Clinton makes bold play for political centre ground, vows to be president for ‘all Americans’
In her Democratic Party’s White House nomination acceptance speech, Clinton also focused on her biggest weakest – a tough public image forged over decades of withering political trench warfare
Hillary Clinton on Thursday accepted the Democratic Party’s White House nomination, casting herself as a tireless champion of the people and rejecting Donald Trump’s dark picture of America.
Becoming the first woman to win the nomination of a major political party, Clinton promised to be a president for “all Americans”, whether they voted for her or not.
Making a bold play for the political centre ground in an election year that has seen the hard right and the hard left become louder and more shrill, Clinton vowed to “be a president for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents”.
“For the struggling, the striving and the successful. For those who vote for me and those who don’t. For all Americans.”
Much of Clinton’s address to Democrats gathered in Philadelphia for their party’s convention was focused on perhaps her biggest weakness come November – a tough public image forged over decades of withering political trench warfare.
“Some people just don’t know what to make of me,” she said with a frankness that is unusual in American politics.
“The truth is, through all of these years of public service, the service part has always come easier to me than the public part.”
But addressing her image of putting policy above politics, Clinton was unrepentant.
“It’s true,” she said. “I sweat the details,” be it the amount of lead permissible in drinking water or the cost of prescription drugs.
“It’s not just a detail if it’s your kid, if it’s your family,” she said.
Clinton also trained fire on Trump’s dystopian view of America.
“He wants to divide us from the rest of the world and from each other,” Clinton said, mocking Trump’s claim that he alone can “fix” the country.
“He’s taken the Republican Party a long way from ‘Morning in America’ to midnight in America. He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.”
Clinton also offered an olive branch to those who backed her rival Bernie Sanders, telling them their voice had been heard, even as isolated voices of dissent echoed around the Philadelphia sports arena.
“I want to thank Bernie Sanders ... And to all of your supporters here and around the country, I want you to know I’ve heard you,” Clinton said.
“Your cause is our cause.”