Girl meets Hillary Clinton, freaks out

Macy Friday shakes the hand of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Image copyright AP

Call it Exhibit A for those touting Hillary Clinton's political star power.

During a stop in Denver, Colorado, on Tuesday to support Democratic Senator Mark Udall's re-election campaign, the former first lady took a moment to meet bystander Macy Friday and her family.

The 10-year-old's ecstatic reaction, captured by an Associated Press photographer, has made headlines in a mid-term campaign season that is quickly entering its dispiriting go-negative-or-go-home final weeks.

"That right there is a genuine 'I got a puppy, no, TWO puppies!' face," observes Wonkette's Doktor Zoom.

The Washington Post's Jamie Fuller writes that Friday's expression would be quite familiar to fathers "chaperoning a minivan full of teenagers at a One Direction concert". She goes on to note that other 2016 presidential contender elicit much less enthusiastic reactions from youngsters.

Almost as fun as Friday's expression, says PolicyMic's Gregory Krieg, is Ms Clinton's look of amused surprise at the reaction.

"She knows from fanboys and girls," he writes, "but she's clearly, well, taken aback by this one. Extra points for keeping a firm grip on that cup and cap."

For those jaded by the day-in, day-out churn of politics, it's easy to forget that the former secretary of state is more than just another politician to many Americans. Love her or hate her, at the moment she is the leading candidate to be the first female US president - a role model for girls like Friday.

Image copyright AP
Image caption No meeting with the former first lady is complete without a group selfie

"Hillary Clinton, ladies and gentlemen, now elicits a stronger reaction from children than Santa Claus does," writes Bustle's Lulu Chang. "Better yet, she's not fictional, which must've contributed to Macy's intense excitement - after all, it's not every day that you run into a legend at your local coffee shop."

Putting aside partisan politics, Macy Friday's pure, unadulterated joy is refreshing to see.

Now back to the mud-slinging.