Hillary Clinton Shares Heartbreaking Speech From 2016

On Nov. 8, 2016, American women and girls woke with anticipation that, by the end of the day, a glass ceiling would be shattered and the United States would have its first woman president. 

Despite some close polling at the end of the race (via The New York Times), it was hard to believe that Hillary Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state who had also been first lady, could lose to Donald Trump, a reality TV star and real estate developer who had no experience in government. 

But, it was not meant to be, and the writing was on the wall as swing states that Clinton should have easily won lingered in the "too close to call" category for hours as the night dragged on. 

By the wee hours of the morning on Nov. 9, it was clear that Trump would become the next president of the United States — and tears could be seen on the faces of Clinton's supporters at her New York headquarters, where a victory party was supposed to begin with a glass ceiling literally shattering. 

Clinton did give a speech by mid-morning, but it was a concession speech (via CNN). Now, Americans finally get to hear parts of the speech that would have been if the stars had aligned differently that fateful November day.

Hillary Clinton explains why it was time to share her speech

Hillary Clinton will be appearing on the video streaming platform MasterClass, where celebrities and notables share the knowledge they've learned through their lives and careers.

In the class, Clinton reads her victory speech aloud for the very first time and explains that, by doing so at that moment, she's facing her own defeat in a way she never had before. The "Today" show received an excerpt of the speech, with an explanation of why she never shared it before.

"In this lesson, I'm going to face one of my most public defeats head-on by sharing with you the speech I had hoped to deliver if I had won the 2016 election," Clinton says (via Today). "I've never shared this with anybody. I've never read this out loud. But it helps to encapsulate who I am, what I believe in, and what my hopes were for the kind of country that I want for my grandchildren, and that I want for the world, that I believe in that is America at its best." 

The former presidential candidate gets emotional as she reads her 2016 victory speech aloud

You can see the emotion on Hillary Clinton's face and hear it in her voice as she prepares to read the victory speech she never got to give in November 2016. But you can also sense her resilience as she talks about how great America already was in 2016 and how she intended to make the country even greater with the help of her fellow patriots.

The speech was long and heartfelt, including some key points about American unity and diversity and the choices voters had to make in the election five years ago.

"We will not be defined only by our differences. We will not be an us versus them country," Clinton read (via Today). "The American dream is big enough for everyone. Through a long, hard campaign, we were challenged to choose between two very different visions for America. How we grow together, how we live together, and how we face a world full of peril and promise together." 

She also addressed the historic nature of the election, had she won, and the effect it would have had on American youth. "I've met little boys and girls who didn't understand why a woman has never been president before. Now they know, and the world knows, that in America, every boy and every girl can grow up to be whatever they dream — even president of the United States."

Hillary Clinton speaks of American challenges

Finally, Hillary Clinton's speech addressed political partisanship and how all Americans should come together as one to face new world challenges as they have so many times in the past. Little did she know how much further the country would be divided by 2021 when she wrote those words — and how prescient they were.

"In a country divided by race and religion, class and culture, and often paralyzing partisanship, a broad coalition of Americans embraced a shared vision of a hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America," she said (via Today). 

"An America where women are respected and immigrants are welcomed," Clinton continued. "Where veterans are honored, parents are supported, and workers are paid fairly. An America where we believe in science, where we look beyond people's disabilities and see their possibilities, where marriage is a right and discrimination is wrong. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, or who you love."