Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was dignified and statesmanlike, as she took to the convention stage on Thursday to give a rousing speech: coming just six days after her Republican rival Donald Trump, who delivered the darkest, vainest acceptance speech in modern presidential history. It was devastatingly effective.
Clinton appeared almost overcome with emotion as she entered the arena to loud cheers and embraced her daughter, Chelsea, who introduced her as the next president of the United States. Chelsea, 36, who has two children, struck a warm personal note with the audience, as she shared intimate details about how her mother raised her.
With a chaotic Republican convention in Cleveland, and troubling remarks on Wednesday suggesting that Trump would be pleased if Russian cyber-spies hacked Hillary Clinton's email account, Trump set the ball on the tee for Clinton.
Late on Thursday night, Clinton knocked it out of sight as she addressed 30 million people in the biggest speech of her career.
"Even Hillary's sharpest critics will acknowledge that as a matter of political stagecraft — of tone, of emotional range and contrast to Trump — she gave a powerful, effective speech," said political analyst Barbara Morris.
"It is with humility, determination and boundless confidence in America's promise that I accept your nomination for President of the United States," Clinton said to thunderous applause at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
"Don't let anyone tell you we don't have what it takes," Clinton said as she took an early swipe at Trump's acceptance speech last week. "Most of all, don't believe anyone who says: 'I alone can fix it.' Those were actually Donald Trump's words in Cleveland. We say: 'We'll fix it together',” said Clinton.
She reached out to white working class voters who have powered Donald Trump's rise.
"Some of you are frustrated, even furious. And you know what? You're right. It's not yet working the way it should," she said.
There was even time for some humour after Clinton outlined economic, health and education policy prescriptions.
"You didn't hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention did you? He spoke for 70-odd minutes. And I do mean odd," she with a mischievous twinkle.
Clinton referenced the historic nature of her candidacy, saying "when any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone. After all, when there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit."
More than 55 percent of voters will be women in the upcoming November elections, and Clinton is trying to reach those voters in her bid to get to the White House. There’s a contingent of strong Clinton supporters, who also want to completely take gender out of the equation, citing their agreement with her on issues and her stellar resume.
"I'm not voting for Hillary cause she’s a woman. I'm voting for her cause she’s most qualified," actress Eva Longoria told reporters.
However, some like Oscar-winner Meryl Streep have pointed out that Clinton has walked through fire to get her party's nomination. “What does it take to be the first anything?” said Meryl Streep in her remarks from the podium on Tuesday night. “Grit and grace for over 40 years.”
After the divisiveness of the Trump campaign, and the spate of gun violence in places such as Orlando, Clinton projected herself as the epitome of steady leadership to a nation that is looking for reassurance.
Ahead of Clinton's speech, retired four star General John Allen, the former head of US and international forces in Afghanistan, delivered a powerful speech in which he told delegates that Clinton would be "exactly the Commander-in-Chief America needs."
"Our country's motto is e pluribus unum: out of many, we are one. Will we stay true to that motto?" asked Clinton
"Well, we heard Donald Trump's answer last week at his convention. He wants to divide us — from the rest of the world, and from each other. He's betting that the perils of today's world will blind us to its unlimited promise. He's taken the Republican Party a long way...from "Morning in America" to "Midnight in America." He wants us to fear the future and fear each other," said Clinton.
"Well, a great Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than eighty years ago, during a much more perilous time," said Clinton.
The theme was 'Stronger Together' as Clinton delivered her speech at the end of a largely successful convention which has begun to mend the split left in the party by her divisive primary against Bernie Sanders. The mood on the convention floor on Thursday was festive and upbeat.
Updated Date: Oct 25, 2016 10:04:31 IST