Just a few miles away from her Chappaqua home, former Presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke before a sold-out and highly energetic crowd at the Business Council of Westchester’s annual fall dinner on Monday night. Clinton displayed both optimism and concern as she discussed the current state of the nation, and shared funny and poignant details about her journey through the aftermath of the tumultuous 2016 presidential election.
Clinton joked about her much-publicized attempt at a private walk in the Chappaqua woods that made headlines shortly after her loss to President Trump, and mentioned her hometown as the place where she holed up to write her new book, What Happened — an experience she said was “admittedly a somewhat painful process, yet, cathartic and invigorating.”
Dr. Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of The Business of Council of Westchester — and 2017 recipient of the 914INC. Editors’ Award for Transformative Achievement — presented Clinton with the Westchester Global Leadership Laureate Award, praising her leadership and ability to accomplish so much for our country and community, and for “galvanizing a global movement for women’s opportunities.” Gordon described Hillary’s attendance at the Annual Dinner as a “personal highlight of my long career.”
Returning the praise, Clinton lauded the BCW and its members for their successes in job creation and economic development in our region, before turning to discuss national matters and her own personal experiences.
In front of a record-setting 900 attendees at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, Clinton admitted that she felt concern over the country’s current status as a harshly divided nation.
“People often ask me, since the election, how I am,” said Clinton. “And I say, as a person, I’m good. But as an American, I’m concerned.”
She also took aim at the impact of new Republican policies and shared her fears about the ongoing impact of Russian interference in American affairs. In a long and warmly received speech, Clinton also touched on hot-button issues like the opioid crisis, the impending tax bill, and the failure of Congress to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
She reiterated the importance of staying involved in the political process, stressing the need for women, in particular, to run for office. “The only way to get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics,” she said to rousing applause.
Displaying a charismatic softer side — the purported lack of which has dogged her on campaign trails throughout her career — Clinton joked about what got her through the aftermath of her tough loss, quipping, “Chardonnay, yoga, and some alternate-nostril breathing.”
Clinton ended her address on a hopeful note, saying she was determined to remain involved in the political process, and stressed her belief that we can still come together as citizens to improve our nation. “I come to you tonight with great hopes and confidence that America’s best days are ahead of us,” said Clinton. “We have to work together to make it happen.”