Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters at the Mondavi Center

Clinton was excitedly welcomed to the stage by a largely female audience. (Courtesy: UC Davis)

By Brooke Lee,
BlueDevilHUB.com Social Media and Multimedia Editor-in-Chief–

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the UC Davis Mondavi Center on Oct. 9 for the first time at the only California stop on her book tour for her memoir “What Happened.”

“Sometimes I really do feel like I’m Alice down the rabbit hole,” Clinton said regarding the Trump administration.

UC Davis fourth year student Denisha Bland began the show by riling up audience with phrases like “President Clinton– Oh, did I say that?” Bland was followed by the UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May, who worked with Clinton on Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.

“I’ve always been deeply impressed by her commitment, intellect and devotion to our country,” May said as he introduced Clinton.

Clinton received a standing ovation when she walked on stage.

Clinton began her 20 minute speech by expressing her condolences to those affected by the wildfires currently going through California and stating that all these recent environmental disasters were the consequences of human-caused climate change– a real issue that she believes needs to be addressed.

Clinton also spoke out about the recent Las Vegas massacre as she expressed her sentiment for all of those affected by it, specifically Michelle Vo, a UCD alumna who died in the shooting.

“We should be taking care of each other,” Clinton said as she discussed why she believes gun control is so crucial.

To segway into the 40 minute talk she would have with Scott Syphax, Clinton shared some of the main lessons she hopes readers take from her book.

Clinton described her book as “[her] most candid, most personal effort ever.”

Her first lesson was that it is important to learn how to recover from a loss. She talked about how turning private pain into public activism is crucial to change.  

“There’s too much at stake to not speak up about the things that matter most,” Clinton said.

The second lesson is about how important media and the press is. 

“There is no such thing as an ‘alternative fact,’ ” Clinton said.

She used the example of contraceptive care and the Trump administration’s new regulations to highlight the importance of knowing the difference between science and personal beliefs.

Her final lesson highlighted sexism in both politics and in life.

“The only way we will get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics,” Clinton said.

She mentioned all the different times she experienced or saw blatant sexism in her field of work.

“This isn’t about what happened, but also what is happening now,” Clinton said. “If you take nothing else away tonight, I’m here to tell you: please do not move on.

Kerry Spangler, a mother of two daughters both in the Davis Joint Unified School District, brought her oldest daughter and her own mother to the talk.

“I think it’s important for my daughter to see [Hillary Clinton] speak because she has been a role model to many generations of women and I think that she is actually someone girls can look up to and aspire to be like,” Spangler said.

Clinton received a standing ovation from the audience as Scott Syphax met Clinton on stage. The two sat casually in chairs that opened up to the audience.

Syphax brought up the reasons Clinton believes she lost the election, despite winning the popular vote.

Clinton believes this past election, the media failed to make it about politics.

“We were facing really serious issues here,” Clinton said as she expressed the frustration she had with the media.

Clinton did mention that regardless of her disappointment with the news outlets, she still reads The New York Times everyday.

“I’m either the most amazing serial killer you’ve ever seen or [outlets like Infowars and Breitbart] [are] a little off,” Clinton said as she joked about the publications that have accused her of killing.

Syphax then asked about what Clinton believes was the low point in her campaign, which ended up being James Comey’s announcement of re-opening the email investigation.

“I don’t understand why he did what he did,” Clinton said, since nothing new was found.

While talking about Comey, Putin, the email scandal and the overall election, Clinton commented “none of this makes any sense so don’t try to make it fit together.”

The Russian interference investigation is still currently going on, but Clinton wrote about what she knew before she had to submit the manuscript.

Clinton also gave the audience an inside look into the infamous Presidential Debate where Trump is seen “stalking” or “following” Clinton.

“I just kept trying to convey that I was the adult on stage,” Clinton said. “I thought I could demonstrate that I was ready to be President.”

She indulged the audience by mentioning she was tempted to turn around during the debate and tell Trump, “back off, you creep.” Her remark received plenty of laughter and applause.

Syphax asked if Clinton had any advice for women wanting to break into politics.

“You have to have a high pain threshold,” Clinton said, regarding all the double standards she believes women are held to.

Clinton then read a passage from her undelivered victory speech upon request of Syphax.

Clinton received one last standing ovation from the crowd before she ended the night and walked off stage.

Davis High junior Silas Kirsch was amongst the crowd cheering for Clinton.

“It was a very unique opportunity to see a politician that I admire greatly for her running of a historic campaign that set new precedents for what American politics can look like and promoting ambition and equality for women,” Kirsch said. “To see a politician in a more honest form in a friendly setting was something unique.”

Even those who originally did not support Clinton attended. Senior and Gay Straight Alliance Club president Rocket Drew left with a newfound liking towards Clinton.

“I think ultimately it was really humanizing because she came across so often as robotic and out of touch while campaigning,” Drew said. “I gained sympathy for some of the stuff my liberal Hillary-supporting friends were saying during the election.”

Kayla Nunes, a senior and the president of the DHS Feminism Club also attended the event.

“It was a moving experience to hear the first woman nominated for president speak about her experiences as a woman in politics,” Nunes said. “[Clinton] has helped me feel like I can create a positive impact and do something constructive.”

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