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Hillary Clinton Reads Her Deeply Personal Planned 2016 Victory Speech: 'I've Never Shared This With Anybody'

·4 min read
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is sharing part of a speech she never got a chance to deliver: the one she planned to give had she won the 2016 Presidential election.

In an emotional moment in the former Secretary of State's new MasterClass talk on the power of resilience, 74-year-old Clinton offers a poignant lesson on defeat.

"In this lesson, I'm going to face one of my most public defeats head-on by sharing with you the speech I had hoped to deliver if I had won the 2016 election," she says in her talk on the streaming platform, a clip of which was shared on Today (and is an advance bite of a forthcoming episode of Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist) Wednesday.

"I've never shared this with anybody. I've never read it out loud. But it helps to encapsulate who I am, what I believe in, and what my hopes were for the kind of country that I want for my grandchildren, and that I want for the world, that I believe in is America at its best."

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A visibly emotional Clinton then reads from the speech, which touches on themes of unity and a strong democracy, as well as the significance of what would have been an historic moment: the election of the United States' first female president.

"My fellow Americans, today you sent a message to the whole world: Our values endure. Our democracy stands strong. And our motto remains: e pluribus unum. Out of many, one" she says.

She continues elsewhere in the speech: "I've met little boys and girls who didn't understand why a woman has never been president before. Now they know, and the world knows, that in America, every boy and every girl can grow up to be whatever they dream — even president of the United States.

"This is a victory for all Americans. Men and women. Boys and girls. Because as our country has proven once again, when there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit."

Clinton's speech was also deeply personal, with the former New York senator reminiscing about her late mother, Dorothy, who had a childhood rife with poverty and neglect — and who Clinton says tearfully that she thinks about "every day."

"Sometimes, I think about her on that train. I wish I could walk down the aisle and find the little wooden seats where she sat, holding tight to her even younger sister — alone, terrified," Clinton says, clutching her hand over her heart as her voice catches. "She doesn't yet know how much she will suffer. She doesn't yet know she will find the strength to escape that suffering."

Clinton continues in the speech: "I dream of going up to her and sitting down next to her, taking her in my arms and saying: 'Look at me. Listen to me. You will survive. You will have a good family of your own and three children. And as hard as it might be to imagine, your daughter will grow up and become the president of the United States.' "

Clinton ultimately lost the race to former President Donald Trump, delivering a speech of concession rather than one of victory.

"I still believe in America and I always will," Clinton said in her concession speech in November 2016 from New Yorker Hotel's Grand Ballroom.

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"I count my blessings every single day that I am an American," she added. "And I believe that if we stand together and work together with strength of our convictions, our best days are still ahead of us. Because you know I believe we are stronger together and we will go further together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that."

Of then President-Elect Trump, Clinton said: "I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead."

Clinton's full MasterClass — a series that highlights thought-leaders and luminaries from all walks of life to offer lessons on what they've learned during the courses of their careers — will be released Thursday.

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