Clinton to Supporters in Concession Speech: Trump Deserves an ‘Open Mind’

Clinton noted that the nation was "more deeply divided" than she thought, but that President-elect Trump deserved "an open mind and a chance to lead."

By Liberty McArtor Published on November 9, 2016

Nine hours after Hillary Clinton privately called president-elect Donald Trump to concede the election, she addressed her supporters at the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan late Wednesday morning.

Sporting the color purple — symbolic in the Methodist church for both royalty and penitence ­— 2016’s Democratic presidential nominee expressed disappointment and gratitude and called for continued political engagement.

“Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country,” she said as an applauding but visibly emotional crowd finally quieted. “I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.”

“This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for,” she continued, “and I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values that we share and the vision we hold for our country.”

“This is painful and will be for a long time,” she said.

Words for Trump

Clinton’s Election Day event was held at the Javits Center in Manhattan — a meaningful location choice given the building’s unique glass architecture and, of course, ceiling made of glass. But Clinton never appeared under that glass ceiling on Tuesday night.

As election results poured in favoring Trump, the faces of supporters eagerly anticipating a victory fell. Many left even before Clinton campaign manager John Podesta arrived around 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time just to tell supporters that Clinton wouldn’t be speaking that night. Clinton called to congratulate Trump privately not long after.

Clinton’s loss to Trump stunned the nation and the world. Voters surprised everyone, with working-class whites and evangelicals making a larger show for Trump than any candidate in recent years, and minorities, women and millennials siding with Clinton in fewer numbers than expected.

“Her candidacy and nomination was historic and sends a message to our daughters all across the country that they can achieve at the highest levels of politics,” President Barack Obama said.

Clinton noted that the nation was “more deeply divided” than she thought, but that as President-elect, Trump deserved “an open mind and a chance to lead,” adding that the peaceful transfer of power in America was something to be “cherished.”

The former secretary of state expressed gratitude to members of her family, campaign staff, and supporters. She told the young people in the crowd to expect successes and setbacks in their careers, just as she had experienced multiple times over, but that “fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

The Women’s Champion

The crowd stood in applause as a seemingly teary Clinton addressed women specifically: “Nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion. I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we think right now.”

“This is painful and will be for a long time,” she said.

But according to Clinton’s vice presidential pick Tim Kaine, who introduced her Wednesday morning, and President Barack Obama, who gave an address around noon on Wednesday, Clinton achieved a win for women despite her election loss.

“She has made history,” Kaine said. “In a nation that is good at so many things, but that has made it uniquely difficult for women to be elected to federal office, she became the first major party nominee as a woman to be president and last night won the popular vote of Americans for the president.”

“Her candidacy and nomination was historic and sends a message to our daughters all across the country that they can achieve at the highest levels of politics,” Obama said.

Clinton ended with a Bible verse: “You know, scripture tells us, ‘Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.’ So my friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come. And there is more work to do.”

Trump: America Owes Clinton Gratitude

In his address to supporters in New York City early Wednesday morning, Trump praised Clinton’s years of public service, saying that America owed Clinton “a major debt of gratitude.” It was a sharp contrast from his tone toward Clinton on the campaign trail, where he repeatedly accused her of corruption, called her “crooked Hillary” and where his rally attendees often chanted “lock her up.”

But as America turns the page on 2016’s volatile election season and looks toward the unexpected chapter of a Trump presidency, both former candidates — and longtime friends — appear to be laying down their weapons and adopting a more conciliatory attitude toward each other. Time will tell if the two will make good on their current talk of unity and cooperation.

Watch Clinton’s full concession speech, or read the transcript.

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