Hillary Clinton gave her concession speech this morning, a winner of the popular vote but not the presidency. She said the loss was disappointing and would be painful for a long time, but she said her backers owe Donald Trump an “open mind and the opportunity to lead.”
“I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans,” she said.
She urged her backers, who cheered lustily at the Javits Convention Center in New York, to keep participating in the process. But “we must accept the result and look to the future,” she said. Clinton said:
..I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful and inclusive and good hearted.
Her running mate, Tim Kaine, gave her a warm introduction as someone who’d devoted her career to families. He credited, too, her “loyalty and compassion.” It’s an image alien to those fervently voting against her.
Clinton said the campaign had demonstrated the nation was “more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and I always will.”
She said Americans cherish a peaceful transition of power. But she said they also cherish the rule of law, equal rights and dignity for all people and freedom of worship and expression.
She urged the crowd to keep up the fight, to work for an economy that benefited everyone, not “just those at the top”; protect the planet, and break down barriers that hold people back. She gave a specific shoutout to LGBT people. And she said: “But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”
She lamented her failure again to break the last glass ceiling for women in politics in America. But she told little girls: “Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.”
Stand together and “our best days are still ahead.” She finished with remarks drawn from Scripture: “Let us not grow weary … there is more work to do.”
President Obama followed shortly after with a statement from the White House.
The sun came up this morning, the president said, as he’d predicted in a video yesterday. He recounted his congratulations to Trump, his invitation to the White House tomorrow and his talk with Hillary Clinton.
He said his differences with Trump were no secret, but he said he and George W. Bush had had differences and that didn’t stop the Bush team from helping him in transition to the White House. He said he intended to do the same for Trump.
“We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.”
He said he was proud of Clinton, who’d “lived an extraordinary life of public service.” She’d sent a message to daughters they can “achieve at the highest level of politics.”
He said losses are sad, but Americans need to realize they are all on the same tem. And he said those who lose should brush themselves off and get back in the arena.
He said he was heartened by Trump’s remarks last night.
The country, Obama said, “needs a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion … and respect for each other. I hope he maintains that spirit.”