It was supposed to go like this: At the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, standing under a glass ceiling, Hillary Clinton was going to claim her victory as the first woman president.
That didn’t happen.
She lost, in a shocking upset, and at a day-after event Clinton took a much smaller stage at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City, conceding the election to Donald Trump — the Republican nominee who not only trailed her in the polls, but was less favorable in the electoral map, running a campaign on divisive, fear mongering tactics.
The race that was projected to be an easy Clinton win quickly turned into an incredibly tight race Tuesday night, with Trump voters turning out to the polls in surprising numbers in key states.
The outcome was a huge blow to the Democrats looking to not only bring a third term of liberalism to the White House but make history with the first female president.
But instead, emotions rang high in the crowd for the wrong reasons: Clinton was stopped short by a bombastic political outsider who has been accused of multiple counts of sexual assault, has repeatedly misled the public, has made wild and potentially dangerous insinuations about national security, and has allegedly avoided decades of taxes.
None of that seemed to make a difference. The reasons for her loss will be pored over in the days and weeks to come, but a lack of enthusiasm for Clinton paired with a late cycle of scandalous headlines took a strong hit on her once sizable lead; the FBI announced it was reopening an investigation into her private email server, only to again announce there was still nothing to be found, while WikiLeaks continued to dump troves of hacked private emails from her campaign chair John Podesta, revealing the internal conversations of her campaign and closest allies.
Thank you. Thank you all.
Thank you. Thank you all have much.
Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you so much. A very rowdy group. Thank you, my friends. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you so very much for being here. I love you all, too. Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country.
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, and I’m sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.
But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together. This vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life.
I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But 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, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.
We don’t just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.
Let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. Making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet.
And breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams. We spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone.
For people of all races, and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone.
I am so grateful to stand with all of you. I want to thank Tim Kaine and Anne Holton for being our partners on this journey. [Cheers and applause]
It has been a joy get to go know them better and gives me great hope and comfort to know that Tim will remain on the front lines of our democracy representing Virginia in the Senate. [Cheers and applause]
To Barack and Michelle Obama, our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude.
We thank you for your graceful, determined leadership that has meant so much to so many Americans and people across the world. And to Bill and Chelsea, Mark, Charlotte, Aidan, our brothers and our entire family, my love for you means more than I can ever express.
You crisscrossed this country, even 4-month-old Aidan, who traveled with his mom. I will always be grateful to the talented, dedicated men and women at our headquarters in Brooklyn and across our country.
You poured your hearts into this campaign. To some of you who are veterans, it was a campaign after you had done other campaigns. Some of you, it was your first campaign. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign anybody could have ever expected or wanted.
And to the millions of volunteers, community leaders, activists and union organizers who knocked on doors, talked to their neighbors, posted on Facebook — even in secret private Facebook sites.
I want everybody coming out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard going forward. [Cheers and applause]
To anyone that sent contributions, even as small as $5, that kept us going, thank you. To all of us, and to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this — I have, as Tim said, I have spent my entire life fighting for what I believe in.
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.
This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.
It is, it is worth it. [Cheers and applause]
And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives. And to all the women, and specially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.
Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. [Cheers and applause]
And to all of the little girls who are watching this, 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. [Cheers and applause]
Finally, finally, I am so grateful for our country and for all it has given to me.
I count my blessings every single day that I am an American and I still believe as deeply as I ever have that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strengthen our convictions and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.
Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us let us not go weary in doing good for in good season we shall reap. My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.
I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election, may god bless you and may god bless the United States of America.