Hillary Clinton made her first public appearance on Wednesday night since losing her bid for the presidency at an event held in her honor in Washington, D.C. by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF).
The former secretary of state, who began her career as a staff attorney for the CDF, addressed the audience and spoke directly about her defeat.
“Coming here wasn’t the easiest for me,” she admitted. “There’ve been a few times this past week where all I’ve wanted to do is to curl up with a good book, or the dog and never leave the house again.”
“I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election. I am too, more than I can express,” she said, laughing slightly. “But…I didn’t get in to public service to hold high office.”
Instead, she reminded the crowd, she’d decided to become an activist and use her law degree to help children.
Clinton later circled back to her election defeat, urging people to not “lose heart” and to “stay engaged on every level.”
“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 they thought it was,” she said, adding “Listen to me when I say this: America is worth it. Our children are worth it. Never, ever give up.”
While Clinton was in Washington, D.C., her husband, Bill Clinton, made an appearance at the Lion premiere in New York City on Wednesday night.
The 70-year-old was invited by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who introduced him before the screening and where he received a standing ovation.
It was a night where emotions ran high, as Clinton recalled her mother, Dorothy, and how she was abandoned by her parents on a train headed toward California.
“I wish I could walk down the aisle…where she sat…alone and terrified,” Clinton said.
“I dream of going up to her and sitting next to her and holding her in my arms and saying ‘Look at me, you will survive. You will have a family of your own,'” she continued, eyes brimming with tears. “‘As hard as it is to imagine, your daughter will grow up to be a senator, represent our country as secretary of state and win more than 62 million votes for president of the United States.'”
“I may be older now, I’ve seen my share of ups and downs, but I still believe we can make the impossible possible,” she continued. “America is still the greatest country in the world.”