Hillary Clinton spoke at the annual gala of the Children's Defense Fund on Wednesday night, and she began by acknowledging that "coming here tonight wasn't the easiest thing for me." The event, hosted in Washington by the first organization Clinton worked for after law school in the 1970s, marked her first public talk since conceding the presidential race a week earlier. "There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do is just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again," Clinton said, but she said she isn't giving up on the country and urged the people in the theater not to either.
"I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was," she said. "The divisions laid bare by this election run deep. But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it. Our children are worth it. Believe in our country, fight for our values, and never, ever give up." Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children's Defense Fund and one of Clinton's mentors, introduced the former Democratic candidate as "the people's president," because she won the popular vote while losing the Electoral College.
A Clinton aide said that the former first lady, senator, and secretary of state had agreed to appear at the banquet before Election Day and wanted to honor her commitment. Bill Clinton's first stop after winning the White House in 1992 was the same event.