What do you do when you feel like you let down millions of people who placed their hopes and lives on your shoulders? How do you face the world again?
Reflecting on what got her through one of the darkest times of her life, the former Democratic candidate provides an insight into what she felt during those moments she so famously handled with grace and humility.
“Losing is hard for everyone, but losing a race you thought you would win is devastating,” the 69-year-old says.
“The morning after the election, Bill and I both wore purple. It was a nod to bipartisanship (blue plus red equals purple). The night before, I had hoped to thank the country wearing white—the color (sic) of the suffragettes—while standing on a stage cut into the shape of the United States under a vast glass ceiling. Instead, the white suit stayed in the garment bag.”
Despite spending years of her life spent preparing to take America’s top job, Clinton reflects on the new role the loss forced her to assume, stoic in defeat while her supporters mourned for what could have been.
“After I delivered my concession speech, I hugged as many people in the ballroom as possible… many of their faces wet with tears. I was dry-eyed and felt calm and clear,” she says.
Once they drove away, however, Clinton felt she “could finally let my smile drain away”.
“We were mostly quiet. Every few minutes, Bill would repeat what he had been saying all morning: ‘I’m so proud of you.’ To that he now added, ‘That was a great speech. History will remember it.'”
“My job was to smile, be strong for everyone, and show America that life went on and our republic would endure. I wear my composure like a suit of armor (sic), for better or worse. In some ways, it felt like I had been training for this latest feat of self-control for decades.”