In a situation unimaginable on November 7th, Donald Trump took the stage for a victory speech while Hillary Clinton conceded.
Trump, much more subdued than in his usual stump speeches, focused solely on unity, only including a few of his policy proposals. He began his remarks by complimenting Secretary Clinton’s work for the United States saying Americans “owe her a major debt of gratitude”, indicating an attempt by Trump to move beyond the nasty rhetoric of the campaign to a more respectful and Presidential dialogue. He thanked many of his supporters and his family—including Kellyanne Conway, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, and Sen. Jeff Sessions—who will likely fulfill important roles in his administration. In a statement that summed up the appeal of his insurgent victory, Trump said, “America will no longer settle for anything less than the best. We must reclaim our country’s destiny and dream big and bold and daring. We have to do that. We’re going to dream of things for our country, and beautiful things and successful things once again.”
Hillary Clinton, long accused of being unable to convey emotion or authenticity in her speeches, countered that perception by displaying a weary yet determined resolve for the country in her concession speech. She reaffirmed a willingness to work President-Elect Trump while devoting much more time to reaffirming her vision of America. Additionally, she included words directed to young girls and women of America, reaffirming that they are “valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world” In a line reminiscent of her 2008 concession speech to Barack Obama, she said, “Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.” Clinton ended her speech with a quote from Scripture which showed both the pain of the defeat but her belief that her vision will live on: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”