With the buzz of the happenings of the Republican National Convention (RNC) including Texas Senator Ted Cruz not endorsing Donald Trump and Ohio Governor Tom Kasich not showing up to his own parties convention in his own state, it was time for the Democrats to have their go with their own convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. And boy did they have at it.
Democratic Party leaders scrambled on Monday night to rescue their convention from political bedlam as supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) erupted in boos, jeers and protests against Hillary Clinton after an email leak showed that party officials had sought to undermine Mr. Sanders in their race for the nomination. The WikiLeaks release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails includes a number of voicemail message recordings purportedly stolen from the DNC. The emails, which many believe were stolen by Russian hackers, showed Democratic officials coordinating efforts to undermine Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign. The fallout from the leaks led to the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who will step down at the end of the Democratic National Convention this week.
The tension reverberated from the floor of the hall to the stage. By 9:30 p.m., the outbursts were so loud and persistent that the comedian Sarah Silverman scolded the Sanders supporters who were shouting over her remarks. “Can I just say to the Bernie-or-bust people,” she said, adopting their own nickname, “you are being ridiculous.”
But Perhaps the first turning point came from the First Lady Michelle Obama. Her speech was filled with powerful emotion with delivering one of the strongest and perhaps realist lines by saying, “I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves — and I watch my daughters — two beautiful, intelligent, black young women — playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters — and all our sons and daughters — now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States.”
Mr. Sanders, who took the stage at about 10:50 p.m. to a thundering three-minute ovation and chants of “Bernie, Bernie,” acknowledged the disappointment of his supporters and said, “It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues.” But he said the choice between his onetime rival and Mr. Trump was “not even close.” “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president, and I am proud to stand with her here tonight,” Mr. Sanders said as his supporters waved his blue campaign signs.
But even that didn’t stop the “Bernie or Bust” supporters causing more of a commotion on the second night of the convention staging a walk out and causing more protests outside the Wells Fargo Center. Inside; however, the stage was pact again with stars such as Meryl Streep, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), a video from former President Jimmy Carter, the Mothers of the Movement, and the big speaker of the night former President Bill Clinton.
He gave the most in-depth recounting of Clinton’s resume giving a blow-by-blow account of his wife’s path to the nomination, starting from the day they met in 1971 at Yale Law School. The ex-president called the former first lady “the best darn change-maker I’ve ever met in my entire life.” “If you were sitting where I am sitting and you have heard what I have heard at every dinner conversation, every lunch conversation, every long walk, you would say this woman has never been satisfied with the status quo in anything,” he said. “She always wants to move the ball forward, that is just who she is.”
Not to be outdone, Day three of the Democratic National Convention once again tried to sooth the Sanders supporters by introducing the VP nominee Tim Kaine who made the biggest speech of his career, and carefully positioned himself as a candidate who could welcome Republican voters with cold feet. “Let me tell you, if you’re looking for the party of Lincoln, we’ve got a home for you right here in the Democratic Party,” he said.
Kaine followed Vice-President Joe Biden, who some say was slow to endorse Clinton during the primary. But Biden spoke enthusiastically about his former colleague in the Senate. “Everyone knows she’s smart, everyone knows she’s tough. But I know what she’s passionate about it. I know Hillary. Hillary understands, Hillary gets it,” he said after taking the podium to the theme from Rocky — a nod to his Pennsylvania roots. In a rousing speech that at times left the boisterous crowd stunned into silence, Biden presented a portrait of Americans that was strikingly opposed to the grim picture painted by Trump during the Republican National Convention. “We do not scare easily. We never bow. We never bend. We never break when confronted with crisis,” he said. Drawing on his middle-class roots in Pennsylvania, Biden lambasted Trump for his Apprentice catchphrase: “you’re fired.” “Think about that… how can there be pleasure in saying ‘you’re fired.’ He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class? Give me a break, that’s a bunch of malarkey!” he said.
Wednesday was also an emotional night for DNC speakers and viewers alike. Christine Leinonen, whose son, Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, was killed alongside his boyfriend in the shooting in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, spoke about the importance of gun control. Other gun control speakers included Erica Smegielski, whose mother, Dawn, died in the Sandy Hook shooting, and Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard, who survived the Mother Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. “The weapon that murdered my son fires 30 rounds in one minute,” she said, tearfully.
Other gun control speakers included Erica Smegielski, whose mother, Dawn, died in the Sandy Hook shooting, and Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard, who survived the Mother Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
But the biggest speaker of day three was once again presidential support from current President of the United States Barrack Obama who had this to say to voters, “Don’t sit this one out.” “It’s been you who’s fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds are great; even when the road is long,” he said to thunderous applause Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention. Obama applauded Sanders for his ability to inspire in this speech, but urged voters not to discount Clinton simply because they think she’s made mistakes. “You got to get in the arena with her because Democracy isn’t a spectator sport. It’s not about yes he will, it’s about yes WE can,” he said.
The president, who once ran a bitter campaign against Clinton, applauded her for keeping him on his toes during the 2008 Democratic primary. “She was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers — it backwards in heels,” he said. Clinton joined Obama on stage after his speech, earning a standing ovation. Earlier in the evening, Obama made it clear that the fate of America rests on the outcome of the election. “I think it’s fair to say this is not your typical election,” he said. “This is a more fundamental choice about who we are as a people, and about whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.” Throughout the speech, Obama celebrated his legacy and all the country had accomplished in the past eight years — from health care, to gay marriage; to recovering from the economic recession. “By so many measures our country is more prosperous than it was when we started,” he said, slamming Trump for his party’s convention speech, where he portrayed America as a broken country that only he can fix. “America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump,” Obama retorted.
On day 4, the last day of the convention, Sarah McBride became the first transgender American to speak at the DNC. McBride, one of nearly 30 transgender delegates at the DNC, introduced herself as a “proud transgender American.” She urged viewers to vote for Clinton, who she said understands that “everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally.” “But despite our progress, so much work remains. Will we be a nation where there’s only one way to love, only one way to look, and only one way to live? Or, will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally; a nation that’s stronger together? That is the question in this election,” McBride added.
One of the night’s most talked-about moments was a speech by Khizr Khan. Khan’s son, Humayun S. M. Khan, was a member of the U.S. military and one of 14 American Muslims who died serving the country in the decade following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. In a memorable moment, Khan — a self-described “patriotic American Muslim” — pulled a copy of the U.S. Constitution out of his pocket, held it in the air and asked Trump if he’s read it. “Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims,” Kahn said. “He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership.” “Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with their future,” Kahn said. “Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.”
The other powerful statement he made directed towards the Republican nominee is when we asked, “Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America. You will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one. We cannot solve our problems by building walls, sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our President.”
Finally, Clinton made her acceptance speech. The Democratic nominee took the stage after an introduction by daughter Chelsea Clinton. “Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president,” Clinton said. “Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come.”
“America is once again at a moment of reckoning,” Clinton said. “Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. And just as with our founders there are no guarantees. It’s truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we’re going to work together so we can all rise together.” She did not shy away from the momentous nature of her nomination. “Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president,” Clinton said. “Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come.”
During her speech, Clinton reached out to Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters — many of whom had outbursts throughout the night, booing military heroes and Clinton herself. “Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary. You put economic and social justice issues front and center where they belong,” Clinton said. “And to all of your supporters here and around the country I want you to know I’ve heard you, your cause is our cause. That is the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America. We wrote it together so let’s go out and make it happen together.”
The acceptance speech marked the end to a four-day Democratic National Convention, where Democrats sought to make the case for why Trump is unqualified to lead. They made the case with voices that spanned the spectrum from elected officials, Americans with disabilities who Trump mocked earlier this year, families of fallen soldiers and even Republicans who said Trump is an unacceptable nominee. “With your help, I will carry all of your voices and stories with me to the White House,” Clinton said. “I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For the struggling, the striving and the successful. For those who vote for me and those who don’t. For all Americans.”