ATLANTA — In her first purely political remarks since her 2016 election defeat, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton told Democrats she would be with them “every step of the way,” aligning herself with the protests that have bedeviled Republicans all year.
“Let resistance plus persistence equal progress for our party and our country,” said Clinton, referring to the catch-all term for the protests and for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s criticism of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — “she persisted” — which had immediately been adapted into a rallying cry.
Clinton also told Democrats to be proud of the “progressive platform” they had drafted after the 2016 primary, suggesting that it had put the party in sync with protesters.
“Ideas we championed are now inspiring leaders and activists around our country,” Clinton said.
The platform process was somewhat fraught, with the Clinton campaign — in what would become a familiar pattern — making concessions to allow supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) a minority role. During a four-part process, Sanders supporters, including now-DNC chairman candidate Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) fought in vain to put the party on record against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, fracking and the drug war, instead agreeing to compromise language that Sanders praised but many activists considered watered-down.
“We now need to stay engaged, in the field and online,” Clinton said.