After a deeply divisive campaign, Donald J. Trump, a real estate investor and reality television star who never held public office, was elected the next president of the United States.
Just before 3am in New York, Trump walked on stage in a balloon-festooned ballroom at the Hilton Hotel to deliver his acceptance speech, to a soaring choral version of the “Star Spangled Banner.” He was flanked by his wife Melania, their bashful young son Barron, and trailed by his remaining children, who remained at his side during brief comments that were at times more reminiscent of an actor’s awards-show acceptance speech than a traditional presidential one.
In a change from his vitriolic language on the campaign trail, Trump began by complimenting his opponent, Hillary Clinton, telling a crowd that often broke into cheers of “U-S-A, U-S-A!” that she has “worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”
Trump’s fans, and often the candidate himself, have attacked on Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants, Jews, the disabled, and African Americans on the campaign trail. But in victory, Trump pledged to be the president of unity. “Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people.”
He pledged to “every citizen of our land” that he would be “president for all Americans,” adding, “this is so important to me.”
“Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and rebuilding the American dream,” he said. “It’s going to be a beautiful thing. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
Trump’s speech was light on specifics about his plans and goals for the country in the coming years, but he did say the US would “double our growth” and build “the strongest economy in the world.” One specific area he did target was infrastructure, which he promised would become “second to none” in America while putting “millions of people to work to rebuild it.”
While Trump promised unity, not all of his fans appear to be on board. During his acceptance speech, someone in the crowd could clearly be heard yelling “Hang Obama!”
To the rest of the world, Trump promised to “deal fairly with everyone, all people and all other nations” and to “seek common ground, not hostility.”
He called out thanks to a number of family members and advisors, including his brother Robert, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and former opponent Ben Carson, before telling the crowd “I love this country, thank you very much.”