NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Clinton told supporters Wednesday that they owed Donald Trump “an open mind and a chance to lead,” urging acceptance of the celebrity businessman’s stunning win after a campaign that appeared poised until Election Day to make her the first woman elected U.S. president.
Addressing stricken staff and voters at a New York City hotel, Clinton said she had offered to work with Trump on behalf of a country that she acknowledged was “more deeply divided than we thought.”
Her voice vibrated with emotion at times, especially as she acknowledged that she had not “shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling.”
Flanked by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter, Chelsea Clinton Mezvinsky, Clinton then made a direct plea to “all the little girls” watching: “Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every opportunity in the world and chance to pursue your dreams.”
The speech followed 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.
Democrats — starting with Clinton’s campaign staff and the White House — 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.”
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 …read more