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‘I Don’t Have to Change Who I Am to Be a Leader’: Poet Amanda Gorman Opens Up About Presidential Aspirations

Amanda Gorman has already mastered the poetry game and is setting her sights even higher. The first-ever national youth poet laureate is prepping for an eventual presidency run.

The 23-year-old, who rose to fame after performing her poem “The Hill We Climb” during President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, recently discussed with The Wall Street Journal Magazine her plans to run for the office in 2036 on a platform of issues including climate change, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

If Amanda Gorman has her way, she’ll be our President in about 15 years. Photo Credit: @amandascgorman/Instagram

While this isn’t Gorman’s first time speaking publicly about her political plans, the activist opened up about what is fueling her motivation to reach the seemingly “impossible” goal.

“I think to make the impossible more proximate, you have to treat it as if it’s in reaching distance,” Gorman told the WSJ, adding, “I’ve always understood the potential of the presidency or political office to both be terrific and also toxic and terrible.”

The Harvard University graduate has had her heart set on the U.S. presidency since she was 11 years old, but her understanding of what it takes to gain the position has evolved over the years, and thanks to examples of powerful women in politics like Hilary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi she’s learned that she can remain authentic to who she is while also being a leader.

“I used to think about it in the more traditional sense of, OK, we’re going to do this poetry thing for a little bit, and then you’re going to put the pen down and switch over to politics,” she said. “Being able to talk to people like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, I realized I don’t have to change who I am to be a leader. If anything, those qualities will be what become my strength when I bring them into my field.”

Amanda Gorman promotes her book, “The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country.” @amandascgorman/Instagram

“The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country” author already has some notable women political figures in her corner rooting for her, including former first lady Michelle Obama. “Looking at her, I see someone who can help us draw even closer to a better, more inclusive America,” Obama. “Someone who will use her identity as a Black woman and her ability to connect with others to help reshape and repair the world around us.”

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