PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first woman in American history to accept a major party’s nomination for the presidency at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night.
“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,” she said to a roaring crowd.
“Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come. Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between,” she added.
“Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone,” she said. “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”
While a conservative state, Texas played an important role in the nominee’s formative years.
At various points over the course of the convention, state Democrats and her husband, former President Bill Clinton referenced her time in 1972 registering South Texas voters.
Many of her friends from that year came to Philadelphia to see her secure the nomination.
Clinton won Texas’ March 1 primary by more than 30 points, resulting in a heavily pro-Clinton delegation here this week. The elected officials in attendance were uniformly Clinton supporters.
Some discord was evident in pockets of the arena as supporters of defeated Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders heckled her speech. The mostly supportive crowd aimed each time to drown out the taunts with chants of “Hillary!”
She gave a nod to the recent mass shootings in Dallas, pointing to it as a moment of American unity.
“Look at what happened in Dallas after the assassinations of five brave police officers,” she said. “Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them.”
“And you know how the community responded?” she asked. “Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days. That’s how Americans answer when the call for help goes out. ”
Clinton, she prosecuted a case against Republican nominee Donald Trump, painting him as an erratic and reckless candidate. With her husband sitting on the front row, she mocked Trump’s statement from his own convention that he “alone” can fix America’s problems.
“Really? ‘I alone can fix it?’ ” she asked. “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? Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe?”
Over and over throughout the program, Democrats aimed to strike a patriotic theme and Clinton looked out onto a sea of American flags.
She weaved that theme into her criticism of her rival.
“He’s forgetting every last one of us,” she said. “Americans don’t say, ‘ alone can fix it.’ We say: ‘We’ll fix it together.'”
Leaving the convention, Genevieve Van Cleve, a Clinton delegate from Austin, exclaimed “We changed history. There will never be another time in this country when a woman can’t interview for the top job.”
Reflecting on the final night of the convention, Van Cleve marveled at the breadth of opposition to Trump on display. The stage hosted a number of speakers who suggested the threat Trump poses to the country cuts across party lines, especially when it comes to national security.
“I’ve never seen so many American flags, Republicans and military folks at a Democratic convention,” Van Cleve said. “I think something really big happened tonight.”
Kathleen Thompson, a Sanders delegate from Grapevine, said Texas delegates were emerging from the convention more aware than ever of the need to stop Trump, regardless of whom they supported in the primary.
“What I heard over and over was from the Bernie folks was there’s too much at stake in this election,” Thompson said, recalling conversations all week long over breakfasts and lunches with fellow Texas delegates. “They’re not going to sit it out.”
“I think that there is so much that unite Hillary and Bernie delegates, and we have to work together to make sure Donald Trump gets nowhere near the White House,” Thompson added.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2016/07/28/historic-night-hillary-clinton-accepts-nomination/.