PHILADELPHIA- Speaking on behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had just become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, her husband and former President Bill Clinton called on the Democratic Party to unite and made a unique appeal for their nominee last Tuesday at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Clinton, through video, rather than a live podium speech, served as his own introductory speaker. This introduction focused on the impact he had on those who had sent him letters during his presidency, which he read and often responded to.
As the video ended and Clinton walked out on stage, the room erupted in applause and cheering. He waited briefly for it to quiet down, then began to speak slowly.
“In the spring of 1971, I met a girl,” he said. With that, he proceeded to invite the crowd on a trip down memory lane, recalling his first meeting with his future wife and how her intensity proved “magnetic.” He summed this up with the sentiment that “knowing her was one of the greatest gifts Hillary ever gave to me.”
Soon, however, Clinton returned to his memories, bringing up numerous instances where the former First Lady had inspired him through service to others.
“Hillary opened my eyes to a whole new brand of public service by private citizens,” Clinton noted, before discussing his wife’s role in desegregating schools in the South. He also mentioned her efforts working with Hispanic voters in Texas, with children and parents in Arkansas, with first responders in New York and with disabled Americans across the nation.
Clinton highlighted the work that Secretary Clinton did while he served as Governor of Arkansas, from helping found the Arkansas Advocates for Family and Children to starting the first legal aid service in the state. He recalled that one member of the Arkansas legislature, impressed with Secretary Clinton's deep understanding of specific policy issues, exclaimed that it “looks like we elected the wrong Clinton.”
All of this led up to Clinton’s assertion that Secretary Clinton “is the best darn change maker I have ever met.” In fact, Clinton claims that this very idea is one major reason why the Republicans have attacked her so viciously.
In his words, “a real change maker represents a real threat.” He further went on to suggest that the Republicans had turned her into “a cartoon,” a sort of living straw man to run against.
The difference between reality and fantasy transcended many others as one of the core themes of Clinton’s speech. It seemed to especially hit home when used as criticism of the Republican Party and its presidential nominee, Donald Drumpf. Clinton had already made several subtle digs at Drumpf, including the line, “[Secretary Clinton] never made fun of people with disabilities; she empowered them based on their ability,” in reference to comments Drumpf had made about a reporter who suffers from a chronic condition that impairs his movement. Comparing foreign policy between the two major parties, Clinton stated “One is real, the other is made up … you just have to decide which is which, my fellow Americans.”
“Earlier today, you nominated the real one,” he added.
He subsequently appealed directly to different groups of people, many of whom had been marginalized or insulted by Drumpf, to ask them to stay in America and help to build a bright future. He also recalled what he had been sent to say to an audience in West Virginia, a state which he claims his wife had no hope of winning in the Democratic primaries.
“Vote for whoever you want to, but if [Secretary Clinton] wins, she is coming back for you to take you along on the ride to America’s future,” he ended.