I was at Hillary Clinton's talk in Vancouver today and I typed almost as fast as she talked. Can she ever talk. 5,500 people showed up and I caught most of it. For readability, I've added subtitles, in my own words, and a few other things in parentheses for clarity. Okay, let's get into it. It was a fascinating talk...
Canadians, are you scratching your heads still?
I am so thrilled to be here in Vancouver. I am beyond delighted to be able to sit here looking out that window (at the mountains from the stage of the Vancouver Convention Centre.)
I started my book tour in Canada and now I'm ending in Canada.
No two nations in the world are closer than Canada and the U.S. Your commitment to a diverse and open society that welcomes immigrants, your devotion to human rights, are an inspiration.
I know that many Canadians closely followed the 2016 election. I know many Canadians are still scratching your heads that my opponent could win.
'Those damn emails'
In the past I’ve often felt like I had to be careful in pubic and keep my guard up. In the book, I pull back the curtain on some of the wildest times in history. I talk about moments I’d like to forget like in a chapter called "Those damn emails."
I’m very grateful to the 65.8 million Americans who supported my campaign.
Writing the book was painful, often cathartic, but ultimately reinvigorating.
These days when people ask me how I am, I say that as a person, I’m okay. But as an American I’m concerned. But after last night (Roy Moore's defeat in Alabama), (her words are lost in thunderous applause).
I’ve tried to make this book more about the future than the past…
Everyone gets knocked down. What matters is if you keep going.
I spent a lot of time with friends and family. I read a lot, especially mystery stories. I like those because the bad guy usually gets it in the end. I went into a frenzy organizing my closets and did some yoga, including alternate nostril breathing and yes, I had my share of Chardonnay.
I also started a new organization called Onward Together.
Last night in Alabama we saw the difference that activism and engagement can make. There’s just too much at stake for any of us to sit on the sidelines.
Being a woman in politics can be infuriating
The second lesson is this: the only way we’ll get sexism out of politics is to get women into politics.
The research is clear. For men, likeability and success go hand in hand. With women however, it’s the exact opposite. The more professionally successful we become, the less people like us. Not only that, women are seen more favourably when they advocate for others rather than when they advocate for themselves.
The minute a woman steps up and says, 'Now I’d like the chance to lead,' everything starts to change. I can’t think of a single woman who doesn’t have stories to tell. Being a woman in politics can be infuriating but also rewarding. You know you’re bringing a perspective that might otherwise be overlooked....
(Clinton then talked about the white-haired men getting together to make decisions about the health care women need.)
I cheered when Prime Minister Trudeau created a gender-balanced cabinet.
Russians posing as Americans... and worse
The forces at work in the 2016 election are still with us. It was a perfect storm: deep currents of anger, a press that didn’t know how to cover a reality show candidate. And I understand that.... We did also have the unprecedented intervention by the FBI, and a campaign waged from the Kremlin.
We’re learning more every day. It’s a clear and present danger to western democracy. Its right out of Putin’s KGB history.
(Putin) fanned the flames of division within American society. Russians posed as Americans, to try to stir up people’s emotions.
Why're we still talking about it? Because it's still going on
It’s about what’s happening right now. Russians are still playing on everything they can to turn us against each other. This is bigger than any one country…
(Clinton lists examples in Europe.)
So Russia’s weapons of choice may not be tanks or missiles. This is a new kind of Cold War and it is just getting started.
Having a hard time distinguishing between fact and fiction? That's been engineered...
There is no such thing as an alternative fact, right?
The Russian disinformation campaign was successful in part because America's system had been worn down for years by interests that wanted to make it harder for people to distinguish between fact and fiction.
They refuse to accept settled science like climate change. It isn’t just upsetting to those of us who live in a fact-based universe. Democracy requires a well-informed electorate.
I wrote this book to lay out the questions we all need to answer.
We need to get serous about cyber security, and Putin.
We must refuse to be silent in the face of attempts to normalize bigotry and we must have the courage to stand up for human rights around the world.
Isn't she exhausted, and tired of politics? Not really...
I’m not going anywhere except into the middle of the debate about our future.
What happened in Alabama was a real tribute to the candidate, Doug Jones, a very fine man who had prosecuted Ku Klux Klan members for the horrific bombing of a church back in the 1960s that murdered four little girls. Doug Jones finally brought the killers to justice. He ran a very vigorous and dynamic campaign. There was also a very big outpouring of African-American votes, even higher than what President Obama got.
The toxic trio: Alabama just couldn't take it
And of course the combination of Roy Moore, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump proved to be too much for a lot of Alabama Republicans to stomach.
I think that, for me, this was a very important turning point in basically holding President Trump — and his most vitriolic, destructive advisors led by Step Bannon —accountable, because there were many reasons not to vote for Roy Moore.
Removed from Alabama Supreme Court twice for violating Alabama law.
He had a lot of baggage going into this election but as more and more came out against him, the accusations of pedophilia, anti-gay, anti- women, anti-Semitic comments, it just never ended.
Although 75 per cent of white men voted for (Moore) and 65 per cent of white women voted for him, overall (Moore's defeat) is really positive news for our country, our values and our common sense. And I hope it is the turning of the tide away from reality TV campaigns and horrible prejudiced, bigoted campaigns. But we still have work to do.
I’m heartened but I’m still resolved that we have to keep putting together campaigns…. We’ve got to make sure we win elections in 2018.
In short, that thing in Alabama?
It’s a good sign but it’s by no means the end of the story.
What would be different if she'd been elected? Hmmm...
We would not have pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, even Syria's president took time out from murdering his people to join the Paris agreement.
We would still be there. We would be working towards reversing the effects of climate change.
We would not be talking about pulling out of NATO or cheering on Putin’s efforts to undermine the EU and EU leaders.
We would not be incoherent in our approach towards North Korea — a very difficult problem that requires sustained diplomacy every day. You have to have the staying power and the persistence to deal with that.
We would not be ceding to China, we would not be turning our back on Latin America and Africa, ignoring the potential of those people and continents.…
We would be standing up for democracy and freedom.
We would not be giving dog whistles to the KKK and other forms of white nationalists.
We would not be saying — after a racist attack on people in Charlottesville, Virginia — that both sides have good people.
No, there are not good people on both sides.
We would not be looking to pass a terrible tax bill that will balloon our deficit and debt, increase inequality in our country, only benefit the very rich when there is so much we could be doing to prepare America for an inclusive future.
There would still be opposition because that’s how America is these days. But when I do a job I get high marks. We would be pushing back against all of the forces of negativity and regression.
You know how we got here, but let's go over it again...
You’ve got to understand the mindset we are dealing with on the other side that Trump masterfully exploited.
When Roy Moore was asked the other day, 'when was America great?' He said when families were unified and it was probably during the time we had slavery.
Trump was the first reality TV candidate and I was the candidate of reality, which was not as entertaining. I feel very confident and comfortable that if I had been the president, we would work for and make progress and certainly not turn the clock back on America.
I think it’s a combination of calculation and gut instinct.
When Trump took up the cause — the absolutely racist and inexcusable cause — of claiming that President Obama was not born in the United States, he became the leader of that cause, he calculated that he would gather up a following that would be beneficial to him if he were to run for President.
First day of the campaign, he attacked immigrants and it was calculated to benefit him and he knew that there was an appetite in the Republican Party for people who were not politically correct which you can translate into saying they were willing to be racist and homophobic and all the things we saw in the campaign.
Way too many Diet Cokes, it hurts his brain
The tweeting you see may be the result of excessive Diet Cokes. He apparently drinks a dozen a day and I have no idea what that does to your brain. He is spending his time as President watching TV, primarily FOX and that’s primarily where he gets information.
I worked for two presidents. I was married to another president. I cannot imagine a president spending their time like this, watching TV, tweeting, golfing.
Most presidents I know are working diligently to make the best decisions.
When I was a senator from New York after 911, George W. Bush was present and willing and asking what he could do to help. I know what presidents do and unfortunately (Trump) is a new phenomenon.
He’s just not focused on the job. He’s focused on himself.
His political survival. His own political survival depends on the people who support him and the media that feed him... and present a false equivalency. Yesterday was a big loss for (Trump).…
But he’s got a base within the Republican Party and we’re going to see if the Republicans in Congress are going to stand up to him or not.
Those annoying checks and balances
He doesn’t appreciate how our system works. Our founders made a very cumbersome system. It’s meant to prevent the very kinds of abuses we are worried about coming from this President.
When he got in, he said he didn’t know how hard the job was or how complicated health care was.
He came to it new and he hasn’t been willing to get educated.…
One tantrum away from nuclear holocaust
I'm concerned we may be one tantrum away from nuclear disaster.
I've said you can’t trust nuclear weapons to a man who tweets like that.
I knew the way he reacted online was very impulsive. We have to hope the people who are still around him — particularly in the Defense Department and the White House — can provide the brake that is needed on any kind of lashing out.
Of all the things that have bothered me that he has done and said over the last year, the one that bothered me most was when Tillerson was in Beijing, he was actually doing what a Secretary of State is supposed to do, and President Trump tweeted that he was wasting his time.
Note that she carefully avoids saying Trump is the biggest threat, blames nuclear weapons
He’s had a fascination with nuclear weapons for a long time.
He’s said 'why have them if you don’t use them?' Totally misunderstanding detente and containment.
When people ask me what is the biggest threat in the world, it is still nuclear weapons. It’s the fear of nuclear weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists, but now I have to add: we have to be sure we have all the checks and balances in place to prevent any tantrums.
It’s also a worry that N. Korea apparently has ballistic missiles that can reach not only the West Coast but also Washington D.C.. You need a calming presence in the Oval Office.
We are awash in 'fraudulent' information
I don’t like the term 'fake news' that comes right out of the Russian propaganda framework.
I like 'lies.'
I don’t think you can underestimate the impact that FOX News' steady diet of Republican propaganda and false claims has had on a significant percentage of the electorate.
When you combine that with a lot of right wing outlets like Breitbart and Infowars and millions of voices, whether they are real or bots online promoting conspiracies, we are just awash in fraudulent information that is very hard for individuals to sort through on their own.
It’s what they did through those emails… they passed it on through Wikileaks and, as they were published, the conspiracy theorists and the purveyors of falsehoods began to pick words out of emails and make up crazy stories. I want people in Canada to watch this too and make sure it can’t happen here.
In one of the emails written by John Podesta, he is writing about a pizza place he’s going to meet someone at: Comet Pizza. That’s literally all he said.
Next thing you know you have these right wing purveyors of falsehoods claiming that is code for a child trafficking ring run out of the basement of the pizza joint that John and I were running together.
You think that is absurd but millions and millions of people saw it online. It was believed by enough people that it influenced their perception of me and it was believed by one disturbed young man — he drove to the pizza restaurant, went into the basement and didn’t find any children. But he still shot up the place.
These conspiracies to influence people with lies and falsehoods have real impact. We are so fortunate he didn’t kill anyone, but it had political consequences and impacts.
When people were going door to door for me, 10 to 15 per cent of the time, people would say: 'I can’t vote for her, she kills people, she runs a child sex ring.' And the volunteer would say, 'no she doesn’t.' And the person would say, 'but I read it on the Internet.'
Mainstream media gobsmacked
We’re going to have to do a better job of exposing it. In this past election, the so-called mainstream media was gobsmacked, they didn’t know what to do with (Trump). It was like watching the proverbial train wreck, it was good for ratings, good for profits.
It left so much unexamined and he was never held accountable because he would just deny things and make the most outrageous claims he could.
The organized mainstream press has to be better editors and curators. You cannot let these stories go without accountability. I’m hoping more people see it now for what it is.
People say to me, 'all these things may have happened, the stuff on Facebook..., but did it influence the outcome?'
I say, of course it did.
I say look, why do you think advertising works?
People believed it, or had a nagging thought in the back of their head saying 'why is this person under so much attack? Where there’s smoke there’s fire.'
The nasty woman virus
But I am optimistic.
As we saw with the turnout in Alabama people are not going to be fooled again. Fool me once, shame on me, Fool me twice, shame on you.
For better or for worse, I'm going to keep fighting for what I think is right.
We don’t understand that what happens to one woman can happen to other women. If one woman is accused of being nasty it doesn’t stop with one woman it’s permission for others to make similar comments.
A lot of women, let’s say white women. Alot of white women find the Republican Party to be a more attractive choice because that’s who their husbands, their fathers, their sons and their bosses support. They have a lot of other things going on in their lives and they aren’t interested in arguing politics.
Unconscious bias often penalizes women. If you’re in a room and if you’re only one of a few women and you say something, but then in a few minutes a man says the same thing and everybody thinks it’s a great idea. If you are a woman you are often struggling to get ahead…
I think it finally dawned on a lot of young women that, no, wait a minute, there is something not right here, so if I don’t stand up for other women who is going to stand up for me?
I hope that lesson has gotten through.
Sanity will be restored, but not without a brutal fight
I am fundamentally optimistic and confident that we will get back into balance.
It doesn’t mean we are going to agree with each other, we have very contentious politics in the United States and we are going to continue to duke it out over policy. But I am hoping we are going to get back into a more acceptable zone where we are looking at evidence and facts and holding people accountable based on reality not ideology.
I do believe we can make that transition again, but not without enormous effort.
People say they're so tired and I always say, 'do not get weary doing this good work because in due time we will harvest the fruits of your work.'
But I know it is difficult for people in my country who can’t believe what they see and hear everyday to find that energy to keep going and be politically engaged. They don’t want to be on the phone all the time or in the streets all the time.
They want it to get better so they don’t have to spend all their time fighting for what they believe is self evident. We’re going to have to do that for two more years.
It’s going to take all the work, all the effort.
The other side is well-funded well-equipped with their own news outlets. What we have is people.
And so I’m going to be doing everything I can to keep people’s spirits up, to keep people engaged and committed. And then, when we take our country back, everybody can have a glass of Chardonnay.