Chelsea Clinton last night introduced her mother and watched as she delivered the biggest speech of her life accepting 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 following a week-long coronation where she was feted with speeches from three living presidents and accolades from party stalwarts wishing to retain the White House and make inroads into congressional seats.
The Clinton campaign spent much of the week trying to make her opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump, appear so erratic, untested and thoughtless that even the idea of him becoming president would be too much for voters to absorb—even for those who mistrust her.
On Wednesday, 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 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 acclamation.
Gov. Jerry Brown spoke on Wednesday, the first time since 1992 when he and Bill Clinton fought a famously rancorous primary and engaged in a finger-pointing debate where Brown accused Clinton of funneling state business to his wife’s law firm. It was far different this time.
“While Trump talks and talks and talks, Hillary does stuff. She fights for us on the big issues,” Brown said, further characterizing Trump as a “fraud” and “liar” on issues ranging from climate change to the drought. “I trust the Clintons, given their experience, in ways that I would never trust Trump.”
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was an unexpected speaker. An independent, Bloomberg chastised his fellow Manhattan billionaire on his bombast and business acumen.
“We must unite behind a candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue,” Bloomberg said. “I’ve been in business, and I didn’t start with a million-dollar check from my father.”
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.”
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 to conduct the floor proceedings. Political analyst and strategist Donna 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 and notables who spoke this week included Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; representatives Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ted Lieu (CA-33) and Xavier Becerra (CA-34), as well as labor leader Delores Huerta, and NBA legend and author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.