PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A glass ceiling is shattering at the Democratic National Convention as Hillary Clinton ascends to the presidential nomination with Tuesday’s roll call of the states, making her the first woman to lead a major party into a White House race.
But as history is being made, hostility is being heard, too. Rhetorically, at least, die-hard Bernie Sanders’ supporters also are breaking some glass, loudly protesting his treatment by the party and still cold to Clinton even as Sanders appeals for Democrats to unify and defeat Republican Donald Trump, “a bully and a demagogue.”
What was expected to be a tightly orchestrated convention, run with all the professionalism and experience that were lacking at Trump’s often-chaotic affair in Ohio, instead showed its rough edges in the early going, starting with chants of “Bernie” during the opening invocation and boos at numerous mentions of Clinton’s name.
First lady Michelle Obama gave a heartfelt endorsement of the candidate who engaged her husband in a fierce struggle for the nomination in 2008. “I trust Hillary to lead this country,” she said in a speech that provided a parent’s-eye view of the White House and its power.
Liberal favorite Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts, and Sanders himself also gave the party something to cheer about Monday night.
While Mrs. Obama has often avoided overt politics, her frustration with Trump’s rise was evident. Without naming him, she warned that the White House couldn’t be in the hands of someone with “a thin skin or a tendency to lash out” or someone who tells voters the country can be great again. “This right now, is the greatest country on earth,” she said.
Sanders took the stage to a sustained roar and shouts of “We love you, Bernie.” Some of his supporters were in tears.
While asserting “our revolution continues,” the Vermont senator implored his restive followers to get behind Clinton. On issues of poverty, immigration, environmental protection and more, he said, Clinton’s election counts. “If you don’t believe that this election is important,” he said, “take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate.”
Democrats made a pronounced effort to showcase their diversity, salting the lineup from the stage with black, Hispanic, gay and disabled speakers in an obvious counterpoint to Trump and the various groups he has upset with his remarks.