Breaking News Emails
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — After an election that tore at the fabric of American democracy, Hillary Clinton, confident of victory Tuesday, is using her closing swing to begin trying to stitch it back together.
"We will have some work to do to bring about healing and reconciliation after this election," Clinton said Sunday night in New Hampshire. "I want to be president of all Americans, those who vote for me and those who don't for me, because we have to heal this country."
Whoever wins will face an enormous challenge trying to govern a country that has become only more polarized during the most toxic election in recent memory.
Sixty-four percent of Americans say the campaign has left the nation more divided than before, while a similar proportion say it made them less proud of America, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Aware that she could be declared the president-elect in less than 72 hours, Clinton seemed to be getting a head start on the national group therapy session.
The campaign is shelling out millions to broadcast what aides say will be a unifying message in a two-minute commercial airing nationwide Monday, which could reach up to 20 million viewers.
"I want to rebuild confidence in what we can do together," Clinton said Sunday in Cleveland during an appearance with NBA star LeBron James. "It's not good for anybody that our democracy and our country are viewed so suspiciously, without confidence. That is how we govern ourselves, so we have to work together."
Sunday in New Hampshire, a state that she lost and that Donald Trump won in the primaries, Clinton's rally began with a soothing performance from singer James Taylor.
She was then joined by Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who rocked the presidential campaign with a righteous denunciation of Trump at the Democratic National Convention.
As members of audience held up pocket Constitutions like the one Khan wielded during his famous speech, Khan echoed its thundering condemnations by saying Trump's "angry, unstable temperament proves him unsuitable for the office of commander-in-chief."
But the core of Khan's message — and its emotional crescendo — focused on reparative effects of his speech, not its attacks on Trump.
Khan recalled the letters that poured in from all over the country in the four months since, include a 26-page message from a nurse who served in Europe in World War II, and he told of people who stopped him on the street to thank him for inspiring them.
One woman stood out, Khan said, recalling how she told Khan that her 10-year-old son had been watching his speech every day when he came home from school because he was getting bullied.
The mother told her son's teacher, who played the speech for the entire class. "A few days later, his mother asked him, 'Have you been bullied?'" Khan said. "And he said no. Not after they played the speech."
"Thankfully, Mr. Trump, this isn't your America," Khan added.
When Clinton took the stage, she was unusually somber and spoke slowly.
"This election is a moment of reckoning," Clinton said. "It is a choice between division or unity."
Clinton thanked former Republican Sen. Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire, who endorsed her Sunday, and said, "We have to learn how to disagree without being so disagreeable."
"I am taking very seriously the obligation I feel to reach out to all Americans," she said. "I have never felt more strongly about what we can do together. I am confident, I am optimistic about the future we can make together."