In a stunning result, Republican party’s presidential nominee and billionaire businessman and reality television star Donald Trump today defeated seasoned politician and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States of America. He will take office as the new President on January 20.
Addressing a victory rally in New York, Trump said that Hillary called him to congratulate him on his victory.
There have been many firsts through the night. This was probably the first time that a presidential nominee initially chose not to concede defeat. Hillary’s campaign initially said that they would like to wait for the full votes to emerge before Hillary delivers a concession speech. However, as the Pennsylvania results came out in Trump’s favour, she was little with much choice.
Trump too, began his victory speech, quite oddly so, with a mention that Hillary had called him up and conceded defeat. Trump said that he also congratulated Clinton and her family on a ‘very, very hard-fought campaign’. “And I congratulated her on her hard campaign. We owe her a major debt of gratitude to the country,” he told his supporters at his campaign headquarters here.
This gracious sentiment expressed by Trump, however, is a far cry from his usually heated rhetoric on Clinton. After all, Trump had, in the course of the campaign, said that he would put ‘crooked’ Hillary behind bars if he wins the presidential poll. The bitterness appeared to have dissolved in victory with Trump taking a markedly different take on Hillary, going to the extent of praising her enormous contribution to America.
There were other issues too where Trump’s hardline stance had created fissures, with religious and other minorities fearing a backlash in the event of Trump being elected to power. However, in his victory speech, Trump emphasised on the need for USA to put up a united front. He urged the nation to come together, and promised to ‘represent every citizen of our land’.
“It is time for us to come together as one united people. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president of all Americans,” he said.
“Ours was not a campaign, but a movement. It is a movement comprising from all races, background and believes. Working together, we would begin the urgent task of rebuilding the country. The country has a tremendous potential,” he added.
Trump was also seen as taking a stern stand against immigrants and Islamic countries. Contrary to his reputation, Trump vowed to double the economy, saying, “We have a great plan, we will double our economy and will strengthen our relations with every country who is willing to be our friend.”
Trump had on many occasions in the past delivered controversial remarks on women and immigrants. He was even rebuked by top Republicans for his remarks and several party leaders had refused to back him despite his comprehensive win in the primaries.
He also declared his administration will be a time of ‘national growth and renewal’.
“We are going to fix inner cities, we are going to build our infrastructure. We would put millions of people to work as we rebuild it.”
Trump said that ‘America will no longer settle for anything but the best’ and added that the nation will ‘dream big and bold and daring’.
It was a heart-break for Democratic nominee Clinton, who was hoping to become the first woman president of the US, as Trump edged past her in a see-saw battle which he clinched by winning 288 electoral college votes to Clinton's 215.
To win the presidential election, a candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral college votes.
The 70-year-old business tycoon's strong showing in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Texas and North Carolina helped him pull-off a win which proved most pollsters wrong.