Victory and Concession: The Candidates Humanly Speaking

A surprise presidential outcome ended in two unexpected speeches delivered in ways that we never really saw on the campaign trail.

President-elect Donald Trump accepted the presidency with humility and dignity and Hillary Clinton conceded with strength and grace.

Not the Trump and Clinton we saw much over the last 12 months however, both speeches are exactly how each needed to end this presidential race.

“She congratulated us on our victory and I congratulated her and her family and on a very hard fought campaign. She fought very hard. We owe her a major debt of gratitude for  her service to our country,”  said President-elect Donald Trump. “Ours was not a campaign but rather a great movement made up of a group of hard-working Americans who want a  better country for their families. While the campaign is over — our work — rather this movement is just the beginning.”

She showed a human side as her voice quivered a bit in her speech the day after the elections, a Hillary we rarely see publicly.

“This is painful, and it will be for a long time, but I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election,” said Hillary Clinton. “It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don’t just respect that — we cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.”

We saw a human-side from a man who has been often looked at as a phenomenon in this race and a woman who has achieved more than most women in politics.  They are almost iconic symbols and not often viewed as human beings but on the day after elections we saw both display characteristics that the rest of us can appreciate.

Perhaps more political candidates need to show the American people that they are real, human and flawed.  These types of speeches might have done both candidates some good throughout the campaign allowing more Americans to find commonality with each.

Throughout the campaign, it was reported repeatedly that most people can’t relate to a billionaire TV spectacle and perhaps the results showed that others couldn’t connect with a female political powerhouse.  But, in the end – with one victory speech and another concession speech, both Trump and Clinton showed they are really not that much different from the rest of us.  Taking just a few minutes for each – at the end of it all – America saw both candidates getting real. They were not candidates vying for the most powerful position in the Country. In those moments giving their final speeches of the campaigns, they were just people expressing their feelings  — just humanly speaking!

Vanessa Denha Garmo is a communications strategist and the founder of Denha Media Group.

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