Hillary Clinton said she is now “part of the resistance.” (Yahoo News photo Illustration; Photos: Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News-AP)
Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton identified herself as a member of the widespread resistance movement to President Trump on Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m back to now being an activist citizen and part of the resistance,” she said to thunderous applause at the Women for Women International 2017 annual luncheon in New York.
During an on-stage interview, just before declaring herself part of the resistance, Clinton said she spent decades learning what it would take to help move the people of the United States forward, including those who did not vote for her. She said that she didn’t want to appeal to emotions the same way that Trump did and had hoped to have serious conversations about healthcare, foreign policy, renewable energy, artificial intelligence and so on during the campaign.
Clinton recalled that Trump had actually made fun of her for preparing for their first presidential debate.
“I said, ‘Yes, I did prepare for the debate. And here’s another thing I prepared for. I prepared for being president,’” Clinton said. “It’s not exactly headline grabbing. I understand that. But, you know, I can’t be anything other than who I am.”
Clinton said that real change is made through building upon past progress — not vowing to throw out the whole system, as Trump promised.
Earlier in the conversation, CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour asked Clinton what she imagines it might have meant for women throughout the world if she had actually become the first female president of the United States.
“Oh, I think it would’ve been a really big deal,” Clinton said. “I think that partly here at home there were important messages that that could’ve sent to our own daughters, granddaughters, grandsons and sons. But I think especially internationally.”
Clinton said she had the great privilege of traveling the world meeting a wide variety of people: from leaders in palaces to the kinds of women living in rural areas that Women for Women International are trying to help.
“There is still so much inequity, so much unfairness, so much disrespect and discrimination toward women and girls,” she said. “So, have we made progress? Yes we have. But have we made enough? No we haven’t.”
Clinton said that women’s rights are being lost in the same places that are most likely to foster and protect terrorism, places that harbor ideologies hostile to equality between the sexes.
“Women’s rights is the unfinished business of the 21st century. There is no more important, larger issue that has to be addressed.”
Clinton also said that she takes “absolute personal responsibility” for her election loss, saying that she and her campaign both made mistakes.
“I was the candidate. I was the person who was on the ballot. I was very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we have,” Clinton said. “But I will say this. I’ve been in a lot of campaigns and I’m very proud of the campaign we ran.”
Despite taking “absolute personal responsibility,” Clinton also said she was “on the way to winning” until two things happened: FBI director James Comey released a letter saying the agency was reopening its investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state and WikiLeaks published hacked campaign emails.
She said the combination of Comey’s letter and WikiLeaks’ dump “raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.”
“Did we make mistakes? Of course we did. Did I make mistakes? Oh my gosh, yes,” she said. “But the reason I believe
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