Hillary Clinton was candid in her concession speech yesterday. In urging Americans to keep fighting "for what's right," she said that her loss Tuesday night was "painful, and it will be for a long time."
Nearly none of the world leaders who weighed in on the shocking election outcome were as frank. Many of them bowed to diplomatic obligations and congratulated Donald Tump on his victory, even after criticizing his divisive rhetoric during the campaign. U.K. PM Theresa May, for instance, gave Trump kudos on his "hard-fought campaign," and said she looked forward to working with him on "trade, security, and defense."
There was one leader to diverge from the litany of niceties. Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf expressed worry that Trump wouldn't make Africa a priority. "We are concerned as to whether president-elect Trump will have an African agenda, will be able to build bridges with Africa," she told the BBC. "We can only hope that he will do so in due course." And she expressed what many gender equality advocates are likely feeling. “We are extremely saddened by this missed opportunity on the part of the people of the United States to join smaller democracies in ending the marginalization of women."
“It’s the beginning of something new”
Ilhan Omar, a 34-year-old Muslim-American woman who wears the hijab, became the United States' first Somali-American legislator when she won a seat in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. She moved to the U.S. at the age of 12. Before that she'd lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for four years after escaping the Somali civil war.
Breaking an LGBT barrier
Oregon became the first U.S. state to elect an openly LGBT governor on Tuesday night when Kate Brown secured the position. Brown was the incumbent since she took over for the governor when he resigned from office in 2012, but she ran properly this year and won.
When Clinton gave her concession speech yesterday, she did so in a black pantsuit with a purple lapel. Bill Clinton wore a purple tie and Anne Holton, wife of vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, matched too. The color is a nod to the suffrage movement of the early 1900s, in which purple was a symbol for dignity.
Close enough to call
In one of the races that was too close to call until yesterday afternoon, New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, unseated Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican. The race was tight given the large number of independents in the state, and it ended up being extraordinarily expensive as the candidates spent $120 million combined.
Signaling a setback
Visaka Dharmadasa, founder of the Association of War-Affected Women of Sri Lanka and a key figure in her country’s peace process, said Trump's victory is being interpreted by women's rights groups as a setback. “It would have been a very, very nice thing to have a woman heading the world superpower,” she said. “It’s a shattered dream for us."
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--Gloria Steinem on the election of Donald Trump.