Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a packed house at Rutgers on Thursday evening that sexism is likely to blame for pundits who tell her to “go away.”
A $25,000 endowment brought the author of “What Happened” to New Brunswick this week for an conversation hosted by The Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics. The grateful crowd (Mrs. Clinton historically pulled in six-figure speaking fees), clapped often as she discussed everything from democratic institutions to Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“You’ve heard people say, ‘I’d vote for a woman, just not that woman,’” she said. “I’m often that woman.”
The failed presidential candidate went on to ruminate as why political commentators want her to step out of the limelight.
“That began to happen after the election,” she said. “You know, the election was pretty traumatic. I think there were a lot of people who were like, ‘oh my gosh, I don’t want to have to think about it. I don’t want to have to hear about it.’ Totally. That’s how I felt.”
Mrs. Clinton then said that she took “long walks in the woods” and “drank my share of chardonnay” before focusing on the press.
“I was really struck by how people said that to me, you know, mostly people in the press for whatever reason. ‘Oh, you know, go away. Go away,’” she said. “I had one of the young people who works for me go back and do a bit of research. They never said that to any man who was not elected and I was kind of struck by that. I’m really glad that, you know, Al Gore didn’t stop talking about climate change. I’m really glad that John Kerry went to the Senate and became an excellent Secretary of State, and I’m really glad that John McCain keep speaking out and standing up and saying what he had to say.”
Mrs. Clinton also mocked Mr. Trump for his decision to scoff at her debate prep during the campaign.
“That’s a new insult,” she told the crowd after saying that journalists framed her as an elementary school student who had done a lot of homework.
A Clinton spokesperson told NBC News on March 19 the she plans to donate the $25,000 honorarium to charity.
The event was live-streamed on Eagleton Institute of Politics’ Facebook page.