Hillary Clinton Talks Politics at the RAC

The 2016 presidential candidate discussed American democracy, women’s role in politics and her career

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Thursday afternoon about her career, women's growing involvement in politics and the future of American democracy.

Sitting down with the Director of Eagleton Institute of Politics Ruth B. Mandel, Secretary Clinton discussed how there needs to be more bipartisan conversations and involvement from every community for real change to come around.

"We have some real problems that we need to be addressing and that requires us bringing our friends and allies together, not alienating them and walking away from them," said Clinton. "And I'm worried that our word is no longer trusted and that the prospect for the kind of peace and prosperity and progress that we have spent decades building up, since World War 2, are dimming."

Known as having one of the most stellar political careers for a woman, Clinton has been First Lady of the United States, a junior Senator for New York, Secretary of State and the 2016 Democratic's nominee for President of the United States.

Throughout the discussion, Clinton reflected back on her days as a junior Senator when bipartisan communication was the norm.

"I yearned the days when Democrats and Republicans worked together for the common good of the country," Clinton said.

"We each bring something to the debate, but we can't have the kind of problem solving that I think we should have if we don't listen to each other. And if we walk into a room believing you have nothing to learn from someone because you know they're a Republican, you know they're a Democrat, we are in a world of hurt."

Clinton and Mandel also explored the idea of having more women involved in politics through running as a candidate or just voting in the polls. As being a woman in politics, Clinton pointed out that women will get discouraged and pushed down by others, but the only way to move forward is to get back up and brush it off.

"There will always be discomfort and there will always be people who will want to pull that progress back and you have to understand that's part of breaking through glass ceilings and moving forward and bringing others with you," Clinton noted. "So you cannot allow yourself to get discouraged about that because it's going to happen."

"Despite how difficult it is, going in with your eyes wide open that you will be criticized, you, unfortunately, face all kinds of attacks online, offline and in the real world so-called. But it's worth it. It's worth it to go out there, to advocate for what you believe, to be the person trying to make the change you want to see."

When Mandel brought up Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 election, Clinton grieved like any other democrat would.

"Lots of long walks in the woods and drank my fair share of Chardonnay."

Rutgers University