Election 2016

Clinton concedes, asks supporters to ‘never stop believing’

Hours after her shocking defeat to Republican Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton formally conceded the presidential race in a speech to supporters Wednesday.

The speech was supposed to be her crowning achievement, adding another honor to a decorated career as former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state. Instead, it came as Democrats enter a period of uncertainty after being battered at the polls Tuesday.

While her campaign initially was not going to concede Tuesday night, Clinton later reversed course and called her opponent to accept defeat. Wednesday, an emotional Clinton pleaded for keeping an open mind toward Trump, who she regularly painted as unstable and unfit to lead the country.

“We must accept this result and then look to the future,” Clinton said. “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.”

Clinton directly addressed her younger supporters, asking them not to lose faith and continue to push for what they believe is right.

“I've had successes and setbacks and sometimes painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public and political careers, and you will have successes and setbacks too,” Clinton said. “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it.”

President Barack Obama also gave a statement on his successor Wednesday. Despite crisscrossing the country campaigning for Clinton, Obama maintained he would ensure a smooth transition of office.

“The presidency and the vice presidency is bigger than any of us," he said in a speech from the White House Rose Garden. “We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.”

Obama said he had spoken with Trump and invited him to the White House Thursday. He added that the country must come together as one, not stand divided across party lines.

"We are not Democrats first,” Obama said. “We are not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We are patriots first."

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