It’s a glimpse into an alternate political universe: the speech Hillary Clinton would have given on election night, had she not lost to Donald J. Trump in 2016.
Clinton read aloud the rejected speech for her offering on the MasterClass streaming site, which features lessons from prominent figures in the arts, business, food and other fields.
The video – and the class – drew mockery from critics of Ms Clinton right and left, as well as praise from her supporters, who said they found it touching.
“In this lesson, I will 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,” Clinton said in the video.
“I never shared this with anyone,” she says. “I never read it aloud.”
In the long-standing victory speech to “My American Compass,” Clinton addresses themes of unity and reflects on what would have been her historic election as the first female president.
She remembers meeting women born before women had the right to vote as well as boys and girls who couldn’t understand why a woman had never been president before.
“Now they know, and the world knows, that in America every boy and girl can become what they dream of, even the President of the United States,” Clinton said.
She chokes when she talks about her mother and her mentor, Dorothy Rodham, who grew up in poverty and was abandoned by her parents when she was only 8 years old. She died in 2011 at the age of 92.
“I dream of going up to her, sitting next to her, hugging her and saying, ‘Look at me. Listen to me. You will survive, ”says Clinton. “You will have a good family and three children. And as hard as it is to imagine, your daughter will grow up and become President of the United States. ‘ “
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, said she found this part of the speech striking.
“If Hillary Clinton had communicated more about this narrative, she would have had a more successful presidential campaign,” Professor Jamieson said. “I read this as an interesting and coherent explanation of what would have motivated Hillary Clinton to become a public servant. “
Ms Clinton was scheduled to deliver the speech at an elaborate celebration on the night of November 8, 2016, with confetti shaped like shards of glass falling from the glass ceiling of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
Instead, she gave a hastily scheduled speech in a brooding hotel ballroom the day after the election, in which she said the country was “more deeply divided than we thought.”
“This loss hurts,” she said that day. “But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. “
For scholars of the US Presidency, the speeches candidates prepare and then reject on election night can be fascinating, Prof. Jamieson said, adding that she would have loved to read the victory speeches prepared by Barry goldwater, Hubert H. Humphrey and George mcgovern, among other losing candidates.
“There is always a curiosity as to where we were going to go or what we were going to experience,” she said. The speeches, she said, alluded to “the unfinished business.”
Tim Hogan, a former spokesperson for Ms. Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, said on Twitter that watching her read the speech and choke “makes me sob right now.”
Others were not so moved.
“I don’t know 1) Why Hillary Clinton teaches a ‘MasterClass’ on anything or 2) Why MasterClass is selling access to watch her cry while reading her 2016 victory speech that wasted nothing,” Spencer Brown, an editor for the conservative townhall.com website, wrote on Twitter.
Jim Hobart, a Republican pollster and partner of Public Opinion Strategies, said reading the speech was simply a way to promote the class.
“She’s got a product to sell, a new product, and it’s clear that she thinks reading what would have been her 2016 acceptance speech is the best way to sell that product,” Hobart said. “I don’t think it’s really anything other than that.”
Master class charges $ 15 to $ 23 per month for subscriptions. The site plans to release a class of former President Bill Clinton on December 19 and former President George W. Bush in the spring.
Isabella Grullón Paz contributed reports.