Video via USA Today
On Tuesday night, Donald Trump was elected the President of the United States of America. Hillary Clinton didn't speak publicly about her loss following the election, but Trump said in his victory speech that she called him and accepted defeat. President Obama has also reportedly called both Trump and Clinton about the results of the election. And on Wednesday, Clinton spoke to her staff and supporters at a hotel in New York City. You can watch her speech, which was gracious and optimistic, in the video above.
At around 11:30 a.m., an hour later than planned, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine—who had previously never lost an election—began speaking. He congratulated his running mate for her campaign, and noted that she actually won the popular vote. "I'm proud of Hillary because she loves this country," Kaine said. He quoted William Faulkner, "They kilt us but they ain't whipped us yet," before introducing Clinton.
With her family behind her, Clinton started off by thanking the crowd, who gave her an extended round of applause. She said she called Trump the night before to congratulate him and offer to work with him. She apologized to her supporters, and said that being their candidate was "one of the greatest honors of my life."
"This is painful, and it will be for a long time," Clinton said. "But I want you to remember this: our campaign has never been about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love, and about building an America that's hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted."
"We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought," Clinton said. "But I still believe in America, and I always will."
She urged her supporters, "We must accept this result and then look to the future." She said of Trump, "We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead." She added, "I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans." Still, she emphasized the rule of law and equality for all, regardless of race or religion: "We believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone."
She told the girls who looked up to her, "Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world."
"This loss hurts," Clinton said, "But please, never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it." Wearing purple, which is often used by Christians to express mourning, she quoted Galatians 6:9 from the Bible: "Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap." The speech was profoundly optimistic, despite the circumstances. "Now, our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America."
Her speech concluded shortly before noon.
Clinton's loss was a huge disappointment for Democrats. Clinton was projected to win leading up to Election Day. But Trump not only won key battleground states like Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, he also broke the "blue wall" of upper Midwest states that had supported every Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton won in 1992.
Donald Trump has bragged about sexual assault and has been accused of sexual assaulting multiple women. But,according to CNN, more white women actually voted for Trump than Clinton, who had hoped to become the first woman elected president.
In his victory speech, Trump, who has a history of divisiveness, told the country, "I pledge that I will be president for all Americans." He heaped praise upon his surrogates and promised to double economic growth.
The AP reports Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway urged Trump's critics to "lay down their verbal firearms" this morning. "Give him a chance as your president-elect like we all did with President Obama and we all did with President Bill Clinton," Conway said of Trump, who long questioned President Obama's citizenship.
President Barack Obama will stay in office until Jan. 20, 2017, when the new president-elect will be inaugurated.