Hillary Clinton tells Denver what happened


“This isn’t just about what happened—it’s about what’s happening right now,” Secretary Hillary Clinton said to a Denver crowd while promoting her new memoir, What Happened. “This book is as much about America’s future as it is about the past.”

Photo: Bobby Jones • CU Denver Sentry

Clinton’s speaking tour advertises itself as an exposé of the 2016 national election that boasts a newly candid orator in the former presidential candidate. “I’ve often felt in the past that I had to be careful in public, kind of keep my guard up,” Clinton said. “But those days are over.”

Her candor has escalated since her September announcement that she’s “done being a candidate.” What Happened alleges that President Donald Drumpf is a sexual assaulter, and she referred to him as a dictator and authoritarian during her Nov. 16 tour stop at the Bellco Theatre. “When leaders deny things we can see with our own eyes, like the size of a crowd at an inauguration, it isn’t just frustrating to all of us who pride ourselves on living in the fact-based universe,” Clinton said. “It is insidious and subversive to democracy. What do dictators do? They try to shape reality, to force people into their vision of reality. And it is through that they begin to deprive people of freedom, of free speech, of free assembly, of the free press, and even of free thought.”

Despite the apprehensions she vocalized, Clinton’s rhetoric was largely centered around her hope for the future. “I wrote a whole chapter about women in politics because I want there to be a guidepost for people to read and think, ‘Maybe I can do that,’” Clinton said. “The only way we will get the sexism out of politics is to get more women in politics, and we’ve had 20,000 women signed up for candidate training programs in the last year.”

Clinton thanked the crowd for swinging Colorado blue in 2016, citing the inclusivity of America’s younger citizens for her determination to remain politically engaged. “I would hope that young people in Colorado, and particularly here in Denver, who are truly on the cutting edge of so much that is going to determine our future quality of life will really take their responsibility as a citizen seriously,” Clinton said. “We can’t let the forces of negativity and divisiveness stop that from happening. I won places that represented two-thirds of the economic activity of America. I won places that are primarily positive about the future. And America wants the kind of future that Denver is working for.”

Early on in the night, the former Secretary of State addressed what has been the most commonly asked question of her: how did she even get out of bed after losing? “After the election, there were times when I was tempted just to pull the covers back over my head, but I needed to get back up,” Clinton said. “I spent time with friends and family; I took a lot of walks in the woods; I read a bunch of mystery novels because, usually, the bad guy gets it in the end. And yes, I had my fair share of chardonnay.”

Clinton may not be running for office again, but she said she remains dedicated to building a better country. “I’m not going anywhere except into the debate about America’s future.”

Taylor Kirby
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