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Clinton and his wife's political ambitions ended.

  • Author:Max Lin
  • Release on:2016-11-24


An emotional Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump deserved “the chance to lead” after his election victory, but acknowledged to her stunned supporters that it was “painful” to see her dream of winning the White House slip through her hands.

In a speech in New York that she gave hours after conceding defeat, the Democratic candidate insisted that the tradition of a stable transition of power to a new president now needed to be respected.

“We owe him [Mr Trump] an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said.

But Mr Trump’s victory, which shocked the Clinton campaign, has left the former secretary of state struggling to come to terms with the second devastating defeat of her political career, following the loss to President Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries.

This time, however, there is no way back.

Having stymied the chances of the Bush family returning to the White House during the Republican primaries, Mr Trump has delivered a final and fatal blow to the ambitions of the Clintons.

The result has also damaged the legacy of Mr Obama and left Democrats pondering how they lost touch with so many who were considered their core voters in the industrial Midwest.

Mrs Clinton will also have to live with the reality that not only did she lose the White House, but that she did so to a political outsider whom she, Mr Obama and the entire Democratic party viewed as being uniquely unqualified for the presidency.

“To all the little girls watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world,” she said.

Instead of representing a historic breakthrough, Mrs Clinton’s candidacy never shook the impression that, having been a public figure for more than three decades, she was the representative of the status quo in a year when many voters demanded something different.

Democrats will take comfort in the fact that Mrs Clinton won the popular vote for the sixth time in seven elections — a point that her vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine went out of his way to mention.

But there will also be recriminations about the role played in the election by James Comey, the FBI director, who announced in late October that he was reopening an inquiry into emails connected to Mrs Clinton.

“The anger at the leaked emails and WikiLeaks became part of the story and powerful motivators,” said Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who worked on Mr Clinton’s 1992 campaign. “It [Mr Trump’s victory] was a cry of pain from voters who were tired of elites not getting how big a struggle life is and the corruption of money in politics.”

Mr Mr Trump’s victory is also a blow to Mr Obama, who said at one stage in the campaign that it would be a “personal insult” if black voters did not turn out in large numbers to support Mrs Clinton.

As well as seeing big parts of his legacy threatened, Mr Obama will face the indignity of handing over power to the figure who supported the “birther” movement that questioned whether the president was actually born in the US.

Speaking at the White House yesterday, Mr Obama promised to try to make the transition to a Trump administration as smooth as possible. He also said that “the country needs a sense of unity and inclusion and respect for our institutions”, adding that he hoped Mr Trump worked to achieve this.

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