Hillary Rodham Clinton shattered a glass ceiling–complete with the sound effects–when she became the first woman in history to clinch the Democratic nomination for president of the United States Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who had asked for a roll call vote on Monday, ceded to Clinton when he asked that the rules be suspended to nominate Clinton by acclimation as the Democratic presidential candidate and the “ayes” unanimously carried the vote, giving Clinton the 2,382 ballots she needed to win the nomination. A tearful, yet strong Sanders stood with his Vermont delegation as the numbers were read.
A few things differed Tuesday from Monday on the stage at the Democratic National Convention stage inside the Wells Fargo Center. For one, an obvious absence of American flags on Monday was replaced with a scattered few on Tuesday. And celebrity stature is growing more and more A-list among supporters of Clinton at the DNC.
Actor Tony Goldwyn introduced the Mothers of the Movement, a group of moms comprised of Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, Lucy McBath, mother of 17-year old Jordan Davis, and Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, among others. “Donald Trump and his party think that I should be punished for exercising my constitutional rights,” said Lena Dunham. “Twenty-two years ago, Hillary Clinton declared that women’s rights are human rights!” echoed actress America Fererra. “Look, Donald’s not making America great again. He’s making America hate again.”
The audience roared with applause.
The night was punctuated with performances by singers Andra Day and Alicia Keys, and Meryl Streep, wearing an American flag-patterned blouse, touted Clinton as “the last fighter” and gave a powerful speech advocating the former First Lady. “We’ve got some fight left in us, don’t we?” she asked. “What does it take to be the first female anything? It takes grit and it takes grace…Hillary Clinton has taken some fire over 40 years. How does she do it? That’s what I want to know. Where do any of our female firsts–our pathbreakers–find that strength? You people have made history. And you will again in November because Hillary Clinton will be our first woman President and she will be a great President and she will be our first in a long line of women and men who serve with grit and grace.”
Next up was the main attraction in former President Bill Clinton. He was met with a standing ovation and brilliant applause. But his speech swayed far from the brevity of Michelle Obama’s of Monday night. Over the course of 43 minutes, the former president recounted the first time he met his wife.
Hillary is the best darn change-maker that I have ever known.
“In the spring of 1971 I met a girl,” it started out. “I was intending to introduce myself. I got close enough to touch her back, but I couldn’t do it,” he confessed to an audience of tens of thousands inside the Wells Fargo Center. “Somehow, I knew this would not be just another tap on the shoulder. I knew I might be starting something I couldn’t stop.” Clinton went on for a while longer pouring over the details of his courtship with Ms. Rodham, as if wooing the very crowd to which he was speaking.
Then he got down to the nitty-gritty.
“Hillary is the best darn change-maker that I have ever known,” Clinton said. “You could drop her into any trouble spot, pick one, come back in a month, and somehow, some way, she will have made it better. That is just who she is. “She’s been around a long time, she sure has. This woman always wants to move the ball forward.”
Hillary came out via satellite late night Tuesday to thank her delegates for the nomination. “If there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, I may become the first woman President, but one of you is next.”