Analysis: Donald Trump's election victory speech

By News Corp Australia Network, David Mills

Donald Trump's victory speech was unlike any he gave during the campaign - and unlike any in American presidential history.

HE WAS NICE TO HILLARY

One of the most marked aspects of Mr Trump's after-midnight speech at the Hilton New York Midtwon was the noticeable softening of tone he used when discussing his opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

During the campaign he repeatedly referred to her as "crooked", and even promised to throw her in jail during the second presidential debate.

But last night there was nothing but praise.

"Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country,' he said. "I mean that very sincerely."

"He was particularly gracious in referencing Ms Clinton's years of public service and acknowledging that we collectively owe her our gratitude," said James Cahill from the University of Melbourne's ElectionWatch.

"To say that this was in contrast with his campaign rhetoric strains the meaning of the word understatement - particularly his personal words for Clinton compared to 'lock her up'."

BUILDING BRIDGES

Afetr a campaign marked by its nastiness, Mr Trump's moderate tone in his victory speech has been welcomed by many political commentators.

Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop described the speech as "graceful" and a "positive sign", while Mr Cahill observed that the beginning part of the speech was typical of most previous presidential victory speeches in its "humble, inclusive and optimistic" tone.

Instead of references to walls, Mr Trump's speech sought to build bridges after the divisiveness of the campaign.

"Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division ... to all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people," he said. "It's time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people ... I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country."

Labor's Tony Burke said it was hard to look past Mr Trump's rhetoric during the campaign but also saw positive signs in the speech.

"Everyone hopes it was a victory speech that was honest," he told Sky News.

Analysts also credited the conciliatory tone of the speech with an easing of fears on world financial markets.

HE SHARED THE STAGE

President-elect Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech as he is surrounded by his family arrives at his election night rally. Photo / AP
President-elect Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech as he is surrounded by his family arrives at his election night rally. Photo / AP

Unusually for a Presidential victor, Mr Trump shared the moment with a cast of supporters. Ordinarily, both winner and victor share the stage solely with family members, but Mr Trump invited some of his inner circle up on stage with him - and even invited Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus to talk.

"It's about time you did this, Reince. My God. Say a few words. No, come on, say something," Mr Trump urged.

Mr Priebus was brief in his remarks, saying just: "Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of the United States, Donald Trump."

HE HINTED AT A SECOND TERM

President-elect Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech during his election night rally. Photo / AP
President-elect Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech during his election night rally. Photo / AP

Mr Trump hinted at the idea of a second term in the White House even before his first has officially started.

"I look very much forward to being your president, and hopefully at the end of two years or three years or four years, or maybe even eight years ... you will say, so many of you worked so hard for us, but you will say that - you will say that that was something that you really were very proud to do," he said.

The last US President who had just one term was George H W Bush, who served from 1988-1992.

HE BRUSHED THE VEEP

President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence as he gives his acceptance speech during his election night rally. Photo / AP
President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence as he gives his acceptance speech during his election night rally. Photo / AP

Vice-President Mike Pence was effusive in his praise for Donald Trump in his introduction - referring to him as America's "new champion" - but Mr Trump was cursory in return.

After heaping lavish praise on Rudy Giuliani, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Reince Prebus, Jeff Sessions, two generals and the Secret Service, Mr Trump added a remark about his running mate as a seeming afterthought, saying just: "Thank you to Mike Pence. Thank you."

THE VISUALS

Melania was not by Mr Trump's immediate side during the speech although she walked out on stage with him. The couple's youngest son Baron was at his side. "It was an all-male shot - no Melania or KellyAnne Conway," observed Mr Cahill. "What was the symbolism - Leader, right-hand man, youngest heir?"


- Additional reporting by Claire Bickers

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 11 Dec 2016 01:10:10 Processing Time: 779ms