Hillary Clinton returns to White House, announces winners of prestigious Japanese art awards

September 13, 2023
Ben Marquis

For the first time since she attended the inauguration of former President Donald Trump after losing to him in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton made a public appearance at the White House on Tuesday, according to the Washington Examiner.

Former First Lady Clinton, who also served as a New York senator and Secretary of State during the Obama administration, joined current First Lady Jill Biden to help give prestigious Japanese art awards to several recipients who were being honored by the Biden White House.

Current and former first ladies join together

At the Tuesday event in the White House's East Room to celebrate the 2023 winners of the Praemium Imperiale awards, as chosen by the Japan Art Association, First Lady Biden delivered brief opening remarks in which she highlighted the presence and participation of her predecessor Clinton.

"Secretary Clinton, Hillary, it’s an honor to welcome you back to the White House," Biden said to great applause from the audience, and noted, "
Wow. You are so loved."

"Your lifetime of work has left an indelible mark on this country. Thank you for always doing all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can," she added.

Clinton announced art award recipients

The Associated Press reported that Clinton delivered her own brief remarks as she announced the laureate recipients of the Praemium Imperiale art awards in a number of different categories.

Clinton, who hosted a similar White House event in 1994 when her husband Bill Clinton was president, is a U.S. advisor to the Japanese Praemium Imperiale and helps the organization choose the laureates who will be honored with awards.

"At a time when so much is happening to change the ways that we work and live and how we connect with one another, how we relate to the rest of the world, it’s so important for us to recognize the critical role that the arts play in helping us understand our past and present while inspiring us to create a better future," she said.

According to the Examiner, Clinton added, "As President Biden said when he re-established the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the arts invigorate and strengthen our democracy and point the way toward progress."

First public White House appearance since Obama years

CNN reported that, her attendance at Trump's inauguration notwithstanding, this was Clinton's first public event with public remarks at the White House in more than six years, dating back to the Obama White House.

She had actually first returned to the White House in July 2021 for a non-public dinner honoring the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel

"This is such a great honor for me to be here," she told the gathered audience of various artists and celebrities on Tuesday, and later referenced the 1994 event as she remarked that being back in the White House revived "a lot of great memories" from that prior celebration nearly 30 years ago.

Expected to appear again in support of Biden's 2024 campaign

CNN further noted that after being away from the White House for so long during the Trump years, Tuesday's event could mark the first of multiple possible appearances at the presidential residence over the next year and a half, as Clinton is expected to play a role in President Biden's re-election effort.

The outlet reported that "Clinton, an ardent supporter of the president, could be called on to motivate women and other key Democratic voters as Joe Biden vies for a second term in office."

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