Sunday, May 19, 2024

Hillary Clinton returns to the White House for arts celebration By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former U.S secretary of state and Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Hillary Clinton and former U.S president Bill Clinton arrive at Hillsborough Castle for the Gala dinner to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, in B

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returns to the White House on Tuesday to speak at an arts event in what will be her first public appearance at the U.S. presidential residence and workplace since her 2016 election loss to Donald Trump.

Clinton will attend an event with first lady Jill Biden to celebrate Praemium Imperiale Laureates, recipients of a global arts prize by the Japan Art Association for lifetime achievement in the arts.

A former senator and first lady, Clinton, a Democrat, was the first woman to be a major U.S. political party’s presidential nominee. Prior to that she served as the top U.S. diplomat under President Barack Obama.

Recipients of the arts award were first celebrated at the White House by President Bill Clinton and the then first lady in 1994.

Though she spent plenty of time at the White House during the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton did not return during Republican Trump’s four years in office.

With President Joe Biden in the White House since 2021, Clinton has been back, but not to give public remarks. She was on the guest list for a dinner to celebrate then outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel early in Biden’s tenure.

Clinton has been a vocal supporter of Biden and a critic of Trump, her former rival. Even when Biden and his aides avoided commenting about Trump’s legal troubles, Clinton has weighed in.

Trump faces multiple criminal charges as he seeks the Republican nomination to face Biden in the 2024 presidential election. He denies any wrongdoing.

Clinton could be called upon to help Biden, 80, in his re-election bid. She is popular with women and has been a leading voice in favor of abortion rights, a key issue for left-leaning voters after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade, which recognized women’s right to abortion, last year. She won the popular vote in 2016.

But the former first lady’s standing within the Democratic Party is complicated by her loss to Trump, who bested her in the Electoral College, and a history of controversies throughout her public life, including her use of a private e-mail server during her time as secretary of state.

(This story has been refiled to fix a typo in paragraph 7)

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