Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dem Convention Day 2: Presenting the real Hillary

Bernie Sanders and the convention planners made the wise choice to let small percentage of Sanders voters, who weren't ready to shift their support to Clinton, have their voices heard.   Sanders did some behind the scenes work, but the important thing was having the roll call vote.   This allowed each state to place their actual votes in the record -- so many votes for Bernie Sanders, so many votes for Hillary Clinton.

The Vermont delegation passed, letting the few remaining alphabetical states record their votes.   Then it came back to Vermont.   After their votes were recorded, then Sanders took the mic and asked that the votes be entered into the record.  And then he moved that Hillary Clinton be nominated by acclamation.   And they did, loudly and spiritedly.

In describing what the evening was like after that, Nicole Wallace, Republican campaign manager from the John McCain campaign and now MSNBC commentator, responded to Rachel Maddow's question:  "Is the mood in the hall completely transformed from what we saw last nightAbsolutely."   The hall felt united, and it didn't feel like suppression of dissent as much as final acceptance.

The evening speeches were many and varied, but they were all personal accounts of people whose lives had been touched and changed for the better by Hillary Clinton.   This ranged from kids who had benefited from her work for family, educational, health care and disabilities programs -- to a group of mothers of young black people who have died from encounters with police officers or in jail.  We began to see a side of Hillary Clinton that is not known if you only watch TV news or listen to Republican politicians.    I learned many things that I didn't know she had done, even though I follow politics and the Clintons pretty closely.

And then Bill Clinton gave an even more fulsome picture of Hillary and her dedication to helping make people's lives better -- from rural America to taking on the sexual trafficking of women and girls around the world.    He also painted the picture of his and Hillary's early life in a very personal way -- their first house in Arkansas that was "1100 square feet, with an attic fan and no air conditioning -- to show that they had humble beginnings too."

We saw the warm, human, caring side.   Not just the work she did to start programs to help people with disabilities, but the personal account by a young man she met while working on this, who she has kept up with for 15 years and how she remembers to ask about some detail of his life from when she talked with him years before.

Bill summed up with the major question:   Which is the real Hillary?   What we've been hearing today and what I've told you?   Or the "cartoon" Hillary painted by her opponents last week?   You the audience have the choice.   And by your vote to nominate her, you have chosen the real Hillary.   And you have made the right choice.


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