Wednesday’s Real Housewives of New York City proved to be a traumatic episode of television for Hillary Clinton supporters, as the cast — and its most outspoken Clinton-voter Carole Radziwill — finally learned the results of the 2016 presidential election.
It may have only been seven months ago, but the wounds of the “I’m with her” chanters hoping to see America’s first female president were no doubt ripped open again as they saw a crestfallen Radziwill watch the electoral map swing in the favor of now-President Donald Trump — the Republican candidate winning state after state.
“I’m stunned,” the 53-year-old Emmy-winning journalist and author said. “I don’t get it. I can’t even put words to how I feel now. It’s devastating.”
“This is unthinkable,” she continued. “It’s like I don’t even live in the same country. I came into this night thinking it’s going to be a celebration. Right now, I just can’t believe what is happening … I’m just dumbfounded.”
Radziwill’s pre-election neurosis has been front-and-center on this season of RHONY. Despite being told by pal Bethenny Frankel that she obsessed too much about the election, Radziwill’s passion for politics never waned. She even spent the days before the election going door-to-door in Pennsylvania, volunteering for Clinton and visiting voters alongside her mother, Helen.
“This election is important for a lot of reasons,” Radziwill explained. “I feel like I’m doing my little part to make sure America will have its first female president — but also the more qualified, experienced and intelligent president. And that’s what’s important.”
She was also honest about why she opposed Trump, saying “I just had a visceral reaction to Donald Trump potentially being the President of the United States. Men like Trump are a dime a dozen in New York. They have a nickel in their pocket, they think they’re hot s—, and they take advantage of women. [This is] on a national stage, magnified. He stands for everything I’m against.”
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It’s clear to see the celebration Radziwill’s election party would have been had the election gone Clinton’s way. With a bar stocked with Skinnygirl bottles and patriotic decorations sprucing up the restaurant’s private room, the scene would have been a perfect setting to document the would-be historic moment.
“The last few months have been very very stressful,” Radziwill said going into the event. “This election has taken its toll on some friendships. So I’m glad it is finally coming to an end and we can move on to bigger and better things.”
But as the evening went on and the room’s big-screen TVs showed the polls coming in, Radziwill’s optimism faded fast. Soon she and the party’s other guests (including fellow Housewife Dorinda Medley) left — seemingly in a mixed state of disbelief and sadness.
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In the days following the election, Radziwill seemed to do her best to move forward — attending events and staying mum on the election. At one point, she declared: “Trump is our president-elect. I’m not happy about it. End of story.”
Though she was clearly upset, she still found moments of humor — especially during a shopping trip with Ramona Singer the next day.
“The absurdity of meeting Ramona to go buy dresses in one of the more expensive stores on Madison Avenue like, two minutes after the election is why people out of the city could look at us and think we’re out of touch,” she said. “But the irony is not lost on me.”
But her most vulnerable moment came when Radziwill called her mother and read portions of a speech she had planned had Clinton been victorious.
“This is a historic election not only because we’ve elected the first female president, but we showed the world that Americans will not tolerate division, exclusion, fear-mongering, sexist and racist rhetoric,” she said, holding back tears.
“Standing in the shadow of lady liberty, we’re reminded of the ideals that make this country great,” Radziwill added. “We are going to show Secretary Clinton’s opponent exactly what it means, regardless of party, to be American.”
Radziwill may not have had a chance to give that speech, but followers of her on Twitter have seen that she continues to remain outspoken about politics. And while she may have been wrong about the election results, Radziwill still stays firm in her support of Clinton.
“I will admit I was wrong. But I think I’m going to be on the right side of history,” she said.
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.