It is probably cold consolation for Hillary Clinton, but the defeated Democratic presidential nominee earned widespread praise from the media on Wednesday for a gracious concession speech in which she urged her supporters to give President-elect Donald Trump “an open mind and the chance to lead.”
Journalists from mainstream news outlets and liberal publications, and even conservative media figures such as the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough and certified Clinton hater Ben Shapiro remarked on her poise and humility.
For weeks leading up to Election Day, there was tremendous media interest in how the loser would respond — it's just that most of that interest was based on the polling-driven assumption that Trump, who refused to say he would accept a negative result of the race, would be the one who lost.
Clinton herself called Trump's threat to dispute the election result “horrifying.” So when she found herself on the wrong side of the ledger, it was important that she display the class that Trump appeared to lack.
Clinton did fail to satisfy some Trump boosters in the media. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, before any major news outlet had called the race, CNN's Corey Lewandowski — Trump's former campaign manager — criticized Clinton for not delivering a concession speech soon enough.
“We have heard for weeks that Donald Trump will call into question the legitimacy of this election,” Lewandowski said. "'He will not concede. What will his people do? Will there be an outrage?' Where is the outrage tonight that Hillary Clinton refuses to call and concede the election?”
Fellow Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord chimed in to accuse the media of holding Trump to one standard and Clinton to another.
Clinton was never going to make everyone happy. If such a thing were possible, perhaps she would have won. But when she did deliver a public concession, many in the media — including some detractors — were impressed.