Hillary Clinton is still hopeful about the future of women in politics. The former secretary of state made a rare post-election public appearance at a Girls Inc. event in New York on Tuesday, March 7. During her reflective speech, she joked about resilience after her shocking 2016 election loss to President Donald Trump.
“The truth is, life hands all of us setbacks,” Clinton, 69, said, smirking, as she addressed the audience at the New York Marriott Marquis, as seen in a video posted by CNN, which you can watch above. “Now, we know that. And if you have lived long enough, you have experienced them, haven’t you?”
Referencing her many publicized sightings on the hiking trails near her home in Chappaqua, New York, the former first lady continued, “I have had my ups and my downs. In the last months I have done my share of sleeping, a little soul searching and reflecting, long walks in the woods, and in those moments I am thankful for my own village, my community and family and friends who have supported and encouraged me. I have also been buoyed by the love and support that I have received by the young women I have mentored over my time. They inspire me every day.”
Clinton, who was on hand to accept the non-profit organization’s Champion for Girls Award, used her appearance to encourage women in politics to keep fighting and run for office. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she received multiple standing ovations during her speech at the annual luncheon.
“We have to keep fighting,” she said. “We have to remain stubborn. We have to look for ways to mentor and support. And we have to understand that despite setbacks and stumbles on our long march to full equality, everywhere I look, there are signs of hope.”
The politician has kept a low profile since Election Day last November. Though she has yet to sit down for a post-election interview, she is set to release a new book of personal essays this fall.