Philadelphia: Scripting history, Hillary Clinton Tuesday became the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major US party as she secured the backing of the Democrats at the convention here to set up an epic clash with Republican rival Donald Trump in the November polls.
Clinton, who has been secretary of state, first lady and a Senator from New York, secured her nomination at the Democratic National Convention here after a majority of the 4,764 party delegates formally backed her. If elected in the November 8 polls, Clinton would become America’s first female president and commander-in-chief.
In an electrifying end to the Democratic convention’s second night, Clinton appeared by video from New York, saying, “What an incredible honour that you have given me and I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.” “This is really your victory. This is really your night. And 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,” the 68-year-old said. Her rival from the primaries, Bernie Sanders moved a resolution for her nomination when the roll call got to his home state of Vermont — sending out a vital message of unity for a party struck by deep divisions.
“I move that Hillary Clinton be nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate of the United States,” Sanders said as he called for suspension of rules to pave the way for unanimous nomination of Clinton as the party’s presidential candidate. Moments later, the Democratic delegates nominated Clinton as the party’s presidential candidate, setting up a high-stakes showdown with Republican Trump. Clinton’s nomination was proposed by Congresswoman Barbara A Mikulski, the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate, and the first woman to chair the powerful Senate Committee on Appropriations.
“It is with a full heart that I am here today as we nominate Hillary Clinton to be the first woman president,” she said. “Many of you have broken barriers. You were the first to go to college. You were the first to start a business. Maybe the first to be a citizen. But you knew when you broke a barrier you didn’t do it for yourself. You did it so others would not have to face them again. That’s what Hillary wants to do. She wants to break down all the barriers to opportunity,” Mikulski said. Legendary civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis seconded Clinton’s name as the Democratic presidential nominee.
“Eight years ago, our party nominated and elected the first person of colour to ever serve in the White House not just for one, but two terms. Tonight we will shatter that glass ceiling again. We’re the party of tomorrow, and we will build a true democracy in America,” Lewis said.
Lewis talked about Clinton in glowing terms, saying she has dedicated her life to public service and building a better America.
“I have known Hillary Clinton for many years. She is one of the most qualified candidates to ever run for president. She is a leader, sometimes sailing against the wind to break down the barriers that divide us. She’s smart, just smart. She could have done anything with her life, but she decided long ago she didn’t want to just do well, she wanted to do good,” he said. Clinton is scheduled to deliver her acceptance speech tomorrow. Last week she selected Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate. Her husband, the charismatic and controversial Bill Clinton was the President of the United States from 1993-2001.
As the first lady she had launched several key initiatives in health care and women’s rights. A proponent of clean energy, Clinton is known for being a strong advocate of Indo-US ties.
As a New York Senator, she was instrumental in the launch of the Senate India Caucus -? the only country-specific Senate Caucus, and was its founding co-chairman. After being sworn in as the Secretary of State in January 2009, Clinton was instrumental in launch of annual India-US Strategic Dialogue. She appointed Indian-Americans to the State Department like Raj Shah, head of USAID, and Richard Verma as the Assistant Secretary of State. Verma is now the US Ambassador to India.
Clinton also has several Indian-Americans in key positions in her campaign including Huma Abedin, Neera Tanden, Shefali Razdan Duggal and Aditi Hardikar.