On Wednesday morning, after losing the presidency to Republican candidate Donald Trump in one of the most acrimonious contests in recent history, Hillary Clinton observed, as many a TV pundit did while the votes got tallied, “We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought.
“But I still believe in America,” she continued, “and I always will.”
Acknowledging her congratulatory phone call to Trump late Tuesday night, she said, “I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans,” later adding: “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”
That said, she not-so-subtly put the President-Elect on notice, reminding that in addition to a “peaceful transfer of power,” the Constitution “enshrines… the rule of law.” “the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity” and “freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values… and we must defend them. The American Dream is big enough for everyone.”
To her supporters, Clinton said, “You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life…. This is not the outcome we wanted or worked so hard for, but I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together.”
“I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too…,” Clinton said, visibly affected by the hard-fought fight lost. “This is painful, and it will be for a long time, but I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about … building an America that is hopeful and inclusive and big-hearted.”
“To all the little girls who are watching,” Clinton gave this charge: “Never doubt you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance to pursue your own dreams.” While to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, she said, “Our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude. We thank you for your graceful, determined leadership that has meant so much to so many Americans and people across the world.”
Hillary Clinton’s concession speech https://t.co/CKvZ5xr1ek
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) November 9, 2016
For Clinton, the speech capped a bid for the nation’s top post that began when she unsuccessfully vied for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
VP nominee Tim Kaine set the stage for Clinton’s Wednesday speech, expressing his pride in his running mate as “a history-maker in everything she has done.” He also noted that Clinton won the popular vote — “an amazing accomplishment” — while losing in the all-important Electoral College Votes.
Watch video of Clinton’s speech above and let us know all your feelings about how the 2016 turned out.