There were three key speeches in the past 10 hours. First Trump’s speech was honestly and graciously inclusive in a way that surprised many. There was no gloating, and only some celebration, mostly in recognizing the movement he has led, and those who worked hard to help his astonishing victory take place. Including a big shout out to Reince Priebus, the RNC chairman who has had a very interesting and supremely tough year as head of a party that is still facing deep divisions. And it was considerate and respectful of Hillary Clinton as a major political figure, paying tribute to her service to America.

This is astonishing if you think back only a few days ago, or a few weeks ago. But it did not seem false, it felt genuine and displayed an honest generosity. Trump knows full well he’s been in a bare knuckle brawl with his opponent. She ran a very negative campaign that focused on Trump’s past transgressions, while Trump essentially painted her as a corrupt icon of the status quo. How could he mean it, when he praised her service to the country? Because he understands the importance of a peaceful transition. Whether he would have been as gracious had he lost, is now irrelevant.

This Wednesday morning, Clinton then gave her speech, and revealed both emotion and toughness. It was perhaps her best speech of the campaign, which is a tragic irony all of itself. Suddenly, in that speech, Clinton seemed more trustworthy than she has this whole election cycle. As to what her future will be, that will play out in the months ahead. But she nor Bill are now no longer among the leadership of the Democratic Party.

That is Obama’s role, precisely the man who has presided over the electoral destruction of his own party. A very long way from the control of both houses of Congress and the White House, that they obtained in 2008. Obama’s speech came a short while after Clinton’s. It was professorial and affable. The rejection of his agenda that this loss implies was buried under carefully inclusive language. His defining of what America is about – especially through it’s unbroken peaceful transition of power – seemed a way to try and rescue what he now fears may be lost. It seemed more a lecture than a speech, even as it played the notes of unity and purpose at the root of American Democracy. Obama’s legacy will have plenty of time to be judged. This was perhaps a moment for a more focused set of words.

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