Hillary Clinton might as well have jumped out of a giant birthday cake, having generated as much electricity as she did throughout the Wells Fargo Center when she surprised the arena with an appearance after President Barack Obama’s speech late Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
The crowd went wild as Obama embraced Clinton after she walked out on stage in a royal blue two-piece suit and waved to her fans.
But first, the President spent a good bit of time touting the nominee’s fitness and aptitude for the Oval Office–even making one of the boldest statements about her qualifications of all time.
“There has never been a man or a woman–not me, not Bill–nobody more qualified to serve as President of the United States of America,” Obama said.
He harkened a theme from 2008 in speaking of the “audacity of hope,” insisting that Clinton could carry the torch forward based off the agenda he’s laid out during his first two terms in office. “Until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what its like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war, but Hillary’s been in the room,” he said.
“She knows what’s at stake. Even in the midst of crisis, she listens to people. She keeps her cool and she treats people with respect…I stand before you tonight after almost two terms as your president to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before.”
Even as Obama spoke, cameras panned to various delegates around the arena. Women were captured swooning, grasping at their chests, tears streaming down their cheeks as they were fanning their faces with their “Stronger Together” signs.
“Our country is stronger and more prosperous than when we started,” he went on to say. “I’ve insisted, change is never easy. It’s never quick. We’ve still got more work to do. It’s fair to say this is not your typical election. It’s not just a choice between parties and policies–typical debates between left and right. We Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party. It’s what pushes our country forward. But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican. It sure wasn’t conservative. There were no serious solutions to problems, just the fanning of resentment, and blame and hate. That’s not the America I know.”
Women were captured swooning, grasping at their chests.
What might have been the most telling part of the third night of the Democratic National Convention was the unlikely criticism one billionaire had for another.
Former New York Mayor and business magnate Michael Bloomberg has worn the hat of Democrat, Republican and now Independent. He thanked the DNC for “welcoming an outsider to deliver what will be an unconventional convention speech.”
Bloomberg maintained he was not appearing as a member of any political party or to endorse any party platform, but that he was there for one reason alone–“to explain why I believe it is imperative we elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and to ask you to join with me in supporting her this November.”
“Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business? God help us! I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one,” said Bloomberg. The audience roared with applause. “Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy.”
Wednesday night, like Tuesday and the night before, was star-studded, with appearances and endorsements by actresses Sigourney Weaver and Angela Bassett and director Lee Daniels. Lenny Kravitz performed “Let Love Rule” about halfway through the evening.
Gabby Giffords, the former U.S. Representative from Arizona who survived an assassination attempt via a gunshot wound to the head in 2011, came out and called Hillary “tough” and “courageous.”
“In Congress, I learned a powerful lesson–strong women get things done,” said Giffords. “In the White House, she will stand up to gun lobbyists. That’s why I’m voting for Hillary. Speaking is difficult for me, but come January, I want to say these two words: Madam President.”
Jill and Joe Biden shared some of their experiences and adventures with the Obamas and the Clintons over the years. “Everybody knows she’s smart. Everybody knows she’s tough. But I know what she’s passionate about,” said Joe Biden, who spoke with gusto and came down hard on Trump. “He doesn’t have a clue about the middle class. Not a clue. Actually, he has no clue. Period.”
That’s when the audience began chanting, “not a clue!”
“The bottom line is, Trump is a risky, radical and reckless choice, and we can’t afford to make that choice.”
Like he’s done since he was announced, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine courted the Latino vote, often speaking Spanish and reiterating that Hillary exemplifies what is most valued in a presidential candidate.
“When I lived in Honduras, I learned that the best compliment you could give someone was to say they were ‘listo’–ready. Not ‘inteligente’–smart. Not ‘amable’–friendly. Not ‘rico’–rich. But ‘listo.’ Because what ‘listo’ means in Spanish is prepared, battle-tested, rock-solid, up for anything, never backing down, and Hillary Clinton is ‘lista.’”
Thursday night wraps up the final night of the convention, when Clinton is expected to formally accept the nomination. Her daughter, Chelsea, is also expected to speak.