Hillary Clinton shouted out to women candidates who “went all in” for last week’s midterm elections.
“From lifetime politicos to first-time candidates, busy, busy, people, busy executives and busy moms, women facing men and women facing each other, women went all in,” the former secretary of state said during Glamour’s Women of the Year awards on Monday night.
“Win or lose, their races really, energized us,” she added. “And encouraged even more Americans of all kinds to run for public office, to get civically involved.”
Americans elected a record number of women to the U.S. House last week. The number of women candidates for office surged after the 2016 election victory of Donald Trump, who has an ongoing history of making sexist comments and has been accused of sexual misconduct or assault by more than 20 women.
Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, also reflected on how the country has changed since then.
“This week, exactly two years ago, was a rough one,” Clinton said. “But, you know, my personal disappointment wasn’t so much about what happened, but how do we create even more opportunity for all the people in America. ‘An America that’s hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted,’ as I said afterward. That remains my mission today.”
Clinton famously reminded little girls during her concession speech to “never doubt that you are powerful and valuable and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.” She circled back to those words on Monday night.
I told little girls that they deserved every chance and opportunity to pursue their own dreams. But I didn’t realize how many women were listening as well. Hillary Clinton
“I told little girls that they deserved every chance and opportunity to pursue their own dreams. But I didn’t realize how many women were listening as well,” she said.
“And many of those women decided that they were going to get involved in politics, including running for public office,” Clinton continued. “Maybe we didn’t crack that highest, hardest ceiling, but we did charge straight through the wall and into the arena.”
Clinton applauded some women in this year’s elections by name, including Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland, the first Native American women elected to Congress, as well as Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
“Can we please offer some thunderous applause for them, and for all of the women who ran this year?” Clinton told the crowd. “And for the women who will follow their lead and run for office in 2020 ... maybe some of them are in this room tonight. I hope that you are. Because we need you. We need you so much.”
Head over to Glamour to read Clinton’s full speech.