When I followed Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in Iowa last month, in speech after speech she referred to a waitress she had met at an Iowa diner who had to work two to three jobs. It was the perfect way to put a face on struggling Americans who are “invisible” to President Bush. It turns out that not only did Clinton tell the waitress’s story without prior approval, but the candidate outright stiffed her:
“I wished I would have been asked first,” the waitress, Anita Esterday, said of Clinton’s decision to insert her in a speech. “I wish she would have asked if she could talk about me later. I didn’t like it when someone called me up and said Hillary Clinton is talking about you. It’s like, what’d I do now? What’s she saying?”
When I returned to the Maid-Rite a few weeks later, Esterday said the senator had caught her off guard. But once they got talking, she was honest with Clinton about her need to work two to three jobs.
“I’ve been doing it all my life. Why should it change now that I’m old,” Esterday said.
Esterday does not think Clinton got it. “I don’t think she understood at all what I was saying,” Esterday said. “I mean, nobody got left a tip that day.”
Clinton may have decided not to tip. She was also never given a bill – her meal was on the house. Still, Esterday said Clinton might have left her something: “Maybe they don’t carry money. I don’t know.”
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