Of all the jokes cracked at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, the most highly anticipated are usually those made by the president. Viewers already know that they won't see President Trump at the Saturday night event, but what about the woman who almost had his title? Hillary Clinton wasn’t at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, but she probably would’ve enjoyed the jokes.
Over the past several weeks, Clinton has slowly made her way out of the very literal woods near her house in New York. Earlier in April, Clinton appeared at the Women in the World Summit, where she spoke about her emotions after November's election and her perspective on the early days of Trump's administration. ("I don’t understand the commitment to hurt so many people that this administration, this White House seems to be pursuing," she said on stage.) Last week, she attended the Tribeca Film Festival, where she joined a panel for a new short film about elephant poaching. She reportedly told the audience that she became passionate about preventing elephant poaching while she was secretary of state.
Clinton hadn't announced that she would attend Saturday's Correspondents' Dinner, but there was still reason to wonder. For one, she hadn't announced her Tribeca Film Festival appearance ahead of time, either. Also, she made no mention of whether she was attending the dinner or not.
Clinton's home base is New York, but she raised suspicion on Saturday afternoon that she was in Washington, D.C., where the Correspondents' Dinner was set to take place that night. She tweeted that it was "great to see" people supporting the People's Climate March, which opposed the Trump administration's environmental agenda.
The march took place in D.C. on Saturday, with crowds planning to march past the White House toward the Washington Monument. Sister events were planned in major cities across the country, including Clinton's beloved Big Apple, so it was possible that her tweet referred to those crowds.
Great to see ppl take to the streets & combat climate change, protect the next generation & fight for jobs & economic justice.#climatemarch— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 29, 2017
Perhaps her absence at the Correspondents' Dinner was proof that she was talking about the NYC crowds. Perhaps she was in D.C. for a different reason entirely. It's not clear why the former first lady didn't attend Saturday's dinner — she could have been uncomfortable attending, she could have wanted to avoid talk of the president, or she could have simply not gotten an invitation (although that last one seems hard to believe).
Regardless, Clinton missed a night full of jokes where there was very little chance that any of the punchlines would be about her emails. Like most things she does, Clinton seems to be taking measured steps back into the spotlight following her unsuccessful presidential campaign, and the Correspondents' Dinner must not have fit into the equation.