Hillary Clinton couldn't hide her disappointment as she delivered her concession speech, but implored Americans to come together and give their president-elect a chance by keeping an open mind.
The former secretary of state was the heavy favorite heading into the polls on Nov. 8, with prediction models from The New York Times giving her an almost 90 percent chance to win, while almost every national poll put her ahead of Republican Donald Trump.
But the nation was shocked by the emergence of a force that had been dismissed -- the "hidden" Trump voter, long posited by the Trump campaign as a class of voter who wouldn't admit to voting for the Republican businessman but supported him nonetheless.
Trump's path to victory, with 279 electoral votes to Clinton's 229, came by way of strong showings from the heartland, particularly economically depressed areas where the real estate mogul's message of economic change resonated.
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Clinton, who had been openly contemptuous of Trump and frequently said he was unfit for the office of presidency, wiped away tears as she delivered her concession speech. But she asked Americans to put the partisan politics -- and perhaps the most rancorous campaign of all time -- aside to give Trump a chance before making judgments.
“We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead,” Clinton said.
She also left the door open to more public service in the future, telling the crowd of supporters that she's put the enmity between her and Trump behind her.
"Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country," Clinton said. "I told him he will be a successful president for all Americans."
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For Clinton, it was the second presidential run cut short in less than a decade. After entering the 2008 Democratic primaries as a heavy favorite, the former first lady lost a tight race to eventual President Barack Obama.
Over the next eight years, Clinton was considered the front-runner for the nomination after Obama left the White House, and most indications were that she'd succeed the popular Democrat.
“This is painful, and it will be for a long time,” Clinton said, acknowledging that the loss stung after her nearly lifelong ambitions for the presidency.
Clinton, who ran much of her campaign on the gender issue -- and framed Trump as a man who has contempt for women -- said she still believes the country is ready for a female president.
“Someday, someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now," Clinton said.