How Hillary Clinton Handled Losing The 2016 Election

Former First Lady and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in 2017 that she felt like she let everyone down after losing the previous year's presidential election. She had been so set on victory that she hadn't even drafted a concession speech just in case she lost. So when the votes rolled in, showing that she was not the winning candidate, disappointment crept in. "I just kind of went in the bedroom, laid down on the bed, and just thought, 'Okay, I just have to wait this out,'" she said on CBS News Sunday. "But then, midnight, I decided, 'Well, it looks like it's not going to work.'"

Up until election night 2016, the polls suggested that Clinton would win. She was confident that she would go down in the history books as the first woman president of the United States and had worked tirelessly for that accomplishment. But then, it didn't happen. Coping with the loss took time.

Coping with defeat

After returning home to Chappaqua, New York, Hillary Clinton dove into activities that would help her work through her loss. She spent time in nature, cleaned her home, played with her dogs, did yoga — part of her practice included alternate nostril breathing, which she said was especially helpful — and drank Chardonnay. "It was a very hard transition, and I make no bones about it. I really struggled, and for the longest time I was just totally drained. I couldn't feel. I couldn't think. I was just gobsmacked," Clinton told CBS News Sunday.

Clinton also took up the pen to deal with the loss and wrote the book "What Happened," detailing her experience in running for president. She covered how she faced sexism during her run, as well as how she rode the highs and managed through the lows. "[The book] is my best effort to kind of pull the curtain back, invite people in to see what happened from my perspective, and to talk about, you know, the things that I didn't get right and the other stuff that was going on at the same time," she explained to Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show."

Moving on

One of the many obstacles Hillary Clinton had to overcome was misogyny. She faced that and sexism constantly, especially on her campaign trail, and believed it was part of the reason why she lost. "There was a very real struggle between what is viewed as change that is welcome and exciting to so many Americans and change that is worrisome and threatening to so many others," she said during the 2017 Women in the World conference (via Time). "You layer on the first woman president over that, and I think that some people — women included — had some problems."

Since the 2016 election, Clinton has been working on the projects Hillary.Land, an online community that links together people who have formerly worked for Clinton, and Onward Together, which promotes political involvement, whether it be getting people to the polls or running for office. She also co-authored "The Book of Gutsy Women" with her daughter Chelsea Clinton. The book highlights the stories of women whom the pair find inspiring. The two, who have a strong relationship, also co-host an Apple TV+ streaming series called "Gutsy," which also focuses on trailblazing women.