At first she didn’t succeed in 2008, so she tried again in 2016. Again she seemed on the verge of being thwarted, with the possibility of “third time’s the charm” being unclear. Ultimately, in the face of an incredibly formidable threat from the other side’s candidate, the leading figures of the Democratic Party decided to call on their constituents to unite behind her by acclimation on the Democratic National Convention. And on the evening of July 26, American political history had been made.
Hillary Clinton – former First Lady, Senator from New York and Secretary of State – has become the first woman nominated to be the Presidential candidate of a major US political party. It’s official now. She will be taking on the Republican Party’s bet Donald Trump in the polls this coming fall.
The Washington Post reports that the 2016 DNC at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia came to a rather dramatic turning point when at the tail end of the roll call of states, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s hitherto major rival for the nomination and now supporter by necessity, moved that she be nominated by vocal acclamation, resulting in a rapturous cheer throughout the convention delegates.
Not everyone was pleased however. The most die-hard supporters of Sanders’ campaign for the nomination were incensed and called for a walkout as they vacated the hall. By the time the rest of the night’s proceedings were underway, the delegation seats for states that carried Sanders against Clinton – Alaska, Kansas, Maine and Arizona – were deserted.
The disgruntled delegates then staged a protest around the convention’s media tent, and got into angry shouting matches with Clinton supporters. Their ire was spurred by recent leaked emails that seemed to indicate that the DNC higher-ups, despite their public declaration of neutrality during the heated two-way contest leading to the primaries, were actually colluding to both drum up further support for Clinton and hamper Sanders. The leak was so damaging to the DNC’s integrity that the Democratic Party chairwoman Debbie Schultz declared Monday that she was resigning the party leadership.
Meanwhile, testimonials were offered at the convention hall to vouchsafe for Clinton’s character and career, accompanied by archived videos showing all of her initiatives from her days as First Lady to husband President Bill Clinton. The former president himself took the stand to deliver a keynote speech to the delegates, where he led off by telling the story of how they first met. Speaking of her tenure in public service that was very much equal to his, Bill described Hillary as the best change- maker he knew, and lambasted the Republicans and Trump in particular for “turning [his wife] into a cartoon” during their own National Convention days before. Also prominent in the testimonials was the very idea of Clinton being the first female presidential candidate of a major party, breaking one of the final “glass ceilings” for women in politics.
Hillary Clinton herself was not present on that momentous occasion, but she is expected toappear on Thursday July 28 to formally accept the party’s nomination.
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