“This is painful, and it will be for a long time.” So said Hillary Clinton Wednesday morning in her concession speech after losing the presidential race to Donald Trump in a dramatic upset.
In her 13-minute address, Clinton’s struck a strong note of unity, urging her supporters to keep an “open mind” about Trump’s presidency even as the election results demonstrate that the nation “is more deeply divided than we thought.”
Trump deserves “the chance to lead” even as Clinton acknowledged the deep gulf in attitudes and perspectives between her supporters and the Trump campaign.
“This is not the outsomce we wanted … for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country,” she said. goal was to “build an America that is hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted” — a contrast to the anti-establishment fist-shaking that defined Trump’s campaign.
Wearing a pant suit that blended deep gray and deep purple, Clinton delivered her remarks with a steely smile except for one brief moment when she addressed the women who put so much faith in her historic status as the first female major-party presidential candidate.
“I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion,” Clinton said, with a slight catch in her voice. “I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”
Clinton also addressed her status as a role model for children. “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 own dreams,” she said.
Clinton was candid that her loss — which came after virtually every mainstream poll and prediction source had her taking the White House — was a hard one to endure. She apologized for disappointing her backers, but she urged her supporters not to lose heart or give up working within the political establishment.
“This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” she said.
Clinton called for the nation to come together in the spirit of working together after the anger and vitriol of a bruising campaign. At the same time, she referenced her effort to build a coalition of people who are most likely to have been alienated by Trump’s rhetoric and policy proposals. Clinton said her campaign was an effort to demonstrate that “the American dream is big enough for everyone: For people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people and people with disabilities. For everyone.”