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Clinton in first post-election speech: ‘Coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest’

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton, in her first public speech since last week’s crushing presidential loss, admitted making the appearance “wasn’t the easiest.”

“I will admit, coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing for me. There have been a few times this past week where all I wanted to do was curl up with a good book and our dogs and never leave the house again,” she told an audience at the Children’s Defense Fund’s “Beat The Odds” Gala.

The speech was part reflection, part pledge to remain strong in the face of a Trump administration.

Clinton started her career as an intern at the organization, which advocates on behalf of kids. She also regularly spoke about the group on the trail. In the final weeks of the campaign, Clinton pledged to close her race against Donald Trump the way she started her career, by working on behalf of children and families.

Wednesday night’s appearance was scheduled before her campaign ended, an aide said, adding that there “is no more fitting place for her first formal remarks following last week.”

The speech is an “opportunity to underscore Hillary’s continuing commitment to the causes and values that have always motivated her work as an advocate and public servant,” the aide said.

“Despite the progress we’ve made recently, 31 million kids still live at or near poverty in America, in every part of our country,” the aide said. “Hillary will urge Americans — including everyone who supported her campaign — not to give up, to do their part to help give all our kids a better future and to remain engaged in progressive politics at every level.”

The Democratic Party is scrambling to find its balance after last week’s demoralizing loss and the prospect of at least four years with Trump in the White House.