Just as Republican Donald Trump’s victory speech took on conciliatory tone after his upset Election Day victory, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton also sought to stoke national unity in her concession speechWednesday morning.
“We must accept this result and then look to the future,” she told a crowd of supporters before calling on those who opposed Trump to now give him an opportunity to prove himself as president.
“Donald Trump is going to be our president,” the former secretary of state said. “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”
Though Clinton faced some backlash in the final presidential debate for her sparse discussion of the U.S. Constitution, she extolled its virtues in her concession speech.
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“Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power,” she said, “and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it.”
The candidate, who lost Tuesday’s electoral-college race while showing a slim lead in the popular vote, went on to encourage her supporters to stand up for the Constitution’s other guaranteed liberties.
“The rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression,” Clinton said, “– we respect and cherish these values, too.”
As the first major-party female presidential nominee, Clinton focused much of her campaign — and some of her final campaign speech — on her effort to crack the “highest, hardest glass ceiling.”
While it did not happen in 2016, she expressed hope it would happen “hopefully sooner than we might think.”
Clinton offered a direct appeal to any young girls who found inspiration in her White House bid.
“To all the little girls who are watching this,” she said, “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.”
Though a crowd gathered Tuesday night to hear either a victory speech or concession from Clinton, her campaign manager, John Podesta, addressed the supporters early Wednesday morning and sent them home without hearing from the candidate.
In her belated address, she thanked those and other campaign supporters for their efforts.
“I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election,” she said.
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