In her first formal appearance since conceding the presidential race to President-elect Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton was honored at the Children’s Defense Fund’s “Beat the Odds” gala on Wednesday night. “I will admit, coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing for me,” she told the crowd gathered at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “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.”
Clinton, who worked for the Children’s Defense Fund after law school and later served on its board, delivered a message of encouragement to the audience, first reflecting on the disappointment shared by her and her supporters in the face of the election, then shifting her tone to urge everyone to look forward and strive to make an impact.
“I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election. I am too — more than I can ever express,” she said. “I know this isn’t easy. I know that over the past week, a lot of people have asked themselves whether America was the country we thought it was.”
The former secretary of state reportedly agreed to appear prior to the election and spoke on values of inclusion that molded her campaign and how those values will be tested in the future. “I believe the measure of any society is how we treat our children, and as we move forward into a new and in many ways uncertain future, that must be the test for America and ourselves,” she said. “No child should be afraid to go to school because they’re Latino, or African-American, or Muslim, or because they have a disability.”
She then issued a plea to the crowd to get involved. “We have work to do, and for the sake of our children and our families and our country, I ask you to stay engaged, stay engaged on every level,” Clinton said. “We need you. America needs you, your energy, your ambition, your talent. That is how we get through this.”
For the appearance, Clinton stuck with her uniform — a tapered pantsuit in a royal shade of blue. She also wore a blue pantsuit for the second presidential debate, as part of what some thought was a strategic move to wear red, white, and blue at the debates. Throughout Clinton’s campaign, the media often associated her pantsuit colors with unique, sometimes farfetched symbolism. For example, the Democratic nominee’s white outfits were often interpreted as her way of showing support for women’s rights and the suffragette movement. One might wonder what message Clinton was trying to send through her most recent color choice.