At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton received the official nomination of her party, a landmark victory in her campaign.
On Tuesday (26th July) night, eight years after being defeated to the ticket by then Senator Barack Obama, Clinton has succeeded in the historical nomination, with 2,838 delegate votes against rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ 1,843.
This marks the first time a woman has been nominated by a major political party to run for the Presidency.
Her nomination was met with thunderous applause from her supporters in the room but was not without controversy, when a planned walk out of hundreds of Sanders’ delegates, highlighted one of the problems Hilary now faces: Winning over Sanders’ most ardent supporters.
Sanders’ himself called for party unity and urged his supporters to lend their vote to Hilary. In his speech at the convention he officially endorsed Clinton’s nomination, saying: “I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States.”
Bernie Sanders’ campaign has proved to be a thorn in Clinton’s side with his progressive narrative often casting Clinton to the right of her party.
Clinton has survived a series of scandals and challenges that have rocked her campaign, such as the infamous leaked emails that revealed the use of her personal account for political campaigning alongside her perceived position as a privileged member of the political class.
Her rivals have long painted her as a seasoned politician who, as part of a political dynasty, is out of touch with grassroots movements and in the pockets of lobbyists and corporations alike. Clinton will have to work hard to remove herself as a figurehead for the political elite and get back in touch with disenfranchised voters.
It was this portrayal of Clinton as hard nosed and ruthlessly political that her husband, former US President Bill Clinton, spent most of his keynote address at the convention, dismantling. In a deeply personal speech about his wife he spent a large portion of it reminding people of the more palatable persona of Clinton as a dedicated politician, wife and mother.
Speaking of a woman with a long history of public service as a lawyer, senator, first lady and Secretary of State, his speech set out to soften her image. He characterised her as the person to deliver the change that America needs, saying: “She’s the best darn change-maker I’ve ever met in my entire life.”
Making an appearance at the convention via video link, Mrs Clinton made sure to acknowledge her monumental victory and what it meant for young girls watching across the country, declaring: “If there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say, I may be the first woman president but one of you is next,”
Her nomination kick-starts her battle for the Whitehouse that will end on November 8th when Americans will cast their vote for the next President of the United States.
Clinton will now face a long and bitter battle against Republican nominee Donald Trump, whose zealous and dogmatic ideology has made him one of the most divisive presidential nominees in the country’s history.