In a new photo book about her 2016 presidential bid, Hillary Clinton reflects back on the people and values that were the center of her campaign — and reminds readers that the fight isn’t over for “a big-hearted, fairer America.” In an adaptation of the “I’m with her” rallying cry, she writes of her supporters: “I’m still with them.”
“For many of us, the 2016 election was frustrating, bewildering, infuriating, and at times even heartbreaking. But it was also surprising, uplifting, and joyful,” Clinton, 70, writes in the foreword for #STILLWITHHER, by former White House photographer Barbara Kinney. “That side of the story — the irrepressible energy of the volunteers and staff, the excitement of people from all walks of life united by a shared vision for our country —is too often overlooked.”
Clinton continues, “I’m grateful to Barb for telling it — particularly now, when standing up for our values has never been more important.”
The book’s 267 images were captured by Kinney, who has worked with the Clinton family since Inauguration Day in January 1993, and had unmatched behind-the-scenes access to Clinton’s 2016 campaign. The book, out Nov. 1, was produced in collaboration with PEOPLE’s Sandra Sobieraj Westfall.
#StillWithHer, available at www.thehillarybook.com, also features reflections from those who were closest to Clinton through the hope, heartburn and heartbreak of that campaign: daughter Chelsea Clinton, Mary Steenburgen, Michelle Kwan, former Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, “Mother of the Movement” activist Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin), campaign policy director Maya Harris, the Human Rights Campaign activist Chad Griffin, and campaign “super volunteer” John West.
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According to the first female presidential nominee of a major party, the book not only captures the people, but the emotion of the campaign trail.
“This book is a record not of what happened (that’s another book), but how it felt,” Clinton writes. “Through the lens of her ever-present cameras, [Kinney] managed to convey the thrill of standing on stage at the Democratic National Convention and becoming the first woman to accept a major party’s nomination for President of the United States, the exhaustion of late nights and early mornings poring over briefings, and the comfort of quiet moments behind the scenes with family.”
Clinton explains that her hope is that the photo book “will encourage and inspire more people to compete, participate, and get involved.”
In the foreword Clinton doesn’t name Donald Trump, who won the office she so coveted. Instead, she outlines the activism that she and former staffers have engaged in since the election, and encourages citizens to keep fighting for democracy and social justice. She writes that she founded Onward Together with Howard Dean “to encourage the outpouring of grassroots activism and engagement we’re witnessing.” A portion of the proceeds from #StillWithHer benefit the nonprofit group.
“We heard from groups that are training Democratic women to run for office, calling on states to embrace automatic voter registration, and encouraging millennials to not just march, but ‘Run for Something,’ ” she writes. “Everyone in that room believed, as I said after the election, that fighting for what’s right is still worth it. That’s how I feel, too.”
She reflects on the current-day activism like the Women’s March and the students-turned-activists across the country who are fighting for gun-law reforms — and what can be learned from supporters like the “Women for Hillary” volunteers and immigrant activist Astrid Silva, who press on.
“Barb’s photos are a reminder that, through all the noise, there was an incredible humanity to the battles we waged together — because, after all, politics is about people,” she writes.
Clinton writes the end of the foreword, not as a conclusion, but as a call to action:
“I’m still with all of the women and men who fought for a big-hearted, fairer America,” she writes. “So I hope you will enjoy this book and these photos as much as I did. And then, I hope you will get back out there and keep fighting. Because we’ve got our work cut out for us.”