Hillary: ‘This is painful – and it will be for a long time’

It's over for Hillary Clinton.

It's over for Hillary Clinton. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty

She managed it, eventually, with dignity and without tears. Just.

Hillary Clinton has finally made a formal concession speech, appearing just before midday New York time.

“This is painful,” she said. “And it will be for a long time.”

It was the moment when emotions nearly got on top of her, with her clearly choking back tears.

She told her supporters she was sorry – but said they must accept this result and look to the future.

Hillary Bill Clinton

Hillary and Bill Clinton arrive at the New Yorker Hotel to address supporters. Photo: John Moore/Getty 

Ms Clinton said it was not the outcome they wanted, but the Constitution enshrined the peaceful transition of power, and she hoped Donald Trump would become a successful President.

“We owe Donald Trump an open mind and the power to lead,” she said.

The speech was powerful and gracious, but pointed and not without a dig or two.

“We have seen our nation is more deeply divided than we thought, but I still believe in America,” she said.

Ms Clinton urged her supporters to make sure their voices were heard going forward.

clinton supporters

Supporters embrace as they wait for Mrs Clinton. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty

“I have spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks – some of them really painful ones.

“This loss hurts too, but please, never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.

“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling but hopefully someday, some one will, and sooner than we might think.”

She also spoke directly to “all the little girls watching this”, encouraging them to pursue their dreams.

The speech referenced the bitter and bile–filled campaign, Ms Clinton telling supporters that the nation was more deeply divided than they thought – “But I still believe in America”.

She thanked Barack and Michelle Obama for their graceful and determined leadership, words perhaps chosen to contrast with the brashness and bulldozer–like style of the victor.

She urged Democrats to have faith in each other, and not lose heart.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton chokes back tears in a dignified concession speech. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty

“We are stronger together and we will go forward together… and we should never ever regret fighting for that.”

Both Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, wore purple – the colour of mourning – something commentators said couldn’t be an accident.

It was pointed out it’s also a suffragette colour, and the combination of red and blue – perhaps an expression that Democrats and Republicans could work together.

Here’s the full speech, posted to YouTube:

Clinton’s running mate Senator Tim Kaine introduced her at her concession speech, saying he was proud of her and pointing out that she won the popular vote.

Earlier, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan also spoke publicly for the first time since the result.

Ryan’s initial denouncing of Trump, before finally endorsing him, then repeatedly and publicly disagreeing with him, has left him in a sticky position.

Paul Ryan is the top US elected Republican.

Paul Ryan is the top US elected Republican. Photo: AAP

But he spoke of Donald Trump leading a unified Republican government.

He said: “This is the most incredible political feat I have seen in our life time.”

Mr Ryan said seven out of 10 Americans didn’t like the way the country was going, and didn’t feel represented by those in office. But Donald Trump heard a voice out in (this) country that no one else heard.

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