Hillary Clinton’s ‘I’m Sorry’ Is A First In Election History

Chelsea Hoffman - Author

Dec. 27 2017, Updated 3:28 a.m. ET

Hillary Clinton made history for more than one reason over the course of this past election cycle. Even though she isn’t the first woman to run for president, she did become the first woman to get close enough to the presidency to nearly touch it. That’s not the only “first,” manifested by the former New York senator. ABC News reports that she made history with the concession speech she presented after Donald Trump won the electoral vote.

Clinton said the words “I’m sorry” during her concession speech after Donald Trump was predicted the winner of the 2016 Presidential Election. In fact, she began her speech with those very important words.

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“I’m sorry. This is not the outcome that we wanted and worked so hard for, and I am sorry that we did not win this election.”

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New York Magazine reports that Hillary Clinton is the first candidate to apologize during a concession speech. This finding was made by the folks at Fortune, who analyzed decades of concession speeches made by former presidential candidates.

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So why is this “first” an important event? Fortune mentions the apparent bias that hovers over the use of the words “I’m sorry.” Women reportedly tend to apologize more than their male counterparts, even when they haven’t necessarily done anything wrong. On the other hand, researchers have found that men tend to be more reluctant about apologizing.

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Clinton has remained mostly silent since her historic concession speech. Meanwhile, protesters are taking to the streets in several U.S. cities, protesting the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States.

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Not only are people physically protesting — and rioting — across the nation, people on social media are also expressing anger at the election results. The hashtags #NotMyPresident and #ImStillWithHer continue to trend, even though it has been a week since the election. Even celebrities are getting involved.

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There’s no doubt that Hillary Clinton has made history over the past election cycle, but some people feel that saying “I’m sorry” is a sign of weakness. Meanwhile, some leading linguists believe that the meaning of the phrase was different in the context used by Clinton during the speech. Georgetown University linguist Deborah Tannen says that the former New York senator might have been simply expressing “an acknowledgment that, in this fight, she was not alone.” On the other hand, a report in New York Magazine seems to indicate that this apology was directed to girls and women, who looked forward to her shattering the ultimate glass ceiling.

Do you think it’s important that Hillary Clinton apologized during her concession speech? With it being the first time in history that someone has done such a thing, will her apology pave the way for future candidates’ concession speeches?

[Featured Image by a katz/Shutterstock]


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