Surprising everyone at the UNICEF ball Tuesday night — incuding the honoree — Hillary Clinton showed up to present Katy Perry with an award. The moment that Clinton walked on stage at the organization's Snowflake Ball, the crowd stood, clapped, and cheered to honor the Democratic presidential candidate. This was her second public appearance since she conceded the presidential race to Donald Trump, the controversial Republican who now trails her popular vote total by more than 2 million.
But politics were not the topic of the evening — even if Clinton's loss and her opponent's social media habits were hinted at. Clinton was there to award Perry with the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She lavished praise on the rock star, one of the biggest supporters who campaigned for her:
On a personal level, I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be here to help celebrate a global megastar, a social media queen with the most Twitter followers in the world — although she’s getting some competition — and someone whose powerful voice and creative lyrics remind us when you get knocked down to get back up.
I have seen Katy’s commitment to the causes she believes in firsthand I’ve gotten to spend time with her and I know how deeply she cares about making our world a better place. She is serious about understanding the complex problems we face and pulling people together to solve them. We need champions like Katy now more than ever: her passion, her energy and, yes, her voice, louder than a lion.
As Perry came to the stage she held back tears, jokingly asking for a tissue. The singer has been a goodwill ambassador since 2013, visiting countries like Madagascar to bring awareness to the plight of children and young people. Accepting the award, Perry spoke to Clinton, returning the words of kindness:
I've always had a voice — a singing voice — but I've never had a voice like I've had before. Hillary has lit that voice inside of me, and that light will never go out, it will continue to get brighter and brighter and brighter. Thank you Hillary. You motivate me and so many millions of people.
UNICEF, a UN program, got its start after World War II to provide food and healthcare to kids across European countries that were all but destroyed during the fighting. One of those they helped was Hepburn, who moved from the Netherlands to Britain only after the war. She went on to become a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1988 and traveled to more than 20 countries in the role.
Clinton has been spending much of her time near her Chappaqua, New York, home seemingly taking walks in the woods with her dogs. Her campaign's legal counsel is, however, working on the Wisconsin vote recount, one of the last long shots to put her in the White House. As we wait for the results, seeing and hearing Clinton — no matter the venue — is a lovely change of pace from the president-elect.