Hillary Clinton makes history Becomes first woman to head a major party’s presidential ticket
THE Democratic Party has made history by nominating Hillary Clinton to run for US president as the first woman to head a major party’s presidential ticket.
Speaking via video link from New York after her nomination on Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton told the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that she was honoured to have been chosen as the party’s nominee.
“I’m so happy. It’s been a great day and night. What an incredible honour that you have given me. And I can’t believe that we’ve just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet. Thanks to you and everyone who has fought so hard to make this possible,” she said.
“And if there are any little girls out there, who have stayed up late to watch, let me just say: I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next.”
Delegates erupted in cheers throughout the roll call of states on the floor of the convention earlier in the evening.
“She’s got it. She has the numbers that are needed,” Al Jazeera’s James Bays said from the convention when Clinton passed the 2,383 votes needed to secure the nomination.
“We knew this was going to happen because obviously we knew she was the presumptive nominee and that she had all the votes that she needed from the primaries. But what happened here was a roll call, state by state announcing their votes. How many for Bernie Sanders. How many for Hillary Clinton. And a great deal of drama in the room.”
In nominating Clinton, delegate after delegate at the convention made the point that the selection of a woman was a milestone in America’s 240-year-old history. US women got the right to vote in 1920.
Clinton promises to tackle income inequality and rein in Wall Street if she becomes president, and is eager to portray Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman and former reality TV show host, as too unstable to sit in the Oval Office.
Trump, who has never held elective office, got a boost in opinion polls from his nomination at the Republican convention last week and had a 2-point lead over Clinton in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.
After the roll call of states formalising Clinton’s nomination, Bill Clinton, the former US president, took the stage for a history-making appearance of his own convention. Former presidents often vouch for their potential successors, but never before has that candidate also been a spouse.
Telling the story of their life together, Bill Clinton summed up his wife: “She’s the best darn change maker I’ve ever met.”
He also gave a spirited defence of his wife’s tenure as secretary of state, telling the convention that Hillary Clinton was instrumental in protecting American interests, combating terrorism and advancing human rights.
She put “climate change at the centre of our foreign policy” and “backed President Barack Obama’s decision to go after Osama bin Laden,” the former president said.
Bill Schneider, a US political analyst, said: “There was a clear message [in Bill Clinton’s speech] — one word: Change. A very important word because voters don’t believe she is the candidate of change. They think she is the candidate of the status quo.”
Clinton’s campaign now hopes to move past the dissent that marked the convention’s opening day on Monday when supporters of Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary rival, repeatedly interrupted proceedings with boos and chants of “Bernie”.
Sanders took the DNC podium on Monday to urge his supporters to come together and vote for Clinton.
Delegates erupted in cheers as Sanders helped to make Clinton’s Tuesday night victory official when the roll call got to his home state of Vermont — an important show of unity for a party trying to heal deep divisions.
Meanwhile, allegations that the Kremlin is responsible for the damaging hack of Democratic National Committee emails may never be conclusively proven, but there is plenty of evidence suggesting that Trump’s presidential bid can count on at least some backing from Moscow.
That support is sometimes more than tacit: in December, months before Trump secured the Republican nomination, Putin called him “a colourful person, talented, without any doubt” and said: “It’s not our business to decide his merits, that’s for US voters, but he is absolutely the leader in the presidential race.” The Russian president later appeared to qualify his remark.
In turn, Trump has described Vladimir Putin approvingly as a “strong leader” with whom he would have “a very good relationship”.
Meanwhile, some of Trump’s most striking policy pronouncements were very much in Russian interests, most spectacularly his questioning of Nato’s basic tenet, that an attack on one member state would be treated as an attack on all, and his campaign’s determination to strip language on supporting Ukraine against Russian intervention from the Republican manifesto. — AFP —
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