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Hillary Clinton, in interview, reflects on 'very painful' loss

Hillary Clinton speaks during the Women in the

Hillary Clinton speaks during the Women in the World Summit in Manhattan on April 6, 2017. Credit: AP / Mary Altaffer

Hillary Clinton on Sunday reflected on the pain of losing the 2016 presidential election, calling the experience one that “hurts a lot” in one of her televised interviews since that defeat last November.

“It still is very painful,” said Clinton, appearing on “CBS News Sunday Morning.” She is scheduled to make a number of televised appearances this week to promote her memoir, “What Happened,” which is to be released on Tuesday.

The book, according to excerpts, discusses a number of moments, missteps and regrets during the historic campaign.

In the interview, Clinton recalled her telephone conversation with President Barack Obama after she conceded the election after midnight. “I felt like I had let everybody down,” Clinton told CBS’ Jane Pauley.

She described feeling “this enormous letdown, this kind of loss of feeling, and direction and sadness.”

“Off I went into a frenzy of closet cleaning, and long walks in the woods, and playing with my dogs, and yoga, alternate nostril breathing, which I highly recommend, trying to calm myself down, and you know my share of chardonnay,” Clinton said during the interview at her upstate Chappaqua home. “It was a very hard transition. I really struggled, I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t think. I was just gobsmacked. Wiped out.”

One tough decision she faced was deciding whether to attend Trump’s inauguration. It is customary that former first ladies — not vanquished presidential candidates — attend the ceremony. She described feeling an “out-of body experience” on the platform and called Trump’s speech a “cry from the white nationalist gut.”

“What an opportunity to say, ‘OK. I’m proud of my supporters, but I’m the president of all Americans,’ ” she said. “That’s not what we heard at all.”

Clinton expressed some regrets, including what she described as a failure to appeal to the outrage of the American worker.

“There was anger, there was resentment. I knew that, but I believed that it was my responsibility to try to offer answers to it, not to fan it,” she said, calling it a “mistake.”

“I should have done a better job of demonstrating ‘I get it,’ ” she said, noting that “maybe I missed a few chances.”

The former New York senator and U.S. secretary of state vowed to remain a political advocate, but said she would not seek elected office again.

“I am done with being a candidate, but I am not done with politics because I literally believe that our country’s future is at stake,” Clinton said.

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