Watch Hillary Clinton Talk About What She'd Tell Her Late Mother In This Emotional Clip
Hillary Clinton — ever the articulate, intelligent, and accomplished woman — has made her first public appearance since conceding last week's presidential election to rival Donald Trump in a stunning upset that shocked the world. Honored for her career-long contributions to child advocacy and the Children's Defense Fund at the organization's 26th annual Beat the Odds gala Wednesday night, Clinton spoke candidly about her loss and urged her supporters to keep fighting the good fight. Her most stirring remarks, however, touched on a subject even closer to home. If you haven't seen it yet, watch Hillary Clinton talk emotionally about everything she'd like to tell her late mother.
It's not the first time Clinton has spoken of her mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, and the strong influence she had on the life of the future first lady, U.S. senator, and Secretary of State. In her memoir "Hard Choices," published in June 2014 as Clinton contemplated a second run for the presidency, she wrote how Rodham overcame a childhood “marked by trauma and abandonment” while "maintaining a strong desire to do good in the world," according to Politico. She further described her mother as "fiercely independent," even as she lived with Clinton in Washington, D.C. in her final years of life. (Rodham died in November 2011.)
Just saw this—emotional moment from Clinton, talking about all the things she wishes she could tell her late mother. pic.twitter.com/GjFM451IBv— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 17, 2016
An excerpt from that book reads:
During Clinton's speech at the CDF celebration, she emphasized the importance of volunteerism and service and advocated for bipartisanship in the years to come, according to NBC News. Later, she fought back tears as she wistfully revealed she'd like to go back in time and tell a young Rodham of her accomplishments to come:
Abandoned as a child, Rodham moved out of her abusive grandparents' home when she was just 14 and found work as a housekeeper and nanny, finishing high school thanks to the support of her teachers and employers. She later married, raised a family, and eventually enrolled in college to earn an associate’s degree in liberal arts, according to The Washington Post. Rodham’s difficult upbringing and story of overcoming the odds certainly inspired Clinton's path in public service and her lifelong dedication to children and family issues: She began her legal career working for CDF founder Marian Wright Edelman in the 1970s. As first lady, she fought to secure health care for millions of American kids and later advocated for women's issues during her time in Congress and as U.S. Secretary of State.
In one touching TV ad during the primary season, Clinton said, “My mom’s life and what she went through are big reasons why standing up for kids and families became such a big part of my life." She frequently mentioned Rodham on the campaign trail; when announcing her bid for the presidency in June 2015, Clinton focused her speech on her mother’s story and influence, according to The Huffington Post:
Hillary Clinton got choked up tonight talking about her late mother & what she wishes she could go back in time to tell her. Quite a moment. pic.twitter.com/UINIBgSnNv— Monica Alba (@albamonica) November 17, 2016
As Clinton begins her life as a private citizen, there was no better way to reflect on her remarkable legacy and to encourage the country she loves to never give up. As she said: "America is still the greatest country in the world. This is still the place where anyone can beat the odds. It's up to each and everyone of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer."