Hillary Clinton Concedes

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Hillary Clinton looked at the numbers, realized history was against her — again — and didn’t even bother coming to her “victory” party last night. Today she came out and addressed her supporters, somber, crestfallen, broken. She told them that Donald Trump is their new President, and that he deserves their support. “This is painful and it will be for a long time,” she said. Then added “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.” It is fair to say that 24 hours ago, very few people thought they’d ever see the headline “Clinton Concedes.”

That sentiment was echoed by the GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had been a reluctant Trump supporter. “This needs to be a time of redemption, not a time of recrimination,” Ryan said in a news conference. He also said Trump had earned a “mandate” to enact his agenda.

Clinton, who had hoped to become the first woman to be elected president, called her Republican rival to concede but did not plan to speak publicly until Wednesday morning. She was leading the nationwide popular vote, but she was unable to gather enough electoral votes to earn the win.

President Barack Obama called Trump to congratulate him and invited the Republican to a meeting at the White House Thursday to discuss transition. Obama also called Clinton to convey his admiration for the “strong campaign she waged throughout the country,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Obama planned a televised statement Wednesday on “what steps we can take as a country to come together after this hard-fought election season,” the White House said.

Trump, who spent much of the campaign urging his supporters on as they chanted “lock her up,” said the nation owed Clinton “a major debt of gratitude” for her years of public service. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Obama and Trump had “a very nice talk” when the president called him.

Trump will lead a united government: GOP Senate candidates fended off Democratic challengers in key states, including North Carolina, Indiana and Wisconsin. Republicans also maintained their grip on the House. When the Congress opens its new session early next year, it is expected they will fill the current hole in the Supreme Court with a conservative justice.

Trump has pledged to usher in sweeping changes to U.S. foreign policy, including building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and suspending immigration from countries with terrorism ties. He has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and spoken of building a better relationship with Moscow, worrying some in his own party who fear he’ll go easy on Putin’s provocations.

Putin sent him a telegram of congratulations.

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