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Hillary Clinton accepts historic nomination

By: 
Michael Gormley
Publication: 
Newsday
Jul
29
2016

The final night of the Democratic National Convention features the acceptance speech of Hillary Clinton as the first woman nominee of a major party for president of the United States.

She will be introduced by her daughter, Chelsea Clinton. She will try to bolster the night’s theme, “Stronger Together,” by trying to entice younger, more liberal Democrats who flocked to Clinton’s opponent in the primaries, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

11:30 p.m. — Hillary Clinton is joined on stage by running mate Tim Kaine, her husband former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea as balloons shower down and music plays.

10:30 p.m. — Hillary Clinton takes the stage as “This is my fight song” plays and there are sustained cheers.

“Thank you all for that amazing welcome . . . and thank you Chelsea. I am so proud to be your mother.”

“Bill that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago, it is still going strong,” she said to her husband, the former president. “You know that conversation has lasted through good times that filled us with joy and hard times . . . and I even got a few words in along the way.”

“For all of you whose hard work brought us here today, and those of you who joined the campaign this week, thank you. What a remarkable week it’s been.”

“And I want to thank Bernie Sanders.

“Bernie your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls in our primary,” said.

“To all your supporters, I want you to know, I heard you, your cause is our cause.”

“For those of you out there who are just getting to know Tim Kaine, you will soon understand why the people of Virginia keep promoting him . . . and he will make our whole country proud as our vice president.”

She said the country was “at a time of reckoning.”

“Our founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together. Now America is once again at a moment of reckoning. Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of respect are fraying . . . there are no guarantees. It truly is up to us. We have to decide if we will all work together, so we can all rise together.”

“Donald Trump . . . wants to divide us from the rest of the world and from each other . . . he has taken the Republican Party a long way, from ‘morning in America’ to midnight in America.”

She then quoted Franklin Roosevelt: “ ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ . . . We are not afraid. We will not build a wall, instead we will build an economy where anyone who wants a job will get one.”

“There is too much inequality, too little social mobility . . . but just look for a minute look at the strengths we bring as Americans . . . we have most tolerant and generous young people we ever had . . . the most powerful military.”

She was interrupted by chants of “Hillary! Hillary!” and “USA! USA!”

“Don’t let anyone tell you our country is weak, we’re not; . . . don’t believe anyone who says, ‘I alone fix it,’ ” she said, quoting Trump. “That should set off alarm bells for all of us.”

“He’s forgetting every last one of us. Americans don’t say ‘I alone can fix it,’ we say, ‘We will fix it together.’”

“Our founders fought a Revolution and wrote a Constitution so American would never be a country where one person would have all the power.”

“None of us can ever lift a country alone,” Clinton said.

“Twenty years ago, I wrote a book called, ‘It Takes a Village,’ . . . this is what I meant. America needs every one of us . . . that’s why ‘stronger together’ . . . is not just a slogan for our campaign. It stands for a future we will build . . . for an economy that works for all, not just those at the top.”

“And yes, where love trumps hate!”

“So my friends, it is with humility, determination and boundless confidence in America that I accept your nomination for president of the United States.”

“The truth is through all these years of public service, the service part has always come easier than the public part . . . I get it, that some people don’t know what to make of me.”

She talked of her mother left to the streets as a 13-year-old.

Her mother was abandoned. “She was saved by the kindness of others.” Clinton said that her mother had taught her . . . no one gets through life alone. “We have to look out for each other and lift each other up. Do all the good you can in all the ways you can for as long as ever you can.”

She talked of working for children with disabilities in Massachusetts denied school.

“It became clear to me that simply caring was not enough . . . you have change both hearts and laws, you need understanding and action.”

“It’s true, I sweat the details of policy,” such as contaminants in drinking water. “Because it’s not just a detail if it’s your kid. It’s a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.”

Referring to earlier speakers, she said, “I was thinking of Lauren, Debbie and all the others 10 years later when President Obama made the courageous decision that finally brought Osama bin Laden to justice,” she said of the Sept. 11 victims she helped and kept in touch with.

“Standing here as my mother’s daughter and my daughter’s mother . . . because when any barrier is cleared away, it is cleared for everyone. After all, when there is no ceiling the sky is the limit.”

“You heard from some Republicans and independents . . . I will be the president of the Republicans and the independents … for those who vote for me and for those who don’t. For Americans, together.”

“I have gone around the country . . . and I talked to many who feel the economy sure isn’t working for them. You know what? You’re right . . . “

“Democrats we are the party of working people but we haven’t done a good enough job to say we know what you are going through.”

“Here’s what I believe: I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives . . . our democracy isn’t working the way it should. That’s why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices to get money out of politics . . . and if necessary we will pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.”

“Wall Street can never ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again. And, I believe in science,” she said with a laugh. “I believe climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating good-paying, clean energy jobs.”

It would be “inhuman and counterproductive” to deport undocumented immigrants

“If you belong to another party or no party at all . . . this is your campaign . . . join us.”

“You didn’t hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention. He spoke for 70-odd minutes and I do mean odd and he offered zero solutions.”:

She said the GOP nominee had no real ideas or plans.

‘You might notice I love talking about mine,” she joked.

“Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition free for the middle class and debt free for all.” She would also ease the burden of current loan debt.

“Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks. . . . In America if you can dream it, you should be able to build it”

Referring to Trump’s comment that she is “playing the woman card” she said if working on behalf of families is “playing the woman card, then deal me in!”

“Wall Street and the super rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes,” she said.

“It’s not that we resent success. That’s where the money is and we are going to follow the money.”

“In Atlantic City . . . you will find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills. Now remember what the president said last night, don’t boo, vote.”

“It wasn’t that he couldn’t pay them, He just stiffed them.”

“Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face . . . we’re dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated. So it’s no wonder that people are anxious and looking for reassurance, looking for leadership . . . and knowing we are stronger when we work with our allies.”

“No, Donald, you don’t” she said of Trump’s claim that he knows more about ISIS that the generals.

A president should respect the men and women who risk their lives to preserve our country,” she said, aiming at Trump’s criticism of the military’s readiness.

“Do you really think Donald Trump has the temperament to be commander in chief?”

“Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign,” she said. He loses his composure to reporters and critics. “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

“If we are serious about keeping our country safe, we also can’t afford to have a president who is in the pocket of the gun lobby. I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. . . . I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”

“For decades people have said this policy was too hard and the politics too hot to touch . . . but how can we stand by and do nothing?”

“I refuse to believe we can’t find common ground here. Not just on guns, but on race and immigration and more and that begins with listening to each other, to walk in each other’s shoes.”

She said people had not taken Trump seriously because they couldn’t believe “that someone who wants to lead our nation could say those things.”

“And we will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric . . . for many months people laughed off Donald Trump’s comments . . . or when he insults heroes like John McCain who deserves our respect . . . but here’s the sad truth. There is no other Donald Trump. This is it. And in the end it comes to what Donald Trump doesn’t get: America is great, because America is good.”

“So enough with the bigotry and the bombast . . . and what are offering? A bold agenda . . . the choice is clear, my friends.”

“Progress is possible . . . I know it from my own life. More than a few times I have had to pick myself up and get back in the game. Like so much in my life, I got this from mother, too.”

“Although we may not live to see the glory . . . let’s lead the fight . . . the founders showed us that, they were drawn together by love of country and build something better . . . yes, the world is watching what we do . . . so let’s be stronger together my fellow Americans . . . let’s build a better tomorrow . . . and when we do, America will be better than ever!”

10:05 p.m. — Hillary Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, introduces her mother and then a video about Clinton’s life.

“I am here as proud American, a proud Democrat, a proud mother and tonight in particular a very, very proud daughter.”

Chelsea’s daughter Charlotte is age 2. “Above all, she loves face-timing with grandma.”

“She’ll drop everything to blow kisses . . . to her granddaughter.”

“Every day that I spent as Charlotte and Aiden’s mother, I think about my own mother — My wonderful, thoughtful, hilarious mother.”

She recalled her mother picking her up and reading “Goodnight Moon.”

“Regardless of what was going on her life, she was always, always there for me,” she said, citing soccer and softball games and school projects.

“I never once doubted that my parents care about my thoughts and my ideas . . . that feeling of being valued and loved, that is what my mom wants for every child. That is the calling of her life.”

“Whenever my Mom was away for work, she left notes for me to open every day,” Chelsea said.

When she went to France, she wrote about the Eiffel Tower and about programs to help children.

“They were another reminder I was always in her thoughts,” she said.

She talked about dinner table discussions and how she talked about “A Wrinkle in Time,” a favorite book at the time. “I loved that my parents expected me to have opinions and to back them up with facts.”

“There is something else that my mother taught me: Public service is about service and as her daughter I have had a special window into how she serves. I have seen her holding the hands of mothers wondering how they would feed their kids.”

“She always feels like there isn’t a moment to lose, because she knows that for that mother, for that family, there isn’t.”

“I have also seen her at the low points, like the summer of 1994 . . . her fight for universal health care. It was bruising, it was exhausting. She fought her heart out . . . and lost. It was pretty hard to watch. But my Mom, she was amazing.”

She said family movie nights of “Police Academy” and “Pride and Prejudice” helped, “then she got back to work for kids.”

“I am so grateful to be her daughter . . . . that she is Charlotte and Aiden’s grandmother. She makes me proud every single day, And Mom, Grandma would be so proud of you tonight.”

“To everyone watching . . . I know with all my heart that my mother will make us proud as our next president.”