Hillary Clinton has publicly conceded the presidential election to Donald Trump, in a speech where she also sent a message to the girls and women she hopes will break the glass ceiling in her stead.
She said in part:
Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is 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. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.
We don't just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines 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.
This is not a speech Clinton expected to give, although she had prepared a concession speech before voting began Tuesday. Clinton had led in polls nationally and in key battleground states throughout the campaign.
The election was called late Tuesday night for Trump, who will win a resounding Electoral College victory, although Clinton maintains a slim lead in the popular vote. Clinton called Trump to congratulate him but didn’t speak at New York’s Javits Center on Tuesday night, where her supporters were gathered to celebrate what they expected would be a victory.