Tonight in Philadelphia, history will be made when Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes the official nominee of the Democratic party.
100 years in the making, Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention will tell that story, “the fight of her life, how she has worked her entire life on behalf of children, families, this country,” said Karen Finney, Hillary for America senior advisor . “You will hear from people who have worked with her – whether the fight for 9/11 responders getting health care they needed, a program like the Arkansas program that helps parents be the first teachers to their children, and President Clinton, who is in best position to talk about her as a change-maker.
The contrast tonight will be stark with the Republican candidate, she said. Hillary Clinton has not just worked on behalf of children and families her whole life, but achieved results. “Trump has a lot of bluster, makes promises, but has a lifetime to accomplish those things but time and time again hear he has taken advantage of people for his own gain. While Hillary Clinton has worked to get something done particularly for the most vulnerable among us, you have Donald Trump who has tried to make money off the most vulnerable among us.”
Another contrast: “You heard more policy, more ideas last night than the whole four nights – and not one new idea – at the RNC. Tonight, people will be talking about their own experiences, humanizing, so we remember that this election is about people, not about dividing people, platitudes, bluster. Coming out of this convention will be more unified than ever, ready to take on Trump and win in the fall.
Last night, First Lady Michelle Obama gave amazing speech – commentators say it potentially may go down in history as one of the most powerful speeches at a convention. In that speech, Obama raised the issue of how important how who occupies the White House becomes a role model for children, and drew the contrast of the values represented by Donald Trump and the Republicans with the Democrats.
“Tonight, people will be talking about their own experiences, humanizing, so we remember that this is about people, not about dividing people, platitudes, bluster,” said Karen Finney, senior advisor to Hillary for America. “Coming out of this convention we will be more unified than ever, ready to take on Trump and win in the fall.”
A lingering problem – continuously raised by the media – are the polls that suggest a large share of the electorate question Hillary’s trustworthiness (or worse).
“It has oft been said that she is the most famous, least known person in the country,” said
Jennifer Palmieri, director of communications, Hillary for America. “As famous as she is, people know her resume, her big jobs – she came on the national scene in their mind in 1992 as first lady. What we want people to know tonight, and as general election gets underway, what’s that core value that has propelled her to do this. She started at Children’s Defense fund – through line of her career. She shares with Sen. Kaine who went to Honduras. After law school pursued housing discrimination suits. Both are not show horses, but get the job done, stay at it and deliver results. That’s the spirit tonight, in the convention and through the campaign.
“As Hillary Clinton has said, we read polls, she has acknowledged she has work to do to earn people’s trust, but she realizes that there aren’t magic words that develop trust overnight. What she wants people to know about her in the course of this campaign is, ‘Look at what I’ve done, the people I’ve represented, whether working for people in Arkansas, as Senator for New York, as Secretary of State – when people needed me, they could count on me, and I’ve delivered for you.’ Let her prove that they can count on her – that’s the argument she will continue to make throughout the campaign.
The speakers on this second night of the convention will testify to that quality of character.
“Tonight you will see people who needed Hillary Clinton, whether 9/11 survivors, people she helped in Arkansas, mostly without fanfare on her part, and sticking with it, to make sure that whatever concern this person had was delivered on.
[Clinton, Obama and Kaine] are people who know how to make progress, Palmieri said. “We are sometimes asked that Hillary been at this a long time, si that the right candidate in an election so focused on change? The answer is yes. Has she been at it a long time? Yes. But she knows change is hard fought, takes a long time, she has been at it in the trenches for decades, whatever role she has had. And that’s what her running mate has done, too.
“Then Senator Obama transferring to President, and all that he has accomplished to make that progress. What you see represented is an incredible story of America – the first African American, the first woman – six people – the Clintons, Obamas, Kaines [whose father-in-law was a governor of Virginia and whose wife is the state’s Secretary of Education] – incredibly committed to the country, doing the really hard work to make progress and also to protect our values, against a Donald Trump who is a frightening prospect.”
The differences between the two conventions is also clear from the diversity that Democrats embrace “as a promise” while Republicans see “a problem”..
“There was more diversity on stage last night than all four days of the Republican convention – that is part of it – voices and faces, and issues,” said Finney.
The second day of the convention will feature a Pittsburgh police chief, Mothers of the Movement who will talk about losing their children to gun violence and other forms of violence. “We will again talk about range of issues that affect people in their daily lives, that Hillary willing to take on those issues.
The first night offered a synopsis of solutions that Clinton and the Democrats offer “to make the economy work for everybody, not just those at the top. We offered more solutions in one night than the entire RNC. Hillary Clinton’s primary goal is to get out of wage stagnation and create well-paying jobs, address work-life policies like family leave, child care (and scheduling). These are not just family issues, but hold back the economy. She would make the biggest investment in jobs creation since World War II.
Tonight will focus on Hillary but the first night’s convention gave Bernie Sanders his due, showcasing the Sanders’ representatives contribution to creating the most progressive platform in the party’s history
Throughout the night many prominent Sanders supporters – elected officials like Oregon Senator Merkley and celebrities like Sarah Silverman – spoke about while they supported Bernie and still do, they will work hard to make sure Hillary becomes the next president. And it culminated with a full-throated endorsement by Sanders, who came out to a sea of Bernie signs and cheers, looking just as it would be if he were there to accept the nomination.
But through the entire proceedings, passionate Sanders supporters also heckled speakers – early on, every time Hillary Clinton’s name was mentioned – even Sanders supporters and lionized progressives like Elizabeth Warren, even disrupting Paul Simon singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which was supposed to symbolize bridging the divide between the Clinton and Sanders supporters.
Palmieri dismissed the dissention noting there was an enthusiastic voice vote for party platform, most progressive ever adopted by Democrats, “The Senator’s campaign and our campaign came together and worked hard to develop that – in public sessions that had a lot of input – and when it was adopted, it was a very important step. In terms of what people saw last night, Sanders supporters not just in the hall – and Sanders himself very graciously offering support of her and his key validators too. In this room, there are Clinton’s and Sanders’ most passionate supporter s- not just people who believe in candidate but selected to represent them. They made our party’s primary much more substantive and productive than what you have seen on republican side, which was a race to the bottom.”
Today’s highlight will be the roll call of all 57 states and territories, so that each vote could be counted. It is expected that Hillary Clinton will become the first woman nominated to become President by a major party – a historic event 100 years in the making.
It is also likely that the Bernie supporters will not be appeased.
Asked if the campaign would do anything to tamp down the heckling, Palmieri said with a shrug, “This is democracy. It’s the Democratic party.”