The second day of Hillary Clinton’s convention was marked by her becoming the first woman to receive a major party’s presidential nomination, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, humanising her as progressive change maker in a lengthy address, and a number of lower-profile speakers explaining how she fought for them and improved their lives.
In short, it was one of the better days for Clinton’s candidacy.
“Absolutely” it was, Democratic strategist Ben LaBolt told Business Insider, adding that the speakers helped explain not only why Clinton is in politics, but why she would make a good president.
The night was full of speakers, whether they were talking about Clinton’s healthcare initiatives or her work involving first responders and survivors of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. The speakers showed her “fighting for people who you don’t necessarily read about in the newspaper everyday,” LaBolt said.
He added that a “main takeaway” from the whole convention will be the addresses delivered by people directly affected by the terror attacks.
“I fought to honour our troops, who were fighting on frontlines around the world,” said Lauren Manning, a 9/11 survivor from the World Trade Center attack who suffered burns on more than 80% of her body. “I fought to return to my young son. I fought as hard as I could so the terrorists wouldn’t get one more. Hillary Clinton stood with me through that fight.”
“In the darkest of days and the hardest of times, the people who show up mean everything,” she continued. “Hillary showed up. She walked into my hospital room and took my bandaged hand in her own. Our connection wasn’t between a senator and her constituent. Our connection was person-to-person.”
LaBolt said testimony such as Manning’s was “particularly powerful” because it hits on Clinton’s main message — “that she’s going to fight for people like you.”
“That was some of the most powerful testimony we’ve ever heard about Hillary Clinton,” he said.
Evan Siegfried, a Republican commentator opposed to the candidacy of GOP nominee Donald Trump, told Business Insider he thought the Clinton campaign didn’t do some of the things they should have been doing Tuesday night. Pointing to President Clinton’s speech, Siegfried said he missed a major point — the stakes in the election.
“He humanized Hillary and it was a reintroduction of who she is, but she’s a known quantity,” he said. “What he sort of missed out on was that he didn’t explain what the stakes are this election. And for two candidates who are basically despised by everybody, that’s a big problem.”
“In addition to trying to make her seem like a palatable alternative, you have to say the other guy is that much worse,” he said. “Like it or not, this election is about who’s less despised than the other.”
He said the DNC is already off to a better start than the Republican National Convention from last week because “there was no plagiarism,” pointing to Melania Trump’s speech that was partially cribbed from first lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the DNC.
Siegfried also said that one of the biggest questions of the convention, whether the part is united, is at the forefront for an interesting reason. Unlike in Cleveland, where many of Trump’s dissenters within the GOP decided against showing up, many fiercely anti-Clinton Democrats and independents who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont decided to show up and be vocal about their disapproval.
Cleveland, as a result, “was much more Trump friendly from the outset.”
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