Backstage at Hillary Clinton's Election-Night Party: "I've Never Seen a More Defeated Group of People"
A Hollywood studio executive provides an inside account of Clinton's once-promising victory bash at the Javits Center in New York City.
Early Tuesday evening, the VIPs granted backstage access to Hillary Clinton's Election Night party at the sprawling Javits Center in New York City were all smiles as they adorned themselves with tiny temporary "H" tattoos in support of the country's first female Democratic presidential nominee.
But when the first two states, Kentucky and Indiana, were called in favor of Republican contender Donald Trump, a roller-coaster ride began for the attendees, according to a Hollywood studio executive invited to the Clinton bash.
"Everyone is putting on a good face, but starting to get worried," recounted the executive, who wished to remain anonymous.
Among those spotted in the viewing room backstage were actress Melanie Griffith, filmmaker Dustin Lance Black and his partner, Olympian diver Tom Daley, and Padma Lakshmi, actress and host of the hit reality show Top Chef.
Defying the polls, Trump began winning state after state, while a number of battleground states were too close to call.
"Really tense here. Great friendly crowd and incredibly diverse, but this is a nail-biter. This will be the most depressed crowd ever seen at a public event if things don't go her way," the executive wrote later in the evening.
Not long after, one of the battleground states — Virginia — was called in Clinton's favor. "Huge cheers for the latest update," noted the executive.
But the optimism was short-lived.
"It's getting really bad," said the executive. "So bad, people are crying."
Around 9 p.m. ET, the VIPs backstage began making their way to the floor of the Javits Center, where Clinton was scheduled to take to the podium.
"I've never seen a more defeated group of people," said the executive. "And truly scared for our country."
Ultimately, Clinton was a no-show. Taking her place was her campaign chairman, John Podesta.
Not longer after, Hillary Clinton called Trump to concede the race.