Hanging with Hillary

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, October 17, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
If Nytorious Cooler's first experience with politics is any indication, he should not have any problems fulfilling his ambitions later in life.
The 8-year-old Atmore resident has aspirations of being President of the United States and has already begun preparing for his future in politics.
Cooler attended the Alabama Democratic Conference's semi-annual luncheon last weekend at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham where he had a "once in a lifetime experience," according to his father, the Rev. Nehemiah Cooler.
The Pollard-McCall fourth grader was one of a few who had the opportunity to meet Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was on hand seeking endorsement from the conference. Clinton even took time out to have a photo made with the youngster following her speech.
"She was nice," Cooler said of Clinton. "She looked confused. I guess she thought no kids were going to be there, just grown ups. I walked right up to her and she said 'Hey.' I wasn't scared. I like taking pictures with the celebrities."
Cooler, who is a straight "A" student, said he enjoyed Clinton's speech. He added that it inspired him.
"My parents go every year, so I went with them," he said. "I'm a Junior Democrat and I want to be just like them when I grow up, I want to be a Democrat. I wanted to hear her speech and thought it was good. She gave me more hope for my future and hope that I could be president one day. It's going to take a lot of hard work."
According to Cooler's mother, Tanyeka Cooler, Clinton not only spoke of her reasons why she felt that she would be a good president, but also touched on her love for children and senior citizens and her support of education.
"She said she loves kids and elderly folks," Tanyeka Cooler said.
The Coolers attended the conference as delegates for the Escambia County Democratic Committee. They said that their son's interest in politics makes them proud.
"He likes it, he really does," Tanyeka Cooler said. "He loved to hear what they talked about and about the changes they want to make."
Nytorious Cooler was one of a handful of children that attended the luncheon. The Rev. Nehemiah Cooler said he and his wife allowed their son to make the trip because they make an effort to support him in all his aspirations.
"We want to expose him to as much of life as we can because life does not start in Atmore or end in Atmore," Nehemiah Cooler said. "We want him to leave out of Atmore and experience life. I can't tell you what the other side of the bridge looks like if I never go across to the other side. He knows that it takes hard work and if he does have a goal of being president one day that it starts with his grades and attitude. We will have to watch that starting today until the day he decides to step into the political arena."
The Rev. Nehemiah Cooler added that events such as last weekend's luncheon help broaden their son's knowledge and interests.
"We want him to have a broad spectrum of everything in life and know that whatever he wants to do in life, all he has to do is put the first step forward and never let anybody tell him what he cannot do," he said. "Me and my wife want to make sure that he has the foundation to be successful in the political arena, sports, education, science, whatever he wants to do and venture off in life, we're willing to back him. But we know the foundation has to be built solid."
As for Nytorious Cooler, he believes Clinton has a good chance of making history and becoming the nation's first female president.
"Most of the time they have a boy president, but she's trying her best to win," he said. "You never know until you try. I think she had a pretty good speech – it was super good. She has a pretty good chance."
Even though the young Junior Democrat will not be 35-years-old until the year 2034 in order to be eligible to run for president, he already has his first plan of action in mind.
"Let kids vote," Cooler said. "Only people over 18 can vote; that's what I don't get. If you add kids in, they may pick the right person. Anybody over 5 should be able to vote."
For now, he will continue serving as a junior deacon at First Saints Siloam Missionary Baptist Church in Brewton and Second Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Brewton until the day he can run for president of his high school class.

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