Bill Clinton spoke at his 10th convention, but this time, it was in a different role: He was the first husband to give a speech on behalf of his wife as the nominee of a major party.
He told the story about how the two first met, focusing heavily on Clinton pre-limelight and setting up her image as a change maker.
“She insatiably curious, she’s a natural leader, she’s a good organizer and she’s the best darn change maker I ever met in my entire life,” Clinton said Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention.
But he didn’t just talk about Clinton. He also called Republican nominee Donald Trump a “cartoon alternative.”
“What’s the difference in what I told you and what they said?” he said of how Republicans characterize his wife. “How do you square it? You can’t. One is real, the other is made up. You just have to decide which is which, my fellow Americans.”
“You nominated the real one,” he added to raucous applause.
Clinton officially became the first female nominee of a major political party Tuesday after a roll-call of delegates at the Democratic National Convention.
Though largely ceremonial, the nomination underlines an historic step, coming 96 years after the Constitution was amended to guarantee women the right to vote. Each state had a chance to voice its support for Clinton while praising Bernie Sanders, with South Dakota putting Clinton over the edge.
The roll-call vote began shortly before 5:30 p.m. EST with Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, mayor of Baltimore and secretary of DNC, counting the votes. It was a smooth roll-call vote with no major disruptions breaking out after a dramatic Monday. A little over an hour in, Clinton broke the magic number of 2,382 delegate votes to take the nomination.
Sanders himself joined the Vermont delegation and moved that Clinton be nominated by acclamation after about an hour and a half of roll-call votes being cast.
“I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States,” Sanders said.
Shortly after Clinton became the nominee, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and several other Democratic female representatives took the stage.
“Aren’t you proud to be part of this historic moment in our history? Hillary Clinton knows that this moment is not just about one woman’s achievement but about what a woman president will mean for the dreams and hopes and aspirations of every woman and every son and every daughter across the land for generations to come.”
One of the memorable moments of the roll-call vote was when Sanders’ brother, Larry, cast a vote for him on behalf of Democrats Abroad.
But it was Clinton’s show for sure: Several instances emphasized the historic moment, including a 102-year-old female delegate from Arizona, whose birth date preceded women’s right to vote.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Rep. John Lewis and Na’ilah Amaru, a New York delegate, each offered nominating speeches for Clinton.
“She could have done anything with her life, but she decided long ago she didn’t want to do just well. She wanted to do good,” Lewis said during his speech.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Paul Feeney, the Massachusetts State Director for Bernie 2016, and Shyla Nelson of Vermont offered nominating speeches for Sanders.
“Bernie not only fought for people, he empowered people,” Feeney said to wild applause from delegates. He urged Sanders supporters to stay engaged and come together to support Clinton in November.
Democrats are hoping that Tuesday will get off to a better start than the opening day of the convention, which included problems getting Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters to fall in line behind Clinton. Protests outside the convention and intermittent boos of speakers marred the intended message of Democratic unity, although things mostly settled down by the time the day’s keynote speakers took the stage.
The theme for the second day of the convention is “A Lifetime of Fighting for Children and Families.” Speakers include former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and actress Meryl Streep.
Clinton covered all of her bases: She had people speak about her response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, her motherhood, her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Whether surrogates addressed these topics and others directly or indirectly, the message was straightforward, and it was that she has the background and experience for the job.