As 2016 election night drew on, it became more and more apparent that what polling companies, political pundits, and tens of millions of people across America and the world had considered “impossible” was going to happen.
Donald Trump was going to become the 45th President of the United States.
As the results streamed in, the night began to take on an eerie similarity to 2000 — George W. Bush versus Al Gore. Once Trump “went over the top,” would Clinton concede, or, as was famously the case with Gore, refuse to do so?
The traditional concession speech never came — until the following morning.
A new book — “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign” — reveals “the rest of the story” about what went on behind the scenes, that night. As recounted by The Washington Post, President Obama pressured Clinton to concede — several times.
The first call came from Obama political director, David Simas. Simas told Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, “POTUS doesn't think it's wise to drag this out.” — which is precisely what continued to happen.
Obama then called Clinton, reportedly saying: “You need to concede.” He delivered the same message to John Podesta, Clinton's campaign manager, in a subsequent call.
Clinton finally acquiesced.
While her concession speech didn't come until the next day, she ultimately said “give me the phone,” and called Trump. “Congratulations, Donald,” she told a man with whom she'd had one of the most bitter presidential election battles in modern history.
Then came the final call from Obama in an effort to console her.
“Mr. President,” Clinton said, “I’m sorry” — alluding to a historic election loss that “no one” expected to happen.