Local writer shares stories of years with Hillary Clinton
By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Hudson – If Hillary Rodham Clinton runs for president in 2016, Patrick S. Halley will undoubtedly be a prominent member of her campaign staff. The Hudson native was her principal advance man for nine years, working in the White House behind the scenes. He was at the former First Lady’s side for campaigns, conventions, overseas trips, election nights, inaugural balls and family vacations. He was also the executive producer of the White House Millennium Celebration opening ceremony.
“In the course of my employment at the White House, I toured the Kremlin with Boris Yeltsin, returned to Robben Island Prison with Nelson Mandela, shared a hotel with Fidel Castro, and met one on one with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat,” Halley said.
Prior to his work for Clinton, Halley had a career in law enforcement, serving as chief of operations for the Attorney General of Massachusetts, and in the same capacity for the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, one of the largest prosecutorial offices in the country. President Bill Clinton also appointed him to serve as special assistant regional administrator for the New England Region of the United States General Services Administration.
His political resume also includes service as the executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, five years as a legislative assistant in the Massachusetts State Senate, and work as an advance man or state director in five presidential campaigns.
Halley grew up in Hudson, graduated from Hudson High School in 1972 where he played baseball and hockey, and now resides in Watertown and Bartow, Fla. His first paid writing assignment was for the Marlborough Enterprise and Hudson Daily Sun in 1976, when he covered the Democratic National Convention and sent back daily dispatches.
“I have always been interested in writing and, while touring a private part of the Kremlin with President Clinton, Hillary, Chelsea, President and Naira Yeltsen, two security agents and a translator, I thought I was seeing world history being made and I decided to keep a journal,” Halley said.
He spoke to an agent and a publisher and started writing books.
In 2002 he wrote “On the Road with Hillary: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Journey from Arkansas to the U.S. Senate” (Viking Adult, 2002), which tells the story of the nine years he spent helping Clinton make the transition from two terms as First Lady to successful politician in her own right.
“I am currently 300 pages into a 500-page manuscript on a book about a political figure that was so corrupt he used [former Boston] Mayor James Michael Curley as his bagman. The subject, Dan Coakley, (no relation to current Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley) was also Charles Ponzi’s attorney and was the only one to make any money out of the original Ponzi scheme,” Halley said.
He is also the author of “Guide Dogs of America, A History” (Kelly Press, 2012), a fascinating history of the Guide Dog movement in the United States, and a historical perspective of the organization by that name. He also wrote “Wimpy” (Kelly Press, 2008), the biography of William W. Winpisinger, an outspoken labor leader who changed the face of organized labor in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 2002 he wrote “On the Road with Hillary: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Journey from Arkansas to the U.S. Senate”, which tells the story of the nine years he spent helping Clinton make the transition from two terms as First Lady to successful politician in her own right.
Halley noted that nowadays his trips back to Marlborough and Hudson are infrequent except for the occasional card game with local journalist Ron Guest and other friends who have continued to remain in contact.
He still has high hopes for the former First Lady.
“Were Hillary to run, I’d be willing to do whatever is in my power to see her elected,” he said. “I know she’d make an excellent president, and it’s high time we elected a woman.”
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