Hillary Clinton’s loss in the US presidential election was a crushing blow to her supporters. It was also particularly painful to the young staffers on her campaign, and the thousands of volunteers who worked on her behalf.
In her concession speech Wednesday, Clinton addressed them directly and urged them not to give up, and to keep fighting:
“I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks, sometimes really painful ones. 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.”
Like all good leaders in the face of a humbling loss, she didn’t dwell on her campaign’s mistakes, and she didn’t assign blame. She was gracious toward her opponent, while gently reminding him about the duty he owes the nation. She thanked her team, and celebrated what they accomplished together:
“You poured your hearts into this campaign. To some of you who are veterans, it was a campaign after you had done other campaigns. Some of you, it was your first campaign. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign anybody could have ever expected or wanted.”
And she offered them hope that their shared goal, of putting a woman in the White House, was still a possibility:
“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”
Clinton’s personal dream was snuffed out last night. But in her concession speech, she made sure to fan the embers, so the torch could be carried by others.