PHOENIX — And with that, the 2016 presidential race is set.
Hillary Clinton officially accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday at the party’s convention in Philadelphia in what was a formality after she was named the nominee following a vote earlier in the week.
“My friends it is with humility, determination and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for President of the United States,” Clinton said.
Promising Americans a steady hand, Hillary Clinton cast herself Thursday night as a unifier for divided times, an experienced leader steeled for a volatile world. She aggressively challenged Republican Donald Trump’s ability to do the same.
“Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis,” Clinton said as she accepted the Democratic nomination for president. “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
Clinton took the stage to roaring applause from flag-waving delegates on the final night of the Democratic convention, relishing her nomination as the first woman to lead a major U.S. political party. But her real audience was the millions of voters watching at home, many of whom may welcome her experience as secretary of state senator and first lady, but question her character.
She acknowledged those concerns briefly, saying “I get it that some people just don’t know what to make of me.” But her primary focus was persuading Americans to not be seduced by Trump’s vague promises to restore economic security and fend off threats from abroad.
Clinton’s acceptance capped the four-day convention that welcomed a slew of celebrities and politicians alike.
After securing the nomination, Clinton’s full attention will turn to Nov. 8 and her Republican adversary, Donald Trump.
Though her nomination was not official until Thursday, several speakers — including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Clinton’s vice presidential pick, Tim Kaine — used their Wednesday speeches to rally support around the candidate.
As both Biden and Kaine served as attack dogs and sought to poke holes in many of Trump’s promises or campaign phrases, Obama was free to paint a picture of America as a place that is already great in a speech that served to both back Clinton and sum up his time in office.
Delivering a passionate case for his onetime rival, Obama declared Clinton not only can defeat the “deeply pessimistic vision” of Trump but also realize the “promise of this great nation.”
“She’s been there for us, even if we haven’t always noticed,” he said.
Clinton appeared unannounced on the platform soon after to soak up the roar of cheering Democrats. She pointed at the man who denied her the White House eight years ago, smiled wide and gave him a hug.
Summoning his most famous line from that 2008 campaign, Obama said: “America isn’t about ‘Yes he will.’ It’s about ‘Yes we can.'”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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