Hillary Clinton is delivering what are expected to be her final remarks of the presidential election after a devastating loss to Donald Trump. (Nov. 9) AP
(Photo: Jewel Samad, AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton ended her historic presidential campaign with a speech she said is “painful and will be for a long time,” while also offering Donald Trumpan unequivocal concession as she urged for a peaceful transfer of power.
“Donald Trump is going to be our president,” she said. “I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans," Clinton said to a room of emotional aides and supporters, who gave her an extended round of applause.
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and always will. And if you do, then we must accept this” election outcome, she added. “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”
Clinton’s vice presidential running mate, Tim Kaine, introduced her and addressed the unique challenge the former secretary of State faced in her bid to become the nation's first female president.
“She has been and is a great history maker,” he said, citing her work as a civil rights lawyer, first lady, senator and secretary of State. “She has made history in a nation that is good at so many things, but that’s made it uniquely difficult for a woman to be elected to federal office; she became the first major party nominee.”
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He also noted that, just like Democrat Al Gore in 2000, Clinton appears to have won the national popular vote.
Clinton made it clear that while Americans must “cherish” the Constitution’s democratic tradition of a peaceful transfer of power, they should fight to protect its core values of the rule of law, equal rights and freedom of worship. These are all Constitutional protections her campaign had argued were at risk with a Trump presidency.
In closing her remarks Clinton made a direct appeal to young people and women of all ages.
To young people, she said: “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”
Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech in New York on Nov. 9, 2016, as former president Bill Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine look on. (Photo: Jewel Samad, AFP/Getty Images)
As the first female to lead a major U.S. political party's presidential ticket, she concluded her concession urging the women who supported her not to lose faith in their dreams.
“We have still not shattered that highest, hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will. And hopefully sooner than we might think right now,” she said.
“To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your” dreams, she added.
Several hours earlier, Clinton had called Trump, to congratulate him on becoming the nation's president-elect. However, she did not make an appearance before backers gathered at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for what was expected to be a victory party.
Instead, her campaign chairman, John Podesta, made brief remarks. “It’s been a long night, and it’s been a long campaign, but I can say we can wait a little longer," he told Clinton's despondent supporters.