Let me explain what I said in India

My first instinct was to defend Americans and explain how Donald Trump could have been elected. I said that places doing better economically typically lean Democratic, and places where there is less optimism about the future lean Republican. That doesn’t mean the coasts versus the heartland, it doesn’t even mean entire states. In fact, it more often captures the divisions between more dynamic urban areas and less prosperous small towns within states. As I said throughout the campaign, Trump’s message was dark and backwards looking. I don’t need to list the reasons, but the foundation of his message, “Make America Great AGAIN” suggests that to be great we have to go back to something we are no longer. I never accepted that and never will…

I also mentioned something in passing that’s gotten a lot of negative attention: that there is anecdotal evidence and some research to suggest that women are unfortunately more swayed by men than the other way around. As much as I hate the possibility, and hate saying it, it’s not that crazy when you think about our ongoing struggle to reach gender balance – even within the same household. I did not realize how hard it would hit many who heard it. I was out there having a conversation, and this was one piece of a larger point about how Democrats need to do better with white women, because I know in my heart that Democrats have much more to offer them. Do I believe that some women look at a powerful woman and question whether she can lead, maybe voting for the man their husband is voting for instead? It may not be universally true or easy to hear, but yes, it’s a dynamic still at play in our society. I know this because even I spent parts of my life wondering if I could achieve the same as male leaders, and a lot of that insecurity stemmed from my gender and how society views women. When I was serving in various roles in public life, I was always more popular when I was working for or defending a man then when I was out there on my own. That’s the point I was making, in an effort to explain to an audience some of the many dynamics that have gone into these tumultuous last few years.