In her first speech since losing the presidential election and possibly her last as a career politician, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday told supporters, "We owe" President-elect Donald Trump "an open mind and the chance to lead."
Clinton delivered her concession speech at the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan surrounded by her husband, Bill, and daughter, Chelsea, and running mate, Tim Kaine.
"Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country," Clinton said. "I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.
"I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it, too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort," Clinton said. "This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love and building a nation that's hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought.
"But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president," Clinton said. "We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead."
In the roughly 13-minute speech, a measured but hoarse Clinton thanked her supporters and expressed gratitude, but also took a shot at Trump, who had repeatedly said he would not accept the election results if he lost.
"Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don't just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines," Clinton said. "The rule of law, the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity. Freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them."
Clinton was introduced by her running mate Tim Kaine, who started with, "I'm so proud of Hillary Clinton."
Kaine got a standing ovation for stating that Clinton "won the popular vote of Americans."
Clinton conceded to Trump in a private phone around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday but chose not to make a public statement or give an early-morning concession speech.
Clinton, though winning the popular vote by nearly 200,000, suffered shocking losses in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to fall short on electoral votes, 289 to 218.
"My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do," Clinton concluded.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.