“If you ever get the chance to meet a presidential candidate, do it. If you happen to be wearing a tiara, even better…”
Eighteen-year-old Allie Nault, a New Hampshire native who was named this year’s Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, has taken her right to vote to an all-new level. Not only did she recently register to vote, she’s had the unique opportunity to meet many of the presidential candidates in her home state as they campaign in the New Hampshire Primary. Read Allie’s unique perspective on meeting the White House hopefuls in . . .
What Happened When I Met Donald Trump in a Tiara
By Allie Nault, 18
If you ever get the chance to meet a presidential candidate, do it. If you happen to be wearing a tiara, even better.
As Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, I’m used to making public appearances in the sparkly head gear technically called a crown (every girl should wear one when the mood strikes) but I still can’t believe the reactions I got from the candidates.
DONALD CALLED ME “DARLING”
When Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared at a convention in my home state of New Hampshire last fall, I was there, too. My goal: to ask Trump what he plans to do about the $18 trillion national debt. I finally got my chance when he caught sight of the crown, in a crowd of hundreds, and said, “Oh, look who we have – good!” At first he dodged my question, until the crowd joined me in demanding a straight answer. I felt triumphant . . . until he called me “darling.” Ouch.
HILLARY SHOWED ME HER MUSCLES
Months earlier when I ran into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at an Independence Day parade, I wasn’t sure how the former Secretary of State would react. Would the woman adored by feminists look down on my crown? No way. Instead, she joined me in a fist pump! Flexing her biceps with me in a moment of girl power, she smiled for the cameras as I growled jokingly in a “hear me roar.” The crown totally won her over.
CARLY TREATED ME LIKE A PRINCESS
Next came a campaign event with Republican Carly Fiorina, where the crown helped me score the last question from the crowd. Carly urged everyone to give me a round of applause when I stood up to ask about the national debt. Then she called me a princess – twice.
BERNIE TOLD ME NOT TO “WORRY”
Finally, Democrat Bernie Sanders seemed to underestimate the brains beneath the bling. When I asked him about reducing the national debt, I got perhaps the most imprecise answer yet. “We will resolve this in a way that will not fail,” he told me. When I asked him what that meant, he said, “Don’t worry about it.” Hmph!
With or without a crown, teen girls are underestimated when it comes to politics. But we may be one of the best connected generations ever, and we’re going to make an impact in just a few short years. Candidates should listen to our concerns. But first we have to raise our voices.
In 2012, less than half of 18- to 24-year-olds voted. We have the power to make a difference, but we have to use it in the voting booth. My advice is to stay informed and don’t be afraid to express your opinions or ask questions. Our generation may approach things differently, but there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, being different may be the best thing about us; we accept those differences in everyone. Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change of pace in politics? Let’s be proud in knowing that while we have a lot to learn, we also have a lot to offer.
So here’s a request from the crown…
Mr./Ms. Future President of the United States: As I represent the teen girls of our country, I’m going to keep on asking the tough questions, and expecting thoughtful answers. And in turn, you can count on our generation to stay politically informed so we can cast a meaningful vote when we’re ready – crown and all.
And get inspired to vote!