opinion

Hillary Clinton, please know that we are with you.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Australian time, Donald Trump will be sworn in to office as the 45th President of the United States of America.

It’s an event that dozens of Democrats are boycotting and several celebrities have publicly declined to attend.

But the one person whose absence we could all excuse will be sitting right there on January 20.

A woman the President-elect threatened to imprison. A woman he called “the devil”.

His opponent, Hillary Clinton.

It’s been confirmed that both she and her husband, Bill, will be present as Pesident-elect Trump takes the Oath of Office on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, creating a tragically Shakespearean finale to her 2016 bid for the presidency.

Image: Getty.

Politically, ideologically, the pair proved to be among the most polarised Presidential candidates in living memory.

Immigration. Gun ownership. Gay marriage. Abortion. The gulf between their policies was even larger than their party lines would normally suggest.

But by accepting a seat on Friday, the former Democratic candidate is proving that two things matter more than politics: tradition (historically, most defeated candidates have attended the victor's inauguration) and respect, both for the presidential office and for the US democratic process.

By accepting a seat, she's staying true to the sentiments she so graciously expressed in her November 9 concession speech, that "We owe [Donald Trump] an open mind and a chance to lead".

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By accepting a seat, she's showing the class, grace and humility that the soon-to-be most powerful man in the world has so often failed to.

(Remember that time he used her husband's infidelity as a political weapon?)

As rang Michelle Obama's campaign catchcry, "When they go low, we go high."

Image: Getty.

That's not to say it won't be torturous for the 69-year-old to watch on as her opponent claims the role she so coveted.

Turning the screws further, the fact that she earned the majority of the public's vote (65,844,954 to Trump's 62,979,879) but was denied the Presidency courtesy of the country's bizarre electoral college system.

Never before in history has a losing candidate won so many votes.

The cameras will no doubt be trained on her, wolfishly waiting for the weight of it all to pass across her face; perhaps a flicker of bitterness or a hint of vulnerability as the President-elect places his hand on the bible.

No one could possibly blame her for that, of course. Some supporters may even want to see her reflect some of the outrage and indignation that will see tens of thousands take to the streets of D.C. the following day for The Women's March - one of the largest demonstrations the US has ever seen.

But we doubt Clinton will let it show; and we wouldn't want her to. The Presidency is all the triumph Trump needs.

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