Posted by: maboulette | March 24, 2017

Hillary Clinton and Her St. Patrick’s Day Speech (and her new look)


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Hillary Clinton said she was “ready to come out of the woods” during a St. Patrick’s Day speech on Friday night in Pennsylvania in front of an overflow crowd — an signal that she plans to shed the low profile she has been keeping since the election.

ST PATRICK’S DAY

Mrs. Clinton, the presidential candidate and a former secretary of state, made her comments at the end of a nearly 20-minute talk she gave at a yearly St. Patrick’s Day celebration held by a women’s group in Scranton — in the northeast corner of a battleground state that made for one of her most surprising electoral losses in November.

SCRANTON

Mrs. Clinton, whose grandfather and father grew up in Scranton spoke about her family’s connections to the area, including many summers she spent at a nearby lake as a child. But at the end of the speech, given in the ballroom of a local Hilton hotel, her words turned, if only glancingly, to current affairs.

“I’m like a lot of my friends right now. I have a hard time watching the news, I’ll confess,” she said, according to a video of the event. “I am ready to come out of the woods and to help shine a light on what is already happening around kitchen tables, at dinners like this.”

SOCIETY OF IRISH WOMEN

Mrs. Clinton spoke to a crowd of nearly 700 people, according to Mary Clare Kingsley, as president of the Society of Irish Women, which held the event: about 500 people in the ballroom and an additional 175 who watched the speech via video in an overflow room. Ms. Kingsley said this was the largest attendance for the event, even surpassing the total when the group hosted Barack Obama during the presidential campaign of 2008.

INVITATION IN DEC

The group hoped for years to land Mrs. Clinton and sent her an invitation letter in December.

MOTIVATE WOMEN

“We figured if anyone could motivate women, who better to have there than her,” Ms. Kingsley said.

BEFORE DINNER

Taking the stage before the dinner was served Mrs. Clinton spoke at length about her grandfather, who came to Scranton with his parents when he was 3, the sixth of an eventual 11 children from a family that left the coal mines in England “searching for a better life and more opportunity.”

INDUSTRIAL PROSPERITY

She emphasized their connection to industrial prosperity in the United States, speaking glowingly of her grandfather’s job at a lace mill in the area, where she said he worked as a teenager until his retirement more than 50 years later. And she told the story of her father, who “hopped a freight train” to Chicago dreaming of bigger opportunities — “I don’t recommend this,” she said — and ended up selling textiles before serving in the Navy during World War II.

TRIP

She also spoke of her own visits to Scranton with her family as a child and trips to a nearby lake, Lake Winola.

 “The house that my grandfather built did not have indoor plumbing,” she said. “So, don’t tell anybody this, we’d go down to the lake.”

ECSTATIC

Ms. Kingsley, who described herself as a Clinton supporter, said the atmosphere in the room during Mrs. Clinton’s speech was “ecstatic.”

TRUMP FACTS

Lackawanna County, where Scranton is, voted narrowly for Mrs. Clinton, 49.8% to Donald J. Trump’s 46.3%, but Mr. Trump received a significantly higher percentage of votes than the previous two Republican nominees. But his victory in Pennsylvania was the first time since 1988 the state went to a Republican presidential nominee.

CREATION

The Society of Irish Women is a group of about 100 that was founded in the 1990s because the local chapter of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, an Irish-American group founded in 1906, did not permit women at its St. Patrick’s Day event, Ms. Kingsley said. (The national organization introduced its first female members in 2016.)

“Women were sitting here and watching their husbands go in their tuxedos to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” she said. “They decided to start their own group. But men are allowed at our dinner.”

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