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Hillary Clinton prepares to ‘come out of the woods’

During a St. Patrick’s Day speech for the Society of Irish Women in Scranton, Pa., Hillary Clinton indicated that she intends to leave behind the low profile that she has adopted since the election.

The former U.S. presidential candidate and secretary of state told the 500 people attending the society’s dinner on Friday evening, plus an additional 175 who watched her speech via video in an overflow room, that she is “ready to come out of the woods.”

“I’m like a lot of my friends right now. I have a hard time watching the news, I’ll confess,” Clinton said. She explained that she was ready to “help shine a light on what is already happening around kitchen tables, at dinners like this.”

The remark was made briefly at the closing of a speech in which Clinton described her relationship with Scranton, the childhood home of her father and grandfather. She spoke of her grandfather’s job in a lace mill during the first half of the 20th century, when the town was a hub of industrial prosperity. Clinton often visited family in Scranton in the summers during her own childhood, she told the crowd.

Pennsylvania was a battleground state in the 2016 election, but made for one of Clinton’s most surprising electoral losses in November. Scranton is located in Lackawanna County, in the northeastern corner of the state. The county voted narrowly Democratic in November; Donald Trump carried a significantly higher number of votes than the previous two Republican presidential candidates had there.

The Society of Irish Women is a group of about 100 that has been meeting since the 1990s. It hosted former President Barack Obama during the 2008 election cycle, and the group had been hoping to host Hillary Clinton for years. It sent her an invitation in December. According to one of the society’s presidents, the room was “ecstatic” during Clinton’s speech.

Hillary Clinton has been stoic and has more or less kept out of the spotlight since her loss in November. Her remarks Friday may signal a return to activism and the public eye soon.

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