Ambassador, activist and heiress Swanee Hunt has lived the #MeToo struggle

Author: Joey Bunch - January 28, 2018 - Updated: February 15, 2018


Swanee Hunt, a woman of tremendous privilege, philanthropy and leadership, has known the same struggles as many other women in the workplace today.

“I have had two presidents — not Bill Clinton — make passes at me,” she told Colorado cable TV talker Aaron Harber as he interviewed the former U.S. ambassador to Austria and longtime Denver resident. “And I have had a Nobel Prize winner stick his tongue down my throat when we were on a sidewalk and I was saying goodbye and about to get into a cab — stick his tongue down my throat.

“I had another Nobel Prize winner who banged on my hotel door and called my room wanting to come in until I said to him, ‘I am calling security if you do not leave me alone. And so if that’s happening to me, and all these #MeToo people are saying ‘Yes, it happens to me,’ what about the people of color, the women of color, who aren’t even a part of this movement? They are the ones. What about the waitresses, who get this all the time all the time, and their tips are going to be decided by whether they let a man pat them on them butt?”

She said the #MeToo movement is transforming into a political movement.

“Our country will never be the same,” she told Harber.

Click here to watch more of the interview.

An author and expert on women in politics, Hunt is a daughter of the late Texas oilman H. L. Hunt, one of the richest men in the world in his lifetime, she has a master’s degree in religion and a doctorate in theology from Iliff School of Theology in Denver.

Currently, Hunt is the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and the founding director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the school.

Her bio at Harvard notes:

During Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, she co-organized Serious Women, Serious Issues, Serious Money, a Denver symposium widely considered the first time such diverse women gathered to provide major financial backing for a national political campaign. In 2008, she convened Unconventional Women, a day-long program featuring more than 20 female political leaders for an audience of 3000 in Denver, concurrent with the Democratic National Convention.

She also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Ambassador Swanee Hunt revealed the harassment she endured to emphasize how difficult it is for women in socio-economic strata different from her who do not have the resources Hunt has,” said Harber.

“The Aaron Harber Show” airs primarily on KCDO-TV Channel 3, an over-the-air broadcaster, as well as Channel 3 on COMCAST, DirecTV, and DISH. The show is carried on cable channels across the state, as well as much of Wyoming and Nebraska. Click here for local listings.

(Editor’s note: This story was updated to add a comment from Harber, as well as more viewing options.)

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.