Hillary Clinton speaks at a class in Washington

Hillary Clinton speaks at a class in Washington

Harris dives into Asian diplomacy amid questions back home about her political future after a year’s absence

This article is more than 4 years old

This article is more than 4 years old

Hillary Clinton took a step back from the world of politics this week, a year after her husband’s surprising loss in the presidential election – an “off-year” for the US president – with a speech for a new class taking place in Washington, D.C.

The New York senator made her return to Washington a week after returning from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila, where she had last travelled to attend the Summit of the Americas. It was an opportunity to reconnect with a new generation of the electorate, but Clinton also took swipes at Republicans and their presidential candidate Donald Trump, whom she had never met.

“I feel like a lot of what comes out of the mouths of our politicians is so ugly, so cynical, so untrue, and so out of touch,” Clinton told the class.

“But one thing you can be sure of is that these things get said, and they reverberate for a long time. And for a long time we will have to live with the pain and the suffering.”

The class is a free event open only to women and non-binary individuals aged 25 to 40 and their male counterparts, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and financial security. Clinton has spoken to similar gatherings in the past, but this event is a more relaxed version of the same format.

Doris Burke, associate vice-president of the Clinton Global Initiative and a member of the class, said: “I didn’t get the sense that it was a lot of Hillary talking on this trip. I think it’s really more a chance for us to hear from her. She’s been pretty quiet for the past year in terms of speaking publicly, and I was a little surprised by that.”

The week flew by as Clinton addressed the students about issues ranging from climate change to reproductive rights, and she spoke from the heart.

“So, what’s the message you’re trying to drive home to the world?” Clinton asked the room. “Is it the economy? Is it the security of our country

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