Tonight, a jubilant, grateful Hillary Clinton took the stage before 5,000 screaming supporters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to make history as the first woman to earn a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. She was gracious, complimenting Senator Sanders for running a “tremendous campaign” and “exciting so many new voters,” inviting unity as she spoke of our strengths when we work toward a better life for people of “every zip code.”
Eight years ago on this very date, Hillary Clinton gave a different kind of speech, suspending her razor close race for the nomination and congratulating Barack Obama, the eventual nominee. That day, she dressed in black, perhaps out of respect to her supporters mourning the loss. But tonight, she was a picture of rebirth and hope, as she once again crossed a milestone for all women. Media outlets may try to underplay it, but her achievement, and that of her campaign volunteers, staff and supporters is something deserving of celebration, overcoming a constant media firestorm and 25 years of Republican bashing to once again earn more popular votes than any candidate of either Party.
Women need to get the message that they can earn a seat at the biggest table. In order to do that the achievement of role models who come before them must never be rendered invisible. 44 years ago this week, Shirley Chisholm became the first woman to win the NJ Democratic Primary.* In 2008, Hillary won 22 states and 18,000,000 votes. Tonight, Hillary was voted our Democratic Nominee.
As a longtime Hillary supporter, I was proud to cast my vote for her today. I must have checked the ink dot I marked on my ballot three times before daring to move to the next page.
Emotion overtook me as I watched her speak, confident not only in her leadership and policy prescriptions but in the outreach I’m sure she will do, both to Senator Sanders’ loyal supporters and to crossover voters of any and all political persuasions.
In another perfect shot at Republican opponent, Donald Trump, Clinton said “Bridges are better than walls.” Hillary also recalled her close relationship with her Mom, who she said: “…[T]aught me to never back down from a bully, and it turns out that was really good advice!”
But Secretary Clinton earlier tweeted a photograph that best symbolizes the barrier broken today:
To every little girl who dreams big: Yes, you can be anything you want—even president. Tonight is for you. -H pic.twitter.com/jq7fKlfwGV
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 8, 2016
I also wish to acknowledge a lovely tweet from a Sanders’ supporter:
— J.J. Colagrande (@jjcolagrande) June 8, 2016
My face just cracks into a giant grin looking at Hillary right now. That is the face of a woman who WORKED for it.
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) June 8, 2016
As a trailblazer, This is yet another in a series of Hillary Clinton firsts, but as she made clear, this victory is about all of us winning together. No matter Hillary’s brand recognition, which works to her detriment as often as it works in her favor, never doubt the enormity of today’s achievement.
Have a glass of wine, everybody. Then tomorrow, back to work!