PHILADELPHIA — Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton laid out her definitive case for succeeding Barack Obama as president, overcoming occasional boos to portray herself as both a progressive champion for the party’s left wing as well as a responsible leader who could unite America’s different factions and responsibly handle American military power.
After a convention marred by repeated protests from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton opened her hour-long speech by reaching out to those supporters, thanking them for the passion they brought to the Democratic primary race.
“I want you to know, I’ve heard you,” she said. “Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion. That’s the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.”
Despite her plea, Clinton’s speech was repeatedly marred by jeers and boos from Democrats opposed to her nomination, who were in turn drowned out by competing chants of “Hillary! Hillary!” These boos were particularly frequent early in her speech, and experienced a resurgence later on when Clinton pledged to support Israel and defeat Middle Eastern terrorism. (RELATED: Obama Pleads With Reluctant Dems To Back Hillary)
After her introduction, Clinton took a more moderate tone intended to win over Republicans and conservatives skeptical of Donald Trump’s candidacy. She mourned the death of five police officers in Dallas, but never uttered the phrase “Black Lives Matter” despite saying it on the campaign trail repeatedly.
When she chose to attack Republican nominee Donald Trump, Clinton’s criticisms were very personal, accusing Trump of narcissism, dishonesty, and genuine instability. Early on, she faulted him for his convention claim that “I alone can fix” the problems in the U.S.
“Really?” Hillary said. “I alone can fix it? Isn’t he forgetting troops on the front lines, police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger, doctors and nurses who care for us, teachers who change lives, entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem?”
Later, Clinton accused Trump being a charlatan with “zero solutions” for the country’s problems.
“He spoke for 70-odd minutes [last week] — and I do mean odd,” she said to laughs from the crowd. “He talks a big game about putting America First. Please explain to me what part of America First leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado. Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan. Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio. Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin.”
Clinton also warned that Trump was simply too dangerous and unstable to be the country’s commander-in-chief.
“Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign,” she said. “He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he’s challenged in a debate. When he sees a protester at a rally. Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
Despite praising Obama as a tremendous and successful president, Clinton’s speech was still filled with promises to bring change and improvement to the U.S.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” she said. “Too many people haven’t had a pay raise since the crash. There’s too much inequality. Too little social mobility. Too much paralysis in Washington. Too many threats at home and abroad.”
Clinton said that her first hundred days as president would focus on passing a massive infrastructure bill, as well as collaborating with Sanders to make college debt-free for all Americans. These projects would be financed with tax hikes on “Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich,” “not because we resent success, [but] because … that’s where the money is.”
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