By Briana Vannozzi
“Forty-five votes for Sen. Sanders, and for the next president for the United States of America, the first female and history will be made, 90 votes for Hillary Rodham Clinton!” said New Jersey Democratic State Chairman John Currie.
A raucous roll call started night two of the Democratic Convention, officially nominating Hillary Clinton as the first female presidential candidate to top a major party ticket. But it was her husband who had perhaps the toughest job of the night — delivering the headlining speech.
“Some people say, well we need change. She’s been around a long time. She sure has. And she’s sure been worth every single year she’s put into making people’s lives better,” Bill Clinton said.
His task? To humanize his wife who’s often been criticized as overly driven by ambition and at times even robotic. In an intimate account of their life together, he delivered.
“The first time I saw her we were, appropriately enough, in a class on political and civil rights. She had thick blonde hair, big glasses. She wore no makeup. And she exuded this sense of strength and self possession that I found magnetic,” he said.
The former president went year by year, outlining his wife’s work in public service long before elected to public office. He detailed her efforts to spur early childhood education, her devotion as a wife and mother and called her “the best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life.”
“If you were sitting where I’m sitting and you heard what I have heard at every dinner conversation, every lunch conversation, on every long walk, you would say this woman has never been satisfied with the status quo in anything. She always wants to move the ball forward. That is just who she is,” Bill Clinton said.
The night was sprinkled with enthusiastic endorsements from A-list actors and performers. The speeches took jabs at Republican nominee Donald Trump and painted Clinton as someone who’s broken down barriers.
The night took an emotional turn when the “Mothers of the Movement” took the stage, a group that includes the mothers of black people, like Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, killed by gun violence or incidents involving police.
“I am here with Hillary Clinton tonight because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children’s names. She knows that when a young black life is cut short, it’s not just a loss. It’s a personal loss. It’s a national loss. It’s a loss that diminishes all of us. What a blessing tonight to be standing here so that Sandy can still speak through her Momma,” said Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland.
Former and first female Secretary of State Madeleine Albright delivered a scathing address punching holes in Donald Trump’s foreign policy credentials.
“She knows that safeguarding freedom and security is not like hosting a TV reality show,” Albright said.
The energy was palpable. But it was perhaps the message delivered — not on stage but via satellite — that brought the house down.
“If there are any little girls who stayed up late to watch, let me just say, I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next. Thank you all. I can’t wait to join you in Philadelphia. Thank you,” said Hillary Clinton.