In an emotional and slightly tumultuous Tuesday night, Democrats formally nominated Hillary Clinton as their candidate for President, making her the first woman in history to be nominated on a major party's ticket.
"What an incredible honor that you have given me, and I can't believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet,” said Clinton via satellite after a video montage of shattered glass comprised of male presidents. “If there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say I may become the first woman President. But one of you is next."
Clinton's nomination came after what began as a procedural, by-the-books roll call that turned into a near revolt by Bernie Sanders supporters who were holding out hope that the Vermont Senator would somehow grab the nomination, despite him already pledging to support her. Speaking for the Vermont delegation, Sanders made a motion that the convention suspend procedural rules to nominate Clinton by acclamation.
— Aaron Cynic (@aaroncynic) July 26, 2016
Thunderous cheers and applause rippled through a large swath of the crowd, but some of the most die-hard Sanders supporters could be seen with tears in their eyes, many hugging and consoling each other. Shortly after, a large group of delegates walked out of the building and headed towards the media tent in protest.
“They've been bought. Whether it's with money or mental telepathy, whatever it is...The world is watching us and what they're taking from this is that anybody with power or money could be our president,” said Miguel Angel Zuniga, a Sanders delegate from Los Angeles.
A small group of delegates managed to enter the media tent before it was cordoned off by police. From the outside, some could be seen talking to reporters while others sat down on the floor or pressed signs to the glass showing their disaffection.
Luis Eric Aguilar, a delegate from Illinois who had “no TPP” written on his arm, held a makeshift sign that read “Hillary delegates acted like Trump supporters.”
— Aaron Cynic (@aaroncynic) July 27, 2016
Aguilar, along with several other delegates who made home-made signs on the convention floor, said that some staffers and other delegates surrounding them attempted to take their signs away and threatened to revoke their credentials. While Aguilar, like many other Sanders delegates, said he wouldn't vote for Trump, he also said he didn't know where he might throw his support.
“Everything we learned about Bernie's campaign is everything standing up against Hillary's. They're the ones with money, backed by corporations and the banks. We're backed by millions around the nation,” said Aguilar.
The protest soon faded, with the majority of the delegates heading back inside to hear the “Mothers of the Movement” address the convention. The group of women, all who have had children killed by law enforcement while in police custody or due to gun violence, delivered a powerful and emotional plea for changes in the criminal justice system and pledged their support for Clinton.
“I'm here for my son, Trayvon Martin, who's in heaven,” said Sybrina Fulton, the mother of the unarmed 17-year old Florida teen who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. “I am an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this. None of us would have.”
Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, a suburban Chicago woman and activist who was found dead in a Texas jail cell after police had violently arrested her for a minor traffic violation, said that she had relived the “worst nightmare anyone could imagine” just the day prior.
“I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin. Sandy, my fourth of five daughters, was gone. No, not on administrative leave, but on permanent leave from this earth, found hanging in a jail cell after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest.”
The convention gave the nine mothers a standing ovation as they exited the stage, with many chanting “black lives matter.”
— Aaron Cynic (@aaroncynic) July 27, 2016
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took the stage later in the evening for a bit of saber rattling, along with recalling her experiences knowing Clinton over the years.
“This fall, we must do everything we can to make sure that Hillary becomes our next Commander-in-Chief,” said Albright. “In this era, with these threats, we need a leader who has the experience and judgment to keep America strong, secure, and safe.”
Albright, who many remember best for pressuring the U.N. to withdraw peacekeeping forces in Rwanda at the beginning of the genocide in 1994 and once said that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children were “worth it,” also took jabs at Donald Trump. “He's already done damage, just by running for president,” she said, later adding that Trump's “dark vision of America, one that's isolated in the world, alienated from our allies, would be a disaster.”
Former President and potential first husband Bill Clinton closed out the evening, delivering a sometimes rambling 45-minute speech which told the story of how the pair met and their life in politics together. "This woman has never been satisfied with the status quo in anything,” he said. “She always wants to move the ball forward. That is just who she is.” At one point he completely strayed from prepared remarks on the teleprompter, and Twitter responded.
— Adam Longo (@adamlongoTV) July 27, 2016
@plussone Haha! So, so true.
— Claudia Stellar (@ClaudiaStellar) July 27, 2016
BTW, Clinton is riffing now. The teleprompter has ground to a halt, waiting.
— Susan Page (@SusanPage) July 27, 2016
After getting back on track, Clinton said that Americans should elect the former First Lady and Secretary of State to be president for their children and grandchildren. “I hope you will do it. I hope you will elect her. Those of us who have more yesterdays than tomorrows tend to care more about our children and grandchildren.”