Clin­ton ac­cepts nom­i­na­tion Tells Amer­i­cans: ‘pow­er­ful forces threat­en­ing to pull us apart’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

— PHILADEL­PHIA (Penn­syl­va­nia) — As Hil­lary Clin­ton made his­tory as the first woman to ac­cept a ma­jor party’s pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, she told Amer­i­cans that their coun­try was “at a mo­ment of reck­on­ing” with “pow­er­ful forces . . . threat­en­ing to pull us apart”.

Ad­dress­ing the Demo­cratic National Con­ven­tion on Thurs­day night, Clin­ton called for unity, say­ing it is up to Amer­i­cans “to de­cide whether we’re go­ing to work to­gether so we can all rise to­gether”.

To much ap­plause, she told sup­port­ers of Ver­mont Sen­a­tor Bernie San­ders that they shared the same cause.

In a speech that res­onated with the au­di­ence, the former sec­re­tary of state and first lady re­but­ted many of the mes­sages de­liv­ered by the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Donald Trump at the Repub­li­can National Con­ven­tion in Cleve­land this time last week.

“Don’t let any­one tell you we don’t have what it takes,” Clin­ton said.

“Most of all, don’t be­lieve any­one who says: ‘I alone can fix it’.” The ref­er­ence was to a Trump line.

Men­tion­ing the bil­lion­aire ty­coon more than 20 times, Clin­ton painted a pic­ture of a failed busi­ness­man who does not pay con­trac­tors, makes busi­ness deals abroad, not lo­cally, and lacks national se­cu­rity cre­den­tials.

Hav­ing vis­ited more than 100 coun­tries, Clin­ton presented her­self as a more ex­pe­ri­enced can­di­date, a bul­wark against Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), and as a leader who will know how to deal with Rus­sia and Iran, and guide a na­tion that she knows is frustrated and anx­ious.

“We are clear-eyed about what our coun­try is up against. But we are not afraid. We will rise to the chal­lenge, just as we al­ways have,” she told the con­ven­tion.

Even though Clin­ton spoke of threats at home and abroad, her broader mes­sage was one of hope — a stark con­trast to the dark im­age painted by Trump in his ac­cep­tance speech of an Amer­ica lack­ing “law and or­der” and marred by “ter­ror”.

“When peo­ple get to this point in ei­ther po­lit­i­cal party, they have a mes­sage of hope, a mes­sage that’s pos­i­tive, con­struc­tive, gives peo­ple an as­pi­ra­tional no­tion of what they can come to,” said Steve Cle­mons, a po­lit­i­cal and for­eign-pol­icy ex­pert.

Trump’s mes­sage was “that we no longer live in a world of trust, we live in a world we have to be afraid of.

“We have to be afraid at home, be­cause peo­ple are see­ing their jobs shift away and ter­ror­ists are com­ing into malls, and we have to be afraid abroad be­cause we have bad play­ers mov­ing against Amer­i­can in­ter­ests.”

The con­ven­tion, which nom­i­nated Clin­ton, got off to a rocky start this week: a leaked cache of emails showed the Demo­cratic National Com­mit­tee chair­woman, Debbie Wasser­man Schultz, had favoured Clin­ton over San­ders.

Al­though Schultz re­signed her po­si­tion, San­ders sup­port­ers staged a walk­out fol­low­ing the roll call that of­fi­cially nom­i­nated Clin­ton for their pres­i­dent.

San­ders’ sup­port­ers then held a sit-in at the me­dia tent in protest, af­ter the so­cial­ist sen­a­tor en­dorsed Clin­ton and called on his fol­low­ers to unite around the party.

The ini­tial divi­sion seemed to dis­si­pate fol­low­ing — strong calls for unity by First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, and Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden on Wed­nes­day.

All three warned about the con­se­quences of a Trump pres­i­dency, which they said would pose a threat to the US at home and abroad.

“What al­most al­ways hap­pens when the more cen­trist can­di­date gets the nom­i­na­tion, is that vot­ers get the choice be­tween two evils,” said David Meyer, pro­fes­sor of po­lit­i­cal sci­ence at UC Irvine.

“Trump makes that choice very easy for most Democrats. The polls I’ve seen sug­gest that the San­ders peo­ple are al­ready com­ing around.”

View­er­ship of the first two nights of the con­ven­tion was higher than its Repub­li­can coun­ter­part last week, leav­ing aides re­lieved and hope­ful that polls would bounce af­ter­wards, as Clin­ton and her vice-pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Tim Kaine tour Penn­syl­va­nia and Ohio.

In an ef­fort to win over in­de­pen­dents and dis­grun­tled Repub­li­cans, Clin­ton’s cam­paign has made sure to in­clude disaf­fected con­ser­va­tive speak­ers, such as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Jen­nifer Pierotti Lim, a co-founder of Repub­li­can Women for Hil­lary.

Clin­ton has also geared her eco­nomic pol­icy to ap­peal to work­ing-class white men, who usu­ally lean Repub­li­can, and in her speech on Thurs­day night, she ac­knowl­edged Amer­i­cans’ frus­tra­tion, es­pe­cially those in the work­ing class, with eco­nomic prob­lems ex­ac­er­bated by the re­ces­sion. — Al Jazeera

Pope Fran­cis prays silently yes­ter­day in tribute to 1.5 mil­lion peo­ple, most of them Jews, gassed there by Nazi oc­cu­piers dur­ing World War Two AFP

WOAH . . . Hil­lary Clin­ton and former pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton re­act as bal­loons fall dur­ing the fi­nal day of the Demo­cratic National Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia. AP

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