After an unexpected loss to Donald Trump, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton gave her concession speech to a resilient crowd in New York Wednesday morning. In the speech, she added a special shoutout to her supporters that mobilized on social media, especially Facebook.
“I want each of you to know you were the best campaign anybody could have expected or wanted,” she said. “And to the millions of volunteers, community leaders, activists, and union organizers who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, [and] posted on Facebook — even in secret, private Facebook sites— I want everybody coming out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard going forward.”
The “secret, private” group Clinton was likely referring to was one called “Pantsuit Nation,”, named after Clinton’s known love for wearing a variety of colorful pantsuits.
The group, which only existed for 18 days before the election, grew to almost 2 million supporters — or almost 25 percent of the number of Facebook likes for Clinton’s official campaign page. The group largely consisted of images of voters and their pantsuits, but also of stories sharing what Clinton’s candidacy meant to members and how pantsuits represented decades of women’s progress. On Election Day, the term became a popular hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
It’s hard to tell how many voters the group helped mobilize, but members donated more than $216,000 to the campaign before the election and made over 5,000 calls for Clinton.
Facebook groups like Pantsuit Nation and memes like “Pussy Grabs Back” show that while social media and memes — like Pepe the frog — have become a rallying tactic for the vocal alt-right, liberals still find the internet a key tool in voter mobilization.
During her concession speech, Clinton wore a black and purple suit.
“To all the women, especially the young women, who put all your faith in this campaign and me, nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion,” she said.
In her speech, Clinton encouraged a peaceful transition of power and encouraged her supporters to continue pursuing the campaigns ideals of “making our economy work for everyone not just those at the top, protecting our country and our planet.”