“There’s only one name I’m really interested in hearing tonight,” said actress Uzo Aduba just before the start of Emily’s List’s 30th Anniversary gala on Tuesday. “It starts with an ‘H’ and ends with a ‘Clinton.'”
Sure, nearly 20 dozen women, all backed by Emily’s List, the super PAC that supports pro-abortion rights women candidates, would grace the stage during the more than 3 hours-long program. But despite the standing os for retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the first woman Emily’s List help put in office, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and former representative Gabreille Giffords (D-Ariz.), it was clear from the start that those political A-listers were really just hype women for Clinton.
When Clinton finally made it to the podium at 10:08 p.m., the crowd, some of whom were on their second cup of coffee by then, leaped to its feet. The applause lasted for a good 30 seconds, then came the rumbling of Chiavari chairs being flipped around to face the stage.
Clinton, wearing an eggplant purple blazer paired with dark pants (an outfit that she joked “was not actually white and gold”) stuck to a pretty tame script. She made no mention of the recent news that she used a private e-mail address for official business as secretary of state. Instead, Clinton talked about leveling the economic playing field, equal pay for women, her grandparents hard-knock roots and her current grandma glow.
During her 30 minutes in the spotlight, Clinton also mentioned the millions of decisions people have to make everyday.
“Some of them are big,” she said, “like, do you run for office?”
The ballroom laughed knowingly, but got not more than that in terms of a 2016 pledge from Clinton. Later she’d underscore that point once again when asking the audience to continue to donate to Emily’s List.
“Don’t you someday want to see a woman president?” asked Clinton in her best stump speech voice, stopping short, of course, of dropping her own name in that hat.
After that last line, although Clinton had about a minute or so left on stage, the crowd began to not-so-subtly make its way toward the doors. They didn’t need to hear anything else. Clinton had said “woman” and “president”! In the same sentence! Out loud! They were done, and Ubers were waiting.
We tried to catch up with Aduba afterward to see what she thought of Clinton’s speech. But the sea of bodies making their way to coat check was impossible to cross. According to her Instagram, Aduba caught up with Clinton, snapping a selfie with the night’s presumptive Democratic nominee.