Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia will focus on the now historic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton as Commander in Chief.
Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention culminated with the history-making nomination of the first woman for president by a major party. It built to an amazing crescendo, with the vigorous roll call vote brought to dramatic conclusion when Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders moved to suspend the rules and declare Hillary Clinton the nominee by acclamation, and with overall, the party projecting all-important unity. It climaxed with a display of all 44 presidents to date, culminating in a virtual shattering of a glass ceiling and a live video appearance of Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, NY, surrounded by friends and families, expressing her gratitude for the high honor and historic milestone.
The evening was devoted to showcasing fights Hillary Clinton has waged her entire life – for families and children, civil rights, health care, for gun violence prevention, for 9/11 responders and victims, and finally, for national security. Her life was best encapsulated by President Clinton, who spoke, not as a former President, but as the candidate’s spouse, giving a tour de force in recounting their personal story and how she has been a true change-maker. And in each instance, the stark contrast with the experience, values, character, temperament were drawn between what Hillary Clinton has done and accomplished and the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
The third day of the convention will focus even more intently on national security.
“Tonight will focus and spotlight the Secretary’s strength and qualifications to be Commander in Chief, versus Donald Trump’s reckless, dangerous approach to national security,” said John Podesta, chair of Hillary for America.
The message will be presented by people who know her well: John Hutson, a retired rear admiral who switched party affiliation from Republican to Democrat; Gold Star wife, Jamie Dorff; combat veteran Kristen Kavanaugh; and Leon Panetta, former CIA director and Secretary of Defense.
“Their perspective will show the temperment, judgment, experience needed in a Commander in Chief, the kind of person they would want leading the armed forces and why Hillary Clinton has that unique combination of attributes to successfully carry the mantle of the job,” said Jake Sullivan, foreign policy advisor, Hillary for America.
The variety of perspectives will underscore “why Trump is simply temperamentally unfit and unqualified to be commander in chief – his strange policy ideas like more countries getting nuclear weapons, or his rebuke to our core allies, the way he denigrates our armed forces, calling our military ‘a disaster’, saying ‘I know more about defeating ISIS, believe me,’ saying the military would commit war crimes if he orders them to. He has disrespected the military and that will shine through tonight. He also shows a fascination with dictators and strongmen, such as Saddam Hussein, Kim Jung Il, and Vladimir Putin,” Sullivan said.
“The simple proposition: this person should not be given command of the armed forces, the nuclear codes, or the title commander in chief.”
Trump’s coziness with Putin is of concern in light of the growing certainty that Russia state actors were behind the leak of DNC emails.
“She, like any Republican, Democrat, Independent who cares about national security is alarmed by the prospect and proposition that Russia is interfering in the American election – that’s not political, it’s a national security issue. She believes it is obviously new to see them interfering in an American election, but it is part of a pattern of Russia interfering in domestic affairs of other countries. Over past few years, Putin has increasingly taken positions at odds with the interests of the US. Unlike Trump who praises Putin, adopts pro-Putin positions and inserts them into his platform, she has taken a firm, tough, ultimately smart position on dealing with Russia going forward.”
“Secretary Clinton believes the Number One priority of a president and commander-in-chief is keep American people safe, and no more important is that the threat of radical jihadist terrorism is stopped, pushed back and ultimately defeated,” Sullivan said. “We will hear about that and the combination of strength and smarts it takes to execute a strategy to achieve that. Her history and experience working on this set of issues, and the broader story. To defeat a threat that is now in dozens of countries around world will take global coalition, using intelligence, pushing back in the US, Europe, everywhere, disrupting flows of men, money, propaganda and fighters moving across country. All that will require a president who can forge relationships, has relationships and has the temperment. Over the course of the next two days, you will see our conviction that Trump doesn’t.”
The evening will also focus on keeping the nation safe, spotlighting Clinton’s commitment to reduce gun violence, with families of victims of Orlando, Charleston and Sandy Hook, and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords with her husband Mark Kelly.
Also, “making the case for the unique post-partisan nature of this election” will be former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who won his elections as a Republican and as an independent.
Mayor Bloomberg will talk about the reason he has come to the conclusion that Hillary is right choice to be a stable leader on economic matters and why Donald Trump through his life in business is incapable of managing the economy, let alone managing his own affairs without creating disaster for his workers, investors, contractors – focus will be on economic choice facing the American people.”
The evening will be topped off with speeches from Vice President Joe Biden, VP designate Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama.
All the speakers will talk about what’s at stake in this election – the loss of loved ones and personal experiences and the President and Vice President will talk about working directly with Hillary as senator and Secretary of State.
Tim Kaine will have chance to let American people know what he’s been involved with his entire career –interestingly, in parallel fashion to Hillary, his decision in law school to work in a missionary school in Honduras – serving in local government as mayor of Richmond, bringing people together, being the Lt. Governor and Governor and then US Senator from Virginia – his life and story will be told.
“Tim Kaine has a long history,” Podesta said. “What got him into politics was fight for social justice, fight that everyone could get education to live up to their God-given potential – whether fighting for immigration reform, standing up to gun lobby in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, creating economic conditions to create jobs in Virginia, he brings strong credentials, deep conviction. He’s been on the city council, mayor, governor, senator. He is well qualified for this job and four-square with Hillary Clinton in pushing forward a very progressive agenda and we look forward to him making that case and talking about his life story, talking about people left out and left behind.:
With Secretary Clinton about to give one of the biggest speeches of her life, Sullivan said, “I can faithfully report she is in a positive frame of mine,” having made history as the first woman to be nominated for president from a major party. “She is in an even more positive frame of mind, because she views Thursday as an opportunity to speak directly to the American people about her ideas, her vision, what motivates her. She cares deeply [about this country and people] and wants to communicate that.”
Asked whether Clinton is linked to closely with President Obama, Podesta said, “From the beginning of this campaign, she celebrated the success of the Obama presidency but also said there are new challenges that need to be taken on going forward – how to make the economy work better for working people. This president inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression and kept us from falling into a second Great Depression –that is a tremendous accomplishment. His job approval is more than 50%. She believes he has done a terrific job for the American people, but she is not running for his third term. She has her own ideas, and will lay them out for the American people, where she wants to go and take the country.”
One of these areas is breaking with Obama on TPP which Clinton has said she would oppose, not renegotiate.
“She is against TPP before the election and after the election,” Podesta said. “She has a long economic agenda that includes investing in infrastructure, enforcing trade laws, raising the minimum wage, fighting for the right to organize, making sure college is affordable. She is not interested in renegotiating the TPP.”
The convention will “take a moment to celebrate the success of Barack and Michelle Obama and the Bidens – the role models, the kind of leadership they have offered.
“President Obama will talk about the Hillary Clinton he knows – the Hillary he competed against in the 2008 primaries but who he found to be the right person to be his partner in carrying out foreign policy for the country, to reset America’s position in the world, the bond they built, the friendship they built, and why she is the right choice for the American people.
“It will be a chance to celebrate Obama’s accomplishments, talk about the future, and speak directly to the American people about the kind of leader she was working for him as part of his administration. It is a unique moment in that sense. We are looking forward to it, and looking forward to him being out on campaign trail in the fall – we will use him as much as we can. He is a great and effective person to inform the American people, frame the choice and talk about what the stakes are, what the job is like, sitting behind the desk making the life/death decisions a president has to make and why she is the right choice and Donald Trump is not.”