Secretary Clinton called Donald Trump to concede the election on Tuesday night (technically the early morning hours of Wednesday, EST), but she never came out and addressed her supporters on election night.
Maybe she did not have a concession speech prepared on Tuesday night and she wanted to get it right. Or perhaps she was simply overcome by emotion and was unable to take the stage after watching so many swing states turn red, one after another. Whatever the reason, the next day her team scrambled to find a venue where Clinton could say what she felt needed to be said.
Secretary Clinton’s concession speech had to be a lot of things to a lot of different people, and millions of her supporters tuned in to hear her words, knowing that there was little she could possibly say to them to make them feel any better about what happened the night before. The speech was, in effect, the official end of her political career. And it will likely be the last time that we will hear from her for quite a while.
Her speech was classy and full of grace, yet it was sad and painful. Clinton apologized for not winning the election and she thanked her loyal staff and family for the tireless campaigning. She also used the opportunity to remind everyone listening that we must be an inclusive nation and we must fight for what is right.
The importance of this speech should not be downplayed. It was the last time candidate Clinton would speak to the country in this way. And while we should not have been surprised, it was an honor for her to mention the LGBT community in her farewell.
Clinton proudly spoke: “We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone—for people of all races, and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone.”
Thank you for your service, Secretary Clinton. And thank you for fighting for LGBT rights.