The defeated 2016 Democratic nominee made the comments at an Irish Women’s Society dinner in her late father’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania on St Patrick’s Day.
“I do not believe that we can let political divides harden into personal divides. And we can’t just ignore, or turn a cold shoulder to someone because they disagree with us politically,” she told the crowd.
“We’ve got to keep trying to listen to one another and to reason together and try to work to help people have better lives going forward.”
Clinton, who shunned the public spotlight for a time after her election defeat to Republican Donald Trump in November, admitted she was finding it hard to watch the news.
However, she added, “I am ready to come out of the woods and help shine a light on what is already happening around kitchen tables, at dinners like this, to help draw strength that will enable everybody to keep going.”
Clinton made reference to her time in “the woods” on a number of occasions throughout her speech, apparently alluding to images captured of the election candidate hiking in the woods the day after her defeat.
She quipped at the start of her speech that she was rethinking her strategy, conceding “the walk in the woods stuff didn’t work as well.”
Clinton’s signal that was she was ready to re-enter the public sphere was met with somewhat mixed reaction online.
"I am ready to come out of the woods to shine a light…to help draw strength that will enable everybody to keep going." – HRC pic.twitter.com/YYU2HTEcrO
— Hillary Warned Us (@HillaryWarnedUs) March 18, 2017
— GrrrGraphics Cartoons (@GrrrGraphics) March 18, 2017
Hillary Clinton is ready to come out of the woods to help our country come together and heal, no thanks Hillary, you can stay in the woods.
— Bill Powers (@BillPowers9) March 18, 2017