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Clinton: Trump deserves the ‘chance to lead’

Democratic presidential hopeful admits last night’s upset will hurt for a long time

Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters this morning as former President Bill Clinton looks on Associated Press/Photo by Andrew Harnik

Clinton: Trump deserves the ‘chance to lead’

With a bank of American flags at her back, Hillary Clinton officially conceded her long and contentious battle for the White House, saying President-elect Donald Trump deserves the “chance to lead.”

Clinton told a room packed with supporters that she called Trump to congratulate him and offer to work with him as he takes office. She said she hoped he would be a successful president for all Americans.

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

When she took the stage, hours later than initially expected, Clinton had a hard time quieting the crowd as supporters jumped to their feet to give her a rousing welcome and sendoff. Last night’s unexpected loss stung for all of them, she acknowledged.

“This is painful and it will be for a long time,” she said. “But remember that our campaign was never about one person or one election. It was about the country we love. It was about building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted.”

Some Clinton supporters took to the streets last night to show their displeasure with the outcome. Protesters in Oakland, Calif., burned Trump in effigy, smashed windows at the Oakland Tribune, and lit fires in the streets. Smaller protests erupted at University of California campuses and neighborhoods in Berkeley, Irvine, and Davis and at San Jose State University. About 500 people swarmed the streets around UCLA. In Portland, Ore., protesters burned an American flag and blocked traffic on downtown streets.

Clinton supporters weren’t the only ones in shock last night. Overseas, stock markets tumbled as Trump crept closer to victory, as did U.S. stock market futures. But by noon today, the markets had mostly stabilized, trending generally upward.

Although Clinton struck a mostly hopeful and conciliatory note in her concession speech, she took one pointed swipe at her opponent, noting she didn’t just respect the nation’s tradition of a peaceful transfer of power, she cherished it. When asked during a debate whether he would respect the outcome of the election, Trump said it would depend on the result, prompting speculation he might fight a Clinton victory.

But in the end, the Electoral College tally wasn’t even close. Although three states remain officially undecided as of this morning, Trump has 279 votes to Clinton’s 228. If Arizona and Michigan go for Trump, as it appears they will, he will finish with 306 electoral votes.

Clinton supporters can claim one victory: the popular vote. By the time the former secretary of state conceded the race, she had 47.7 percent of the popular vote, compared to Trump’s 47.5. That number could change when all the votes are tallied.

Clinton urged her supporters not to give up fighting for the values they hold dear, especially those who want to see a woman in the Oval Office.

“To all the women who put your faith in me, nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion,” she said. “I know we still have not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”

Leigh Jones

Leigh is managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.


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