Hillary Clinton Holds Head High as Trump Takes Office
Although she lost the presidential election, Hillary Clinton was in attendance to see Donald Trump sworn in as America’s 45th President.
The Hill reports:
Hillary Clinton kept a stiff upper lip Friday as Donald Trump took the oath of office for a presidency she was favored to win.
Clinton was just feet away from Trump when he took the presidential oath, sitting with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
There was no interaction with Trump during the ceremony, and Trump did not mention Clinton — who won 3 million more popular votes — during his speech.
The two did cross paths later, shaking hands. Trump thanked her for coming.
Those close to Clinton say appearing at the Capitol wasn’t easy for her. But after some discussion with close advisers in recent weeks, she knew it was the right thing to do.
Clinton, those close to her say, put her feelings aside and aimed to do what she thought was best for the country and the transfer of power.
“I’m here today to honor our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future,” Clinton said in a message on her Twitter account.
After arriving at the Capitol, the Clintons ignored questions from the throngs of reporters gathered outside the white dome about how she was feeling on the day she expected to be sworn into office.
When she was introduced at the ceremony along with the former president, she was met with jeers and boos from the crowd. Many in attendance wore red hats with Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Moments later, former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush received hearty applause, making the contrast even more apparent.
Clinton donned a winter white Ralph Lauren suit — symbolizing the Suffragettes moment. It was similar to the ones she wore for her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention and for the third presidential debate.
But as she waited for Trump’s entrance, she also wore a forced, lets-get-this-over-with smile, the anguish written all over her face. She took several deep breaths as the cameras trained on her every twitch. She even checked her cellphone.
“Let’s face it, it’s not an easy moment for her,” one longtime confidant said. “She expected to be there, she really did. She thought she would be the next president. And she fought so hard because she thought she was the better candidate for the country by a long shot.”
Clinton has endured a difficult spotlight before — most memorably during the controversy surrounding Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky during his presidency.
She was also upset in the presidential race of 2008 by Barack Obama.
The confidant said Hillary Clinton has “a remarkable strength” to endure these moments in the spotlight.
“It’s not the same thing at all, but she is the same woman who put her pride aside and went and served President Obama because she thought it was the right thing to do for the country,” the confidant said.
Clinton wasn’t the only figure who appeared to be having a difficult time on Friday.
While her husband traded jokes with Trump and even told him he had done a “good job” after his address, former first lady Michelle Obama’s smiles seemed more forced.
Many of Clinton’s supporters refused to watch the inaugural address and some even left Washington for the weekend in an effort to further distance themselves from the proceedings.
Clinton, on the other hand, stuck around not only for the inaugural address but for the luncheon in the Capitol after, where Trump recognized her and the former president and asked them to stand.
“…Honestly, there’s nothing more I can say because I have a lot of respect for those two people,” Trump said.
As she made her way to the lunch, reporters once again tried to ask her and the former president what they thought of Trump’s address.
But those questions went unanswered.
Kristina Wong contributed to this report.
Photo credit: CNN/Screenshot.