Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to make the biggest speech of her life this evening, when she accepts the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States. Clinton on Tuesday became the first American woman to be nominated by a major party for president with an evening capped off by a stirring speech by former President Bill Clinton, who recounted almost the entire span of their lives together and how her years in public service from their earliest days helped to prepare him for the presidency as well as shape his political evolution.
Last night, President Barack Obama likely attended his final convention as a sitting politician as he spoke in glowing terms of his former U.S. Senate colleague, and one-time primary opponent. He predicted the former Secretary of State will be a formidable opponent to Republican nominee Donald Trump and, if elected, help to continue his progressive White House legacy which has been ongoing for seven and one-half years.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who spoke on Monday, and his loyal legion of followers bid an emotional goodbye to their hard-fought campaign against Clinton; a camera spotted Sanders sitting in a box at times fighting back tears as the delegate roll call slowly eliminated him from contention. At its completion, Sanders came to the floor and joined the Vermont delegation—which cast the last votes—and declared that Clinton be the presidential nominee by acclimation. Also speaking this week were Vice President Joe Biden, current vice presidential nominee Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, and former President Jimmy Carter, who delivered a video-taped message.
While the Republican convention focused more on “law and order,” a portion of the Democratic confab was dedicated to Black Lives Matter, specifically illustrated when a group called Mothers of the Movement consisting of nine Black women whose children had been killed by gun violence or police use of force, took the stage.
“Hillary Clinton isn’t afraid to say Black lives matter,” said Lucia McBath, whose 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis was killed by a fellow motorist in 2012, for allegedly playing music too loudly. “She isn’t afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish.”
Additional speakers of note this week included democratic strategist Donna Brazile, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin who was the teenager gunned down in 2012 by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. Observers believe that Booker’s speech may have served as a launchpad for his national ambitions.
Like the Republican convention one week prior, the democratic event got off to a rocky start when Democratic National Committee Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign, after the release of 20,000 leaked DNC emails brought into question the impartiality of the Democratic primary process. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stepped in for Wasserman Schultz in conducting the floor proceedings. Brazile will take over as DNC chairperson beginning tomorrow.
First Lady Michelle Obama may have received the most applause this week in what was described as a “home run” speech. She used her personal story of rearing two young Black girls in the White House to tie her husband’s history-making presidency to the equally-historic bid of Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Obama teared up when talking about what it would mean to she and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, to see a woman elected president.
Local politicians in attendance this week included Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43), and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, the latter two among six co-chairs of the convention.