Hillary Clinton made her first public appearance Wednesday night since her concession speech the day after her election loss to Donald Trump.
Speaking at the Children’s Defense Fund’s Beat the Odds celebration in Washington, D.C., Clinton said it was difficult for her to make an appearance after the election loss.
“I will admit coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing for me. There have been a few times this past week where all I wanted to do was curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again,” Clinton said.
She said that “service is the rent we pay for living. You don’t get to stop paying rent just because things didn’t go your way.”
She pressed for action for the 31 million children in America living below or near the poverty line. She said those children live in every state and every congressional district and are of every race and ethnicity. Clinton, who worked at the Children’s Defense Fund early in her career, said the “measure of any society is how we treat our children.”
Clinton received a loud standing ovation when she entered the stage. She largely talked about children, the organization and its founder Marian Wright Edelman, but did veer into some discussion about the election loss.
“I know this isn’t easy. I know over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was,” she said. “Please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it. Our children are worth it. Fight for our values and never, ever give up.”
Clinton never mentioned Trump’s name, but she referenced “a new and uncertain future” for the country.
“I know many of you are disappointed with the election results,” she said. “I am, too, more than I can ever express.”
Clinton closed by discussing her mother’s difficult childhood, wishing she could let her mother know about the future that awaited her and her future children, including a daughter who would serve as senator, secretary of state and “win 62 million votes for president of the United States.”
Clinton is on pace to win the popular vote.