Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made her first post-election public appearance in Washington D.C. on Thursday, speaking at a ceremony honoring Harry Reid at the unveiling of his official portrait before the Senate Minority Leader retires in January.
Clinton’s Thursday appearance was her first outing in public since her shocking and demoralizing loss to Donald Trump on Election Day and the Nov. 9 concession speech where the former secretary of state maintained all the grace and stoicism for which she’s well known.
Dressed in a purple pantsuit, Clinton took the podium to a standing ovation from the audience, and opened her remarks with her trademark wit.
‘This is not exactly the speech at the Capitol I expected to be giving after the election…
‘After a few selfies taken in the woods, I am thankful to be here.’
Clinton was referring to a sighting of her after the election, when one fan of the politician ran into her heroine taking a walk in the woods. Two days after the election, White Plains, New York resident Margot Gerster ran into the Clintons while walking her dog in the woods. According to CNN, former President Bill Clinton snapped a photo of she and Hillary.
During the ceremony for Reid, Clinton also addressed the problem of fake news sites, which many blame for spreading falsehoods that affected the outcome of the election. As reported by CNN, Clinton referred to the proliferation of fake stories presented online as real news as “an epidemic.”
Seeming to directly address “Pizzagate,” Clinton said in her speech that the fake news that has “flooded social media … can have real world consequences.”
Urging leaders in both the private and public sector, Clinton told the D.C. crowd:
‘This isn’t about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk. Lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities. It’s a danger that must be addressed, and addressed quickly.’
Pizzagate — a conspiracy theory that was spread as a real news story — resulted in a man armed with an assault rifle firing a shot into a Washington D.C. pizza shop that was falsely reported to be a hub for human trafficking involving prominent Democrats.
Vanity Fair noted the symbolism of Clinton choosing the color purple for her signature pantsuit at her first public appearance. According to writer Kenzie Bryant, the color is significant as a combination of blue and red — both sides of the political spectrum — and notes that swing states are often referred to as “purple states.” The color signifies unity. It is also the color now used to represent the women’s suffrage movement. The suffrage flag colors were purple, green, and white, and many suffragettes often wore white. In modern times, however, purple is often worn as well.
You can watch the entirety of Clinton’s first public speech since the election courtesy of the ABC News YouTube Channel.
Featured image via Getty Images