that Bush made."