NEW YORK CITY — The New York Hilton Midtown proudly boasts on its website that it has “hosted every U.S. president" since John F. Kennedy — and early Wednesday morning, the presumptive 45th commander-in-chief addressed supporters in its ballroom.
"I will be president for all Americans," Republican President-elect Donald Trump promised as he took the stage shortly before 3 a.m. "I can only say that while the campaign is over, our work in this movement is now really just beginning."
Addressing a sea of iconic red "Make America Great Again" trucker hats accompanied by celebratory glass beer bottles in the Hilton's grand ballroom, Trump said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had called to congratulate "us" on his victory. He also contended that the former secretary of state is owed a "major debt of gratitude for her service to this country," in a moment of grace.
Clinton did not address her supporters, who waited less than two miles away at the Jacob K. Javits Center. Instead, her campaign chairman John Podesta urged them to "head home and get some sleep."
The Associated Press officially called the election for Trump shortly after 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.
With a divisive campaign finished, Trump argued Wednesday morning that "it is time for us to come together as one united people," and appealed to his dissenters.
"I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help. We can work together to unify our country," the Manhattan businessman implored.
Trump spent considerable time thanking his supporters, family, campaign staff, Secret Service and the Republican National Committee while on stage Wednesday.
"Our partnership with the RNC was so important to the success of what we've done," Trump said, referring to RNC chair Reince Priebus a "star."
Trump exited the stage to the Rolling Stones' song, "You Can't Always Get What You Want," but it appears he did get exactly what he's wanted for the past year and a half — a new home on Pennsylvania Ave.