I will not concede.
It does not matter that I spent $140 million and am still a dozen points down in the exits. It does not matter that by waiting I am making myself look out of touch. I want to see results from the Secretary of State’s office. And then I want to wait a few hours more.
It does not matter if every media organization in the country has declared the incumbent U.S. Senator the winner – and me the loser. I will lash out at the media for calling the race, saying that “it was maybe not a smart thing to do.” And I will not be the least bit ashamed or apologetic the next morning, when I meet the media.
It does not matter if my party lost a record number of seats in the House of Representatives under my direction. It does not matter that the entire middle of the country thinks that I’m the devil. I will continue to lead my party, no matter what it does to my party.
Concessions are made by the weak. I am not weak. I am strong. I am a woman who has made it to the top in a man’s world. I did not get there by giving in.
I deserve victory. I am rich. I am well educated. I am from the Bay Area, where people are smarter and places are more beautiful. I was a CEO. I was a technology leader. I was the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
I spent my money. I spent years running and raising money. I led a party back to a majority. I paid my dues.
I hear people, mostly men and mostly media types, say that concessions are good for civic life and for the defeated candidate. That concessions give you a chance to look good and gracious. That a good concession speech is a way of saying “This isn’t about me. This is about all of us, on all sides of an election contest, and how we are part of a democratic process that we believe in.”
I hear the media men say that if you wait too long to concede — wait so long that the winner declares victory first – people will start to wonder about your grasp on reality. People will consider your tardy concession an after-thought. People will only remember your lack of grace.
Phooey. I don’t care what they say. I don’t give up. I’m a fighter.
Concessions were for earlier, nicer times. They’re now a lost art – like crocheting. These days, one wins by never surrendering and always seeking advantage. The media folks with their Victorian mores and broken business models are nearly irrelevant now.
With enough money and power, I can make my own facts, broadcast them to the world, and make them so. And I can even declare my own results, regardless of the count.
I’m not a loser until I say I’m a loser. And I’m not a loser.
I will never concede.