Hillary Clinton has revealed what she would have said on Election Night 2016 if she’d won the presidency.
“My fellow Americans, today you sent a message to the whole world,” she began. “Our values endure. Our democracy stands strong. And our motto remains: ‘E pluribus unum.’ Out of many, one.”
Ms Clinton had planned to deliver the speech on the night of 8 November, 2016, but was forced to shelve it after she lost the election to her Republican opponent, Donald Trump.
Mr Trump had run an unusually divisive campaign, attacking Mexican immigrants, Muslims, and other minority groups throughout 2015 and 2016. Ms Clinton alluded to this in her speech, celebrating a victory for diversity and inclusiveness that was not to be.
“We will not be defined only by our differences,” she said. “We will not be an us-versus-them country. The American dream is big enough for everyone. Through a long, hard campaign, we were challenged to choose between two very different visions for America.”
“Fundamentally,” she went on, “this election challenged us to decide what it means to be an American in the 21st century. And by reaching for unity, decency, and what President Lincoln called ‘the better angels of our nature,’ we met that challenge.”
Ms Clinton was also the first woman nominated by a major US political party, and would have become the country’s first female president if she’d won.
“I’ve met women who were born before women had the right to vote,” she said. “They’ve been waiting a hundred years for tonight. I’ve met little boys and girls who didn’t understand why a woman has never been president before. Now they know, and the world knows, that in America, every boy and every girl can grow up to be whatever they dream – even president of the United States.”
Ms Clinton became especially emotional as she imagined going back in time to tell her mother, who she said was abandoned as a child by her parents, what her daughter would achieve.
“I dream of going up to her,” Ms Clinton said through tears, “and sitting down next to her, taking her in my arms, and saying, ‘Look at me. Listen to me. You will survive, you will have a good family of your own and three children, and as hard as it might be to imagine, your daughter will grow up and become the president of the United States.’”
The speech concluded with a declaration of faith in America’s greatness, taking a subtle dig at her opponent’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
“I am as sure of this as anything I have ever known,” Ms Clinton said. “America is the greatest country in the world. And from tonight going forward, together, we will make America even greater than it has ever been, for each and every one of us. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.”