Donald Trump, defying the critics and polls to the end, has defeated Hillary Clinton in tonight’s presidential election. There are big changes ahead for American policy at home and abroad.
Seventeen months after the billionaire tycoon’s Trump Tower entrance into the race, the first-time candidate once dismissed by the political elite will become the 45th president, Fox News projects.
Speaking to cheering supporters early Wednesday morning at his victory party in New York City, the Republican candidate and now president-elect said Clinton called to congratulate him, and Fox News confirms she has conceded. Despite their hard-fought campaign, Trump praised Clinton for her service and said “it is time for us to come together as one united people.”
“I will be president for all Americans,” Trump vowed, after a brief introduction by running mate Mike Pence.
Sounding a call to “reclaim our country’s destiny,” Trump declared: “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. … America will no longer settle for anything less than the best.”
Trump will be the oldest president in U.S. history, entering the Oval Office at age 70. With her defeat, Clinton falls short in her second bid to become the first female president of the United States.
Though Clinton called Trump, her campaign initially did not concede defeat. Earlier, her campaign chairman John Podesta addressed supporters nearby in New York and said several states were “too close to call.”
Clinton herself did not appear at the rally. Podesta had urged supporters to “head home” and said they would not have “anything more to say tonight.”
Trump’s victory marks the second time Clinton was thwarted in her bid to become the first female U.S. president, having been defeated by President Obama in their 2008 primary race.
But Trump has been able to defy expectations from the start. He defeated a deep field of 16 competitors during the Republican primaries – stitching together a motivated coalition of voters invigorated by his outsider, populist message; throwing his rivals off their talking points during a raucous marathon of debates; and commanding media attention throughout with his unpredictable, learn-as-he-goes campaign style.
He also defied party orthodoxy, railing against free-trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership and staking out a sometimes-confusing set of positions on foreign policy that may yet evolve. Democrats have criticized him heavily for statements expressing admiration for Russia’s Vladimir Putin and a desire to rebuild ties with Moscow.
There’s a new sheriff in town, and his main concern is America.