Hillary Clinton’s Nomination Acceptance Speech Tried To Win Over Independent Voters (While Obviously Annihilating Trump)
Thursday night, Hillary Clinton gave her speech officially accepting the Democratic nomination to run for president at the Democratic National Convention. Although there’s still some divide within her own party (I’m looking at you Bernie or Bust folks), Clinton’s nomination acceptance speech was aimed at independent voters. Party conventions by nature generally focus solely on their party, but Clinton was already barreling to get to the general election and speak to the nation as a whole. It helped that she knew the whole nation would be watching as she became the first female presidential nominee for a major party — why not just speak to everyone out there?
“Whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign,” she told the cheering crowd in Philadelphia. “If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not pad executive bonuses, join us. If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty, join us.” She went on to say the same thing for affordable health care, rejecting unfair trade deals, expanding social security, protecting a woman’s right to choose, and equal pay.
Just from that short excerpt, a major difference between Clinton and Donald Trump becomes abundantly clear — she says “us,” not “I.” Trump’s constantly talking about how he’ll personally make America great again and harps on his “achievements,” which Clinton obviously does too, but she also acknowledges that it’s not all about her.
Repeating “join us” over and over was clearly an attempt to bring undecided voters to Team Hillary while reinforcing her position as the more inclusive candidate. She didn’t care to simply sing her own praises to massive applause from people who already support her, she’s in it to win and didn’t want to waste a single day as the official nominee not working to gain more supporters.
Of course, there was no way she was going to get through an entire speech without ripping Trump into a million tiny pieces and throwing them into the ocean. One of the most powerful moments of the night was when she used his love of Twitter against him, saying, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
She went on to quote Jackie Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, saying: “She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.” I’m sure calling Trump a “little” man pissed him off more than any long-winded speech about his shortcomings ever could.
Clinton knows she needs to win voters over who don’t necessarily like her (she ain’t the most popular woman in America, that’s for sure) or the Democratic Party, and that’s exactly what she aimed to do.