Hillary Clinton, accompanied by her husband former US President Bill Clinton (L), addresses her staff and supporters about the results of the US election..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
After a day's delay, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton delivered her concession speech at a New York midtown hotel.
She began by stating that she offered to work with President-elect Donald Trump, saying, "I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans."
Her speech turned more personal from there. "Being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life," she said, beginning to tear up. "I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it, too... This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But I want you to remember... our campaign was never about one person, or one election, it was about the country we love, and about building an America that's hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted."
Looking forward, she said, "We have seen that our nation is more divided than we thought, but I still believe in America... Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead." But she also emphasized the importance of America upholding the rule of law, the freedom of worship and of expression, saying Americans cherish and must defend these values.
Her campaign, she said, was based around the idea that "The American dream is big enough for everyone." And she concluded with messages to groups especially important to her.
To young people, she said: "I have spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I've had successes, and I've had setbacks, sometimes really painful ones. ...you will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts. But please, never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it."
To women, and young women: "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, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now."
To little girls: "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."
Renewing her support for her nation despite her loss, she wrapped up her speech, saying "I count my blessings every single day that I am an American. And I still believe... that if we stand together... our best days are still ahead of us."
Earlier, her vice presidential running-mate, Tim Kaine, introduced her by mentioning that America is a nation where it is "uniquely difficult for a woman to become elected to federal office." He also announced, to great applause, Clinton's win of the popular vote despite losing the electoral college.
Clinton supporters in tears
Pressing that the work of progress still continues, he quoted Faulkner, saying "They killed us, but they ain't whupped us yet."
Kaine will remain at his post as a senator representing Virginia.