Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made her first official public appearance since conceding to President-elect Donald Trump at the Children’s Defense Fund’s gala in Washington, D.C., and said she thought about never leaving her house again after the devastating loss.
Clinton had agreed to speak at the Nov. 16 event before her stunning loss to Trump, the Daily Mail reported. She delivered an honest and reflective 20-minute speech.
“I will admit coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing for me,” Clinton told attendees. “There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do is just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again.”
During her speech, Clinton quoted Marian Wright Edelman, the Children’s Defense Fund’s founder, saying, “Service is the rent we pay for living.”
“You don’t get to stop paying rent just because things don’t go your way,” Clinton said.
Clinton went on to say that she drew inspiration from Edelman as she prepared for her speech.
“If there’s anyone who knows how to pick yourself up, and get back on your feet and get to work, it is Marian,” Clinton said. “She has been doing it all of her life, and she has been helping the rest of us do it, too.”
Clinton had interned for Edelman during her law school years, and worked at the Children’s Defense Fund when she graduated. She said Edelman reminded her that when “you get knocked down, you get back up.”
“I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election. I am too, more than I can ever express,” Clinton said. “Our campaign was never about one person or even one election – it was about the country that we love and about building an America that is hopeful inclusive and big-hearted.
“We have work to do.”
“I ask you to stay engaged, stay engaged on every level,” Clinton continued. “We need you. America needs you, your energy, your ambition, your talent. That’s how we get through this. That’s how we help to make our contributions to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice.
“I know this isn’t easy. I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was.
“The divisions laid bare by this election run deep. But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it. Our children are worth it. Believe in our country, fight for our values, and never, ever give up.”
Clinton went on to say that she “didn’t get into public service to hold high office,” and reiterated her campaign slogan, saying she still believes Americans are “stronger together when we are lifting people up.”
“I believe the measure of any society is how we treat our children,” she said. “And as we move forward into a new, and in many ways, an uncertain future, I think that must be the test for America and for ourselves.”
Clinton also spoke about her mother Dorothy, who traveled to California with her little sister on a train when she was just 8 years old in search of a new life.
“Ended up on her own working as a housemaid. She beat the odds, she found a way to offer me the boundless love and support she never received herself,” Clinton recalled. “I think about her every day. And sometimes I think about her on that train.
“I wish I could walk down the aisle and find the little wooden seats where she sat, holding tight to her younger sister, all alone and terrified. She doesn’t yet know how much more she will have to face and even suffer.”
“I dream of going up to her and sitting next to her and taking her in my arms,” she said, and telling her, “you will survive, you will have a family of your own…and as hard as it might be to imagine, your daughter will … win more than 62 million votes for President of the United States.”
“America is still the greatest country in the world,” Clinton concluded. “This is still the place where anyone can beat the odds. It’s up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer.”
Clinton was previously spotted by one of her supporters near her Chappaqua, New York, home walking her dog, the Epoch Times reported.
Sources: Daily Mail, Epoch Times / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr