The Democratic National Convention kicked off with a storm in Philadelphia yesterday, as the party tried to rally behind Hillary Clinton.
Michelle Obama gave a brilliant speech in one of the prime time spots, cementing her place as one of the most popular First Lady’s in living memory.
Obama also reflected on her time in the Whitehouse whilst emphasising the ‘United Together’ theme of the day.
“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters — two beautiful intelligent black young women — play with the dog on the White House lawn” – a line that no doubt gave most of the room (including myself) goose bumps. Many in the room were brought to tears.
Read a full transcript of the speech here.
We might not have even got to the prime time speakers though, as the heavens opened and a flash flood warning was issued.
The rain certainly didn’t dampen the spirit of Bernie Sanders’ delegates though, who were vocal all day in their support of their preferred Democratic candidate.
During his speech, Sanders proclaimed that an agreement had been struck with Clinton that would give free college for over 80% of the country. A bold, yet potentially groundbreaking election promise (we know how those usually go).
There is no doubt that Sanders is incredibly popular among the Democrats and his “political revolution” has definitely influenced Hillary Clinton’s policy proposals.
Fortunately for Clinton, she didn’t ‘feel the Bern’ as her once rival Sanders continued to endorse her, stating that his supporters must help elect her over Donald Trump.
There were pockets of delegates around the arena who were clearly opposed to Clinton, but it does seem that even Sanders supporters will back eventually Clinton as the week goes on. A divided party is exactly what Donald Trump wants and the majority of Democrats seem keen to avoid that.
The day included a variety of diverse speakers, including DREAMer Activist Astrid Silva, a Mexican who moved to the US illegally as a child. A female Rabi and a Muslim congressman also spoke, emphasising the ‘United Together’ stance that seems key to Clinton’s appeal to a wide-range of Americans.
Overall, the day, which started amid chaos after Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation as party leader, ended in a certain degree of unity.
With the speakers unsurprisingly continuing to encourage support for Clinton, backing should only grow for her as the week goes on.
Today’s theme is ‘A lifetime of fighting for children and families,’ where Bill Clinton and Mothers of the Movement (‘moms’ who have lost their children to police shootings or gun violence) will speak.
A package on day one of the Democratic National Convention will be available on our YouTube channel ‘USA Votes’ soon.