After they made their way deeper into Arkansas, bypassing Little Rock and curving through the Ozarks, the women stopped at a ramshackle restaurant for lunch. Mrs. Ehrman was growing more alarmed as she took in the surroundings.
“I said to her, ‘Hillary, you’re never going to get French bread here. You’re never going to get Brie,’ ” she recalled in a final plea, but by then Mrs. Clinton had made up her mind. “She wasn’t even listening to me at that point,” Mrs. Ehrman said.
They arrived in Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas, on one of the rowdiest weekends of the year. The hilltop town, with its canopy of oak trees, had become a swarm of drunken football fans, their faces painted red and their heads covered with hats shaped like the university’s hog mascot. The Razorbacks were playing a major rival at the time, the Longhorns of the University of Texas.
“It was then that I broke down and cried when I thought, ‘She’s going to live here?’ ” Mrs. Ehrman said. “I just cried. I just absolutely cried.”
Mrs. Ehrman took a plane back to Washington and paid someone to drive her Buick home. “I thought, ‘I’m getting out of here tomorrow morning. I don’t belong here,’ ” she said.