‘Our Best Days Are Still Ahead:’ Clinton Concedes In Emotional Speech

Secretary of State Clinton gave a powerful and emotional concession speech on Wednesday morning, officially ending the 2016 campaign

Nov 09, 2016 at 12:08 PM ET

Hillary Clinton conceded defeat to president-elect Donald Trump in a speech Wednesday that she — and many others — never imagined they’d see.

Senator Tim Kaine introduced Clinton to a loudly cheering crowd of her staff and supporters gathered in Manhattan hotel, saying he was proud of her while acknowledging that it was “uniquely difficult” for a women to be elected into public office in America. She also, he pointed out, won the popular vote.

“She loves this country,” Kaine said.

Hillary Clinton managed a smile on her way to the stage, where she was joined by her husband and daughter and greeted by a long, standing ovation. She appeared to wipe a tear off her cheek before starting to speak. Just 24 hours earlier, she’d led in a bulk of national polls, and her victory seemed all but certain.

“This is not the outcome we wanted or that we worked so hard for, and I am sorry we did not win this election,” Clinton said.

“This is painful and it will be for a long time,” Clinton continued. “But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do too, then we must accept this result and look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president and we owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”

Clinton stressed that her campaign tried to bring everyone together, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, and show them that America was their country, too. She hoped that this message would continue without her as president, though the very fact that she will not be president suggests that it will not.

“This loss hurts,” Clinton said, addressing her younger supporters. “But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it … And to all the women, especially the 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.”

Clinton said she was sorry that the “glass ceiling” of a presidency had yet to be shattered but she hoped that someday, someone else would. To the little girls who saw her as an inspiration, she said, “never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

“Our best days are still ahead of us,” she said. “God bless America.”

And with that, she left the national stage.