Hillary Clinton conceded the presidential election to Donald Trump on Wednesday morning in a speech that urged her supporters to grant the new president-elect "an open mind and a chance to lead, " even as she made a special appeal to women and young people not to abandon their hopes and demands.
"Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans," she told a crowd of deflated staff and supporters at Manhattan’s New Yorker hotel.
"This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I'm sorry that we did not win this election for the values we shared and the vision we hold for our country."
The conciliation, a tradition among losing candidates, took on special resonance given Mr. Trump's earlier charges of a rigged election as well as his indications during the third and final presidential debate that he might not concede in the event of his defeat, sparking worries of a rocky power transition should Mrs. Clinton have won the presidential election.
President Obama, whose policy legacy is imperiled in the wake of Clinton’s defeat and the rise of Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress, also offered his congratulations to Trump in a phone call and invited him to meet at the White House on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
"Everybody is sad when their side loses an election," said Mr. Obama shortly after Clinton’s concession on Wednesdays. "The day after, we have to remember we're actually all on one team."
Clinton’s gratitude was expressed at times rather pointedly for the groups that had been targeted with insults by the president-elect during the campaign, and she underscored the rule of law, freedom of worship and expression, and "the principle that we are all equal in rights in dignity."
Among the groups won overwhelmingly by Clinton were women, who backed her by a double-digit margin.
"To all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion," she said.
"To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams."
She also urged her supporters among young people, whose backing she took by a similarly wide margin, not to be discouraged by her electoral loss.
"Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too. This loss hurts. But please, never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it."
As of Wednesday afternoon, Clinton was leading Trump by a narrow margin in the popular vote, according to CNN. With 92 percent of the total votes counted, that put her on pace to become just the fifth presidential candidate in US history to win the majority of votes while losing the election.
"We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought," Clinton told supporters. "But I still believe in America and I always will."