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Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that she considers her loss to President Donald Trump in November “a setback.”
The former Democratic nominee, the first woman to represent a major political party in a US presidential election, said during a luncheon for the Girls, Inc. women’s empowerment organization that she’s been doing some “soul-searching” over the past four months – and a lot of sleeping.
“Life hands all of us setbacks,” Clinton, the luncheon’s keynote speaker, said to a crowd of roughly 1,000 who had gathered to hear her speak at a Marriott hotel in New York. “If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve experienced them.”
Clinton was interrupted frequently by knowing laughter and rounds of applause as she described dealing with her emotional “ups and downs” with “long walks in the woods.“
The former secretary of state said she has continued to practice the “discipline of gratitude,” saying a “village” of support she’s received has taught her that “it’s OK to be OK, sometimes. Everybody gets knocked down. What matters is that you get back up, and keep going.”
“It is easy to be grateful when things are going our way,” Clinton said. “But to exercise the mental discipline to be grateful in the face of setbacks, I have found, is one of the great experiences that give you that resilience and the opportunity to see your life, and your part in the world, much more broadly – and to keep going. To refuse to give up in the face of any setback.”
Clinton did not name Trump in her 15-minute speech. But she said that “the road to progress can sometimes feel like it’s two steps forward, one step back.”
“It can seem discouraging when you’ve been on that road for a long time,” Clinton said. “But we’ve come a long way.”
Still, she said, “the unfinished business of the 21st century is the full equality of women. In academia, science, technology – not to mention in politics and government.”
“Everywhere I look there are signs of hope. Just think of the march,” Clinton said, referring to the Women’s March on Washington one day after Trump was inaugurated, “and the hard-hitting news on the pages of Teen Vogue right across from makeup tips. Because you know what? Girls can, and do, care about both.”
“Let us hope there is a wave of young women running for office in America,” she said, “and let’s be sure we support them.”
Watch Clinton’s full remarks here.