Failed Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday said she is “ready to come out of the woods” and help Americans find common ground.
Clinton’s gradual return to the public spotlight following her presidential election loss continued with a St Patrick’s Day speech in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the hometown of her late father.
“I’m like a lot of my friends right now, I have a hard time watching the news,” Clinton said at the Society of Irish Women’s dinner.
However, she urged a divided nation to work together to solve problems, recalling how, as then-US first lady, she met with female leaders working to bring peace to Northern Ireland.
“I do not believe that we can let political divides harden into personal divides and we can’t just ignore, or turn a cold shoulder to someone because they disagree with us politically,” she said.
The speech was one of several she is to deliver in coming months, including a May 26 commencement address at her alma mater, Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Clinton is also working on a book of personal essays that is to include some reflections on US President Donald Trump’s election victory.
Clinton, who was spotted taking a walk in the woods around her hometown of Chappaqua, New York, two days after losing the election to Trump, quipped she had wanted to stay in the woods, “but you can only do so much of that.”
She told the women’s society that it would be up to citizens, not a deeply polarized Washington, to bridge the political divide.
“I am ready to come out of the woods and to help shine a light on what is already happening around kitchen tables, at dinners like this, to help draw strength that will enable everybody to keep going,” Clinton said.
Clinton was received warmly in Scranton, where her grandfather worked in a lace mill. Her father left Scranton for Chicago in search of work during the Great Depression, but returned often.
Clinton spent summers at the family’s cottage on nearby Lake Winola.