MADISON — Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state who is said to be considering a run for president, drew hundreds of people who waited hours to meet her at a book signing at R.J. Julia Booksellers on Saturday.
“To think in my lifetime, there was a black president and a possibly a woman. I’m prouder than I can possibly express,” said Lynn Warzosek, a Douglas, Massachusetts resident who attended the signing.
Clinton’s main focus was on her book “Hard Choices,” and she spent two hours greeting people and signing copies. Owners of the bookstore say they sold 1,080 tickets.
Many who met Clinton on Saturday say they were overcome with emotion.
“My mom passed away three years ago. She was Hillary’s biggest fan, and I’m wearing her ring, so I got to do that. It was amazing,” said K.C. Karasinski of South Windsor.
Those who bought a ticket in advance received a copy of “Hard Choices” and waited in line for up to six hours before Clinton started signing.
Clinton’s security detail, which included the U.S. Secret Service, closely guarded the bookstore.
Thom Guthire of West Haven came early enough to grab the first spot in a line to enter the bookstore. The line eventually stretched nearly a half-mile from R.J. Julia’s entrance on Main Street.
“It really was kind of the goal. I got down here at about 10:00 in hopes of landing this very spot,” said Guithre.
Connecticut’s two U.S. senators, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, were there. Fresh from a visit to the U.S. border in the Southwest, Blumenthal arrived before the signing to speak with Clinton. The two attended Yale Law School together.
“It was really nice to talk with her,” Blumenthal said afterward. “We had a great conversation.”
Murphy also attended, posing for pictures with Blumenthal and Clinton after spending the morning campaigning for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is up for re-election in November.
Murphy apologized for his casual dress.
“I was door knocking for the governor, so forgive my shoes,” he said, gesturing to a pair of sneakers.
Malloy did not attend, but Clinton asked Blumenthal and Murphy to “say hello to the governor for me.”
The event also attracted a group of about 100 protesters, who chided Clinton for the attacks on the American diplomatic offices in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012.
The protesters held up signs and chanted, “Hillary lied, four died!” and “We Won’t Forget Benghazi!”
Many of the protesters were local Republicans, Tea Party members and others critical of the job Clinton did as secretary of state.
“I really don’t understand why they’re supporting her. She has no accomplishments on her own, and attaching herself to Bill like a barnacle is the only reason she’s here for the book signing,” said Elaine Pacheo, a Clinton protester from Colebrook.
Clinton’s next stop on the book tour will be Saturday, July 26 in Seekonk, Massachusetts.