Speaking to a crowd of her supporters at The New Yorker hotel this morning, Hillary Clinton officially conceded the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, while also asking them to not give up hope, or the fight for the America they worked for.
Clinton was introduced by Tim Kaine, who praised her loyalty to her team, both new members and Clinton-world veterans. He also took a swing at the potential question on people's minds before the election, if Donald Trump would accept the election outsome, telling the assembled crowd "Nobody had to wonder about Hillary Clinton, about whether she’d accept the outcome in our beautiful democracy."
Kaine also urged Clinton supporters not to give up hope, using the words of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!:
"They kilt us, but they ain’t whoopt us yet. Because we know that the work remains. We know that the dreams of empowering families and children remain. and in that work, that important work we have to do as a nation, it is so comforting to know that Hillary Clinton, to her last breath, will be battling for the values that make our nation great.”
Clinton then took the stage, and told her audience that last night she congratulated Donald Trump "and offered to work with him on behalf of our country."
"This isn't the outcome we wanted, but I feel proud of this vast, diverse, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America, and being part of this campaign has been one of the greatest honors of my life," Clinton said. "I know how disappointed you are, because I feel it too. This is painful and it will be for a long time."
Clinton also seemed to reference the question of whether Trump would have similarly accepted a loss. "We must accept this result and look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president, we owe him an open mind and the chance to lead," she said, before praising the Constitutional values of the freedom to worship and equality under the law that people are fearing might be threatened by the Trump administration.
Looking to the future, Clinton said that "our Constitutional democracy demands our participation. Not just every four years, but all the time." Referencing the secret, Clinton-supporting Facebook group Pantsuit Nation, Clinton said, "I want everyone coming out from behind that and making sure your voices are coming forward."
She thanked Barack and Michelle Obama for "graceful determined leadership that has meant so much to Americans and people across the world," and thanked her entire family. "My love for you means more than I could ever express. You traveled across this country and lifted me up when I needed it most."
Turning her attention to young voters, Clinton told them to keep the faith. “I have spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and setbacks, sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, personal, and political careers. Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”
Clinton also had a message for the women her supported her:
"To all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, 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. To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance to pursue and achieve your own dreams."
The speech ended with Clinton referencing a Bible verse, Galatians 6:9. "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
"My friends let us have faith in each other, let us not lose heart," Clinton told the crowd, "because there are more seasons yet to come."
Reviews for the speech were mixed:
It was her best speech. She was herself. She should have campaigned that way. https://t.co/nKyrxX4qK1
— Heidi N Moore (@moorehn) November 9, 2016
Traders on @NYSE floor booing Kaine/Clinton appearance, shouting "lock her up."
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) November 9, 2016