Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton walks off the stage after speaking in New York on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Clinton conceded the presidency to Donald Trump in a phone call early Wednesday morning, a stunning end to a campaign that appeared poised right up until election day to make her the first woman elected U.S. president. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton walks off the stage after speaking in New York on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Clinton conceded the presidency to Donald Trump in a phone call early Wednesday morning, a stunning end to a campaign that appeared poised right up until election day to make her the first woman elected U.S. president. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Clinton tells supporters to greet Trump with ‘open mind’

ELECTION 2016: RESULTSSTORIESDATA DASHBOARD

By LISA LERER and KEN THOMAS

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Gone was the ballroom with a soaring glass ceiling, the confetti and the celebrity guest stars. Instead, Hillary Clinton looked out to a group of grief-stricken aides and tearful supporters, as she acknowledged her stunning loss of the presidency to Donald Trump.

Clinton’s voice crackled with emotion as she said: “This is painful, and it will be for a long time.” But she told her faithful to accept Trump and the election results, urging them to give him “an open mind and a chance to lead.”

Before Clinton took the stage at a New York City hotel, top aides filed in, eyes red and shoulders slumped, as they tried to process the celebrity businessman’s shocking win after a campaign that appeared poised until Election Day to make Clinton the first woman elected U.S. president.

Clinton, who twice sought the presidency, told women that nothing had made her “prouder to be your champion,” adding, “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.” Her remarks brought to mind her 2008 concession speech after the Democratic primaries in which she spoke of putting “18 million cracks” in the glass ceiling.

“To all the little girls who are watching this, 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,” she said.

Projecting an image of unity, Clinton wore a purple blouse and a dark blazer with a purple lapel while her husband, former President Bill Clinton, stood wistfully by her side, applauding during her remarks.

It may have been the final public act for the enduring political partnership of the Clintons, who appeared on the verge of returning to power after 16 years. If Clinton had won the election, it would have marked the first time a former first lady was elected U.S. president.

Clinton’s campaign was trying to make sense of a dramatic election night in which Trump captured battleground states like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio and demolished a longstanding “blue wall” of states in the Upper Midwest that had backed every Democratic presidential candidate since Clinton’s husband won the presidency in 1992.

As Democrats were left wondering how they had misread their country so completely, mournful Clinton backers gathered outside the hotel Wednesday.

“I was devastated. Shocked. Still am,” said Shirley Ritenour, 64, a musician from Brooklyn. “When I came in on the subway this morning there were a lot of people crying. A lot of people are very upset.”

Flanked by her husband, daughter Chelsea Clinton and running mate Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton said she had offered to work with Trump on behalf of a country that she acknowledged was “more deeply divided than we thought.”

The results were startling to Clinton and her aides, who had ended their campaign with a whirlwind tour of battleground states and had projected optimism that she would maintain the diverse coalition assembled by President Barack Obama in the past two elections.

On the final day of the campaign, Clinton literally followed Obama to stand behind a podium with a presidential seal at a massive rally outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia. As she walked up to the lectern, the president bent down to pull out a small stool so the shorter Clinton could address the tens of thousands gathered on the mall. Before leaving the stage, Obama leaned over to whisper a message in Clinton’s ear: “We’ll have to make this permanent.”

The devastating loss for the party, which will no longer hold the White House and will be in the minority of both chambers of Congress, was certain to open painful soul-searching among Democrats, who had endured a lengthy primary between Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The so-called democratic socialist drew strong support among liberals amid an electorate calling for change but had joined with other liberal stalwarts such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in backing Clinton’s general election bid.

The tumultuous presidential cycle bequeathed a series of political gifts for Clinton’s GOP rival: An FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server, questions of pay-for-play involving her family’s charitable foundation, Sanders’ primary challenge and FBI Director James Comey’s late October announcement that investigators had uncovered emails potentially relevant to her email case.

Yet her team spent the bulk of their time focused on attacking Trump, while failing to adequately address Clinton’s deep liabilities — or the wave of frustration roiling the nation.

Every time the race focused on Clinton, her numbers dropped, eventually making her one of the least-liked presidential nominees in history. And she offered an anxious electorate a message of breaking barriers and the strength of diversity — hardly a rallying cry — leaving her advisers debating the central point of her candidacy late into the primary race.

Clinton’s campaign was infuriated by a late October announcement by Comey that investigators had uncovered emails that may have been pertinent to the dormant investigation into Clinton’s use of private emails while secretary of state. On the Sunday before the election, Comey told lawmakers that the bureau had found no evidence in its hurried review of the newly discovered emails to warrant criminal charges against Clinton.

But the announcement may have damaged Clinton while her campaign tried to generate support in early voting in battleground states like Florida and North Carolina. In the nine days between Comey’s initial statement and his “all clear” announcement, nearly 24 million people cast early ballots. That was about 18 percent of the expected total votes for president.

Talk to us

More in Local News

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Craig Hess (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
Sultan’s new police chief has 22 years in law enforcement

Craig Hess was sworn in Sep. 14. The Long Island-born cop was a first-responder on 9/11. He also served as Gold Bar police chief.

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Lynnwood
Woman killed in crash on Highway 99 in Lynnwood

Police closed off Highway 99 between 188th Street SW and 196th Street SW while they investigated.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Most Read