History was made last night as Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president. You can read her speech here or watch it here.
Let’s begin today’s roundup with The New York Times:
Mrs. Clinton’s nomination — bringing women, barred first by law and then by custom, to the pinnacle of American politics — is to be celebrated as inspiration for young Americans, and as hope for women in nations and cultures that deny them the most basic opportunities. It is further proof that opening doors to women elevates and strengthens our nation. [...]
For four decades, Mrs. Clinton has listened to and spoken for children and the poor. She has absorbed personal and professional blows that would have left others on the canvas, and she has delivered some, too. Few politicians, and certainly not her opponent, have the intellectual heft that she brings to the race for the White House.
Yoni Appelbaum, writing in The Atlantic, highlights the reaction to Clinton’s nomination among the younger generation:
Women now occupy a broad range of business, professional, and civic positions. But in politics, as in most other fields, it gets narrower toward the top. Not quite one in three local and county officials is a woman, but only one in four state legislators, one in five members of Congress, one in eight governors. And no presidents. [...]
“I want to see Hillary and to see her speak and to see her get nominated,” said Lila Hutchins, [a] 10-year-old. It was important, she said, “because if she’s the first woman president then there’ll probably be other ones.”
Her 6-year-old sister, Mae, broke in excitedly: “I know I will be one!”
She beamed up at me, and I believed her.
John Cassidy at The New Yorker dives into the polls and messaging in her speech:
One of these frames [for her agenda] was to present these policies as “building on the progress made” by the Obama Administration. The other was to present them as “rewriting the rules” of the economy to make sure that it works for everybody, and not just for those at the top. At times during her campaign, Clinton has used both of these tacks. Evidently, some people inside her campaign favor the first approach, believing that projecting an optimistic view will work well in contrast to Trump’s pessimism. The policy people on Clinton’s staff, who are mostly progressives, reportedly favor the second approach, which borrows something from the arguments Bernie Sanders has been making. [...]
The data [pollster] Greenberg presented, which came from a survey his research firm carried out, showed unequivocally that the “rewriting the rules” framework produces a more positive response among voters, especially among certain key groups. For example, when Clinton’s policies were presented as part of an over-all effort to restructure the economy to make it fairer, the favorable response among millennials jumped by eleven percentage points, and by ten points among minority voters. “This is all about the narrative,” Greenberg explained. “We really can be ahead on the economy, not behind as we are now . . . when we have a powerful core message which is unsparing in saying this economy is not working for the many, it is only working for the few.”
Clare Foran at The Atlantic:
The path to the general election for a woman nominee is uncharted territory. “Think about it this way: Only a hundred years ago, women couldn't even vote,” said the Rutgers University assistant political-science professor Shauna Shames. “The progress to this point in just a few decades is nothing short of stunning, and I think we forget that. But it also means there has been a tremendous backlash, some of which I think we see in the opposition to Hillary.” [...]
It’s common to hear women who admire Clinton say the criticism she faces is tinged with sexism. Yet for some of them, she is inspirational, not in spite of her reputation, but because of it. Where critics might see an irrevocably damaged reputation, admirers see perseverance in the face of adversity. “It’s been remarkable to see her career unfold,” said Dana Dabek, a 34-year-old at the women’s caucus event. “Watching her trajectory from First Lady until now, and seeing how even in the midst of misogyny, she has just kept going, kept advancing. That’s inspiring.”
Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast takes a birds eye view of the convention and explains how the Democratic Party’s rousing convention was a success because it highlighted the “regular people” who make America great:
If it’s Morning in America today, it’s a Democratic one. The Republicans are now the party of permanent midnight.
I don’t know that I’ve ever heard thousands of Democrats chant “USA! USA!” Certainly not in the 1970s, which is what gave Reagan his opening. This week, though, the Democrats have chanted it over and over.
It’s been a beautifully stage-managed convention. This isn’t my spin, this is an honest reaction to what I’ve watched. It has surprised me consistently every night, from a party that hasn’t usually done this all that well. And the reason it’s been well stage-managed is that it hasn’t been just Democratic elected officials who’ve sung from the hymnal. It’s been Americans.
Paul Krugman also cites the Democratic National Convention as a “celebration of America”:
I know that some Republicans feel as if they’ve fallen through the looking glass. After all, usually they’re the ones chanting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” And haven’t they spent years suggesting that Barack and Michelle Obama hate America, and may even support the nation’s enemies? How did Democrats end up looking like the patriots here?
But the parties aren’t really experiencing a role reversal. President Obama’s speech on Wednesday was wonderful and inspiring, but when he declared that “what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican,” he was fibbing a bit. It was actually very Republican in substance; the only difference was that the substance was less disguised than usual. For the “fanning of resentment” that Mr. Obama decried didn’t begin with Donald Trump, and most of the flag-waving never did have much to do with true patriotism.
Think about it: What does it mean to love America? Surely it means loving the country we actually have. I don’t know about you, but whenever I return from a trip abroad, my heart swells to see the sheer variety of my fellow citizens, so different in their appearance, their cultural heritage, their personal lives, yet all of them — all of us — Americans.
And over at The Washington Post, the editors reflect on former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ speech and the push for greater gun safety:
In Philadelphia, a succession of people whose lives have been horribly altered by guns took the stage along with gun-safety activists. The hall hushed as former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords talked about her struggle to speak as the result of being shot near Tucson in 2011; and again when the mother whose son was killed in Orlando recounted how it took about five minutes for a church bell to toll for all 49 lives lost in last month’s massacre. The issue was framed not only with personal stories but also with explanations of how domestic terrorism and the safety of police officers are affected when the wrong people get guns. [...] A ban on assault weapons was one of the common-sense reforms Mr. Obama sought unsuccessfully in the wake of the slaughter of elementary schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012. “That’s the closest I came to feeling disgusted,” Mr. Obama said in the video. We hope voters will agree with him and his party that such inaction is no longer tolerable.
And, on a final note, here’s Jodi Kantor’s analysis at The New York Times on this historic moment in women’s history:
The president would know what it is like to be pregnant. Top military leaders would answer to a female boss, when there has never even been a woman on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Workplaces and home life could be transformed through expanded parental leave and pay equity. Or nothing could change. The symbolism would be supernova-level. The backlash could be withering.
On Thursday night, 240 years into an unbroken chain of all-male leadership, Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president. The country may be one hard-fought election away from a woman in charge, making a question that has always been abstract more concrete: How could having a woman as president alter the experience of being an American woman? [...]
The more boldly Mrs. Clinton acted, the more empowered women would feel, said Marqui Wilcher, 25, a supervisor at a Pittsburgh call center and a single mother. “Don’t go in there and cower down,” she said, as if speaking to the nominee.