Clinton and Obama try to look to future after devastating defeat

A smiling but subdued Hillary Clinton appeared at the grand ballroom of the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan to deliver her concession speech just after 11.40am EST.

It was her first public appearance since losing the US presidential election to Donald Trump.

She was introduced by her running mate Tim Kaine, who called her ‘a great history-maker’ and mentioned that the Clinton camp was still clinging to a popular vote despite conceding the White House.

Clinton took to the podium to roaring applause from ‘a very rowdy group’ and started with a profession of her thanks and love for her supporters.

“Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country,” she said.

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

“Wehave seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought, but I still believe in America and I always will.

“Being your candidate has been one of the greatest honours of my life.

“I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it too, and so do tens of millions of Americans who invested in this campaign.

“This is painful and it will be for a long time.

“Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”

“Our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek, and I know you will.”

Clinton also expressed her feelings of love and gratitude for her family and staff.

She said: “My love for you means more than I can ever express, you criss-crossed this country on our behalf and lifted me up when I needed it most.

“To all the women, and especially young women, who put their faith in this campaign and me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling but some day, someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think.

“To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.

“We are stronger together and we will go forward together, and you should never, ever regret fighting for that.”

With strong poll leads nationally and in key swing states right up until Election Day, this was not a speech Clinton expected to make.

Aides had announced that she would appear at 10.30am EST today and press were poised to catch her exit from the Peninsula Hotel in New York all morning.

It was not until more than an hour later she emerged to deliver what could well be the final speech of her political career.

Clinton was also expected to speak at the Javits Center last night when her loss became clear, but at 2am EST her campaign manager John Podesta said that there would be no announcement until the morning when there would be ‘more to say’.

Clinton called Trump to concede her defeat just half an hour later.

Clinton’s defeat was also heavily felt by Barack Obama, who now looks likely to see many of his initiatives undone by Trump, who will visit the White House on Wednesday to discuss the transition before his formal inauguration in January.

The new and outgoing President are not on speaking terms and have regularly clashed, with Trump at the forefront of the birther movement, which questioned whether Obama had been born in the United States.

“I know everybody had a long night. I did as well,” said Obama, who admitted he and the Oval Office’s new occupant had rarely seen eye-to-eye.

“I had a chance to talk to President-elect Trump to congratulate him on winning the election. We are now all rooting for his success.”

Related Articles