America must now root for Trump’s success: Obama

America must now root for Trump’s success: Obama
Mrs Hillary Clinton (right, with her husband Bill) said that she felt pride in the campaign that she ran. Photo: Reuters
Published: 4:00 AM, November 10, 2016

NEW YORK — American President Barack Obama, in his first public comments early today since Republican Donald Trump’s stunning election victory, pledged to work with the President-elect to ensure a peaceful transfer of power. “We are all rooting for his success,” Mr Obama said of Mr Trump after acknowledging that they have their differences.

The President noted that he and former President George W Bush had major differences eight years ago, but they managed a successful transition. He said he expects to do the same with Mr Trump, and invited him to come to the White House today.

The President said he was heartened by Mr Trump’s earlier remarks on national unity, adding that he hoped Mr Trump would move ahead in that spirit. He reminded the country that we “are all on the same team”.

Minutes earlier, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton officially conceded her election loss to Mr Trump and offered to work with her foe.

“I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans,” she told supporters and staff at a hotel in Manhattan.

She noted the nation proved to be “more divided than we thought”, but urged unity. “We owe him (Mr Trump) an open mind and a chance to lead,” she said, adding that American democracy depends on “peaceful transition of power”.

Mrs Clinton, who had hoped to become the first woman to be elected President, called her Republican rival to concede yesterday afternoon but did not deliver her concession speech till early today. Mrs Clinton expressed regret that she did not shatter the glass ceiling, but said that “someday, someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now”.

Mr Trump’s victory set off protests on both coasts of the United States. From Pennsylvania to California, Oregon and Washington, hundreds of people hit the streets to voice their opposition to the President-elect. There were no immediate arrests.

Standing before a crowd of crestfallen but cheering supporters, Mrs Clinton said that “this is painful and it will be for a long time”. Wiping a tear from her eye, Mrs Clinton thanked her supporters and said that she felt pride in the campaign that she ran.

Paying tribute to her staff, she said: “You poured your hearts into this campaign ... you were the best campaign that anybody could have ever expected or wanted. And to the millions of volunteers, community leaders, activists and union organisers ... I want everybody coming out ... and make sure your voices are heard going forward.”

She also saluted President Obama’s “graceful” leadership, and thanked her family for supporting her.

Addressing her young supporters, she said: “You will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” AGENCIES