On Wednesday morning, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered her concession speech. In front of some of her family, fans, supporters, and employees at the New Yorker Hotel in New York, the 69-year-old politician thanked everyone who believed in her. “You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been the biggest honor for me,” she told the crowd.
While her speech was for everyone, it was especially for the millions of American women who hoped that Clinton winning would see the first female president in the White House. “I’ve had successes and setbacks and sometimes painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public, and political careers — you will have successes and setbacks too,” she said. “This loss hurts but please never stop believing that fighting for what right is worth it.”
She also sent a special message to “all the women, especially the young women: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.” And, she added, “To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable, powerful, and deserving of every chance to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
One day, Clinton hopes, those dreams will translate into a woman achieving what she did not. “I know we’ve still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling but some day someone will.”
She even gave a shoutout to the “secret, private Facebook group,” Pantsuit Nation, which rallied behind the former Democratic presidential candidate. “I want everybody coming out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard going forward,” she implored.
Since the loss, Pantsuit Nation, which was formed as a safe space for women to express their emotions and also call on its more than 3 million members to wear pantsuits as a sartorial sign of support for Clinton who favors the style, has shifted its focus. Now serving as a support group. As founder Libby Chamberlain wrote, “This is not the end. And while we must take time to grieve, we must also look ahead. We’re still here. Just because our candidate lost does not mean our voices disappear. We need each other and many in our country need our love and support more than ever before.” She noted that the silver lining is that the group now has each other. “If you’re a person of color, if you’re gay or lesbian or queer or trans, if you’re an immigrant or disabled or a veteran or a victim of sexual abuse, or if you’re feeling marginalized or afraid, please know WE HAVE YOUR BACK. This group can be a powerful force of good in our country if we all pitch in. I’m not giving up.”