This morning, former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton swung through Chicago on her book tour to discuss her new memoir, Hard Choices. The event was hosted by Chicago Ideas Week, the first stop on her book tour moderated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“[Hillary] is still and will forever be a Chicagoan at heart,” Emanuel said.
In the memoir Clinton divulges on political as well as personal experiences during her public service. She discusses her role as secretary of state, a position she decided to vacate last year and the friendship she developed with President Barack Obama — following the 2008 presidential election. Prior to the interview, she did a brief introduction, paying homage to her Chicago roots.
“It’s wonderful being back here and seeing how great the city looks, ” Clinton said. She then explains how she tried to persuade Obama to choose another candidate for the secretary of state position.
“I said no a couple of times, but I finally said yes after reflecting and considering if the shoe was on the other foot. At the end of the day, the president was asking me to serve and we went to work.”
Emanuel kick started the interview with asking Clinton to explain a bit about her childhood and the many challenges her mother faced during her childhood.
“I was born in Edgewater Beach Hospital — my father never believed in having debt and eventually saved up enough to purchase a home in Park Ridge.”
Throughout the conversation, Clinton spoke extensively about the economy, LBGT rights, feminism and her work, trailing back to the 1990s on women’s rights.
For those who seem to think feminism is an issue of the past, Clinton simply responded, “you haven’t lived long enough yet.”
She went on to explain the external barriers women tend to face in under-developed countries, but acknowledged there are plenty of internal barriers in developed countries like the United States.
“Young women hold themselves to an impossible standard,” she said. “We’re often judged on how you look, how you dress and may I mention, how you wear you hair?”
CIW brings together some of the world’s best speakers to present their ideas and inspire tomorrow’s innovations at 80+ sessions across the city of the Chicago. CIW aims to be the platform for sharing big ideas and making big things happen. Unique to Chicago, CIW aims to reflect how great our city truly is and is continually shaped by the people, organizations and institutions that care about the future of Chicago as well as communities around the globe.
“This stage is normally graced with ballet dancers, but it’s never been graced like this moment,” said Emanuel as the two embraced in closing.