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Poet Amanda Gorman for president? Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton hope so

Poet Amanda Gorman for president? Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton hope so

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U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS) U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

At least two powerful figures will be voting Amanda Gorman for president as soon as the 23-year-old inauguration poet is eligible in 2036.

In a new Vogue interview with writer Doreen St. Felix, Gorman elaborated on her plan to campaign for the highest office in the United States — and revealed that she has already secured unofficial but key endorsements from former Secretary of State (and presidential contender) Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, the first national youth poet laureate graces the May cover of the fashion magazine.

Both Clinton, whom Gorman called “a grandma,” and Obama, whom she dubbed “the cool auntie,” were present for the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, where the young wordsmith from Los Angeles recited her poignant poem “The Hill We Climb.” In conversation with Vogue, Gorman recalled some of the events that led to her star-making moment on Capitol Hill.

“Not that no one else could have done it,” she said of preparing to debut the poem before the entire nation. “But if they had taken another young poet and just been like, ‘A five-minute poem, please, and by the way the Capitol was just almost burned down. See you later’ ... That would have been traumatizing.”

Gorman’s career has skyrocketed since she transfixed the country with her inauguration performance. A hard-copy edition of “The Hill We Climb” — released last month — as well as an upcoming poetry collection and children’s book by the rising author are all bestsellers.

In March, she sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview on the TV legend’s Apple TV+ series. And in January, she inked a deal with talent agency IMG Models — though St. Felix notes in her cover story that Gorman is “wary about being perceived as a model.”

“When I’m part of a campaign,” she told Vogue, “the entity isn’t my body. It’s my voice.”

Shortly after the Biden-Harris inauguration, Gorman was invited to write and recite an original poem for the 2021 Super Bowl — making her the first poet ever to perform at the sporting event. Asked whether she was hesitant to accept an offer from the NFL — criticized heavily for shunning former quarterback Colin Kaepernick after he kneeled for justice during the national anthem — Gorman replied, “It’s always complicated.”

“I said yes, not even for the money,” Gorman continued. “I made so little money doing that shoot. I did it because of what I thought it would mean for poetry in the country, to have poetry performed, for the first time in history, at the Super Bowl.”

Though she ended up taking the Super Bowl opportunity, Gorman has drawn the line at several other recent proposals — amounting to about $17 million, she said — because they didn’t align with her vision.

“I didn’t really look at the details because if you see something and it says a million dollars, you’re going to rationalize why that makes sense,” she told Vogue. “I have to be conscious of taking commissions that speak to me.”


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