It’s not often that a presidential candidate has spent time in Alaska and seen firsthand an industry that is one of the largest employers in the state. It’s even more rare that a candidate keeps an eye on an issue that can affect that industry and has taken a stance to protect it.
I’m talking about Hillary Clinton. The former first lady, senator and secretary of state spent a summer in Alaska a few decades ago before being in the national eye, and she has not forgotten about that experience. Alaska, and our abundant salmon industry, helped shape who she is and what she fights for.
In the summer of 1969, Hillary had just graduated from college and was heading to Yale that fall to attend law school. But before that, she came to Alaska and worked at a temporary salmon factory in Valdez. She recounted just a few months ago on national television that “one of the best jobs I had to prepare me to be president was sliming fish in Alaska.” She argued with her boss about the bad quality of the salmon, and was fired for questioning him. She thought about the quality of our fish and the image of America’s seafood, and had the guts to fight back when her boss wasn’t doing the right thing.