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Hillary Clinton made history on Thursday night, becoming the first woman to ever accept a major party's presidential nomination.

During her speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Clinton celebrated the pathbreaking nature of her candidacy. She also sought to reassure Americans that she understood their economic frustrations and would strive to alleviate them; portrayed herself as a figure of stability in a troubled, divided country; cast Donald Trump as an intolerably risky choice for president; and sent a message of unity to both Bernie Sanders supporters in her own party and any Republicans who might be worried about a Trump presidency.


In a year when both major political parties faced criticisms that they were out of touch with the American people, Clinton made a point to say she had heard their concerns and understood people who felt "frustrated" and "furious" with the state of the country, adding, "You're right. It's not yet working the way it should."


She added, "Democrats are the party of working people. But we haven't done a good enough job showing that we get what you're going through, and that we're going to do something about it."

The speech came at a moment of intense turmoil and division in America. Over the past two months, the nation has reeled from the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile; and the shooting of police officers in Dallas. Clinton, whose record on race and criminal justice has been a flashpoint in the campaign, urged white viewers to "put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable." She also called for people to put themselves "in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job."

Turning to guns, she insisted she was "not here to take away your guns," but said she doesn't "want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place."


"We should be working with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and all others who would do us harm," she said.

Clinton made a particular effort to woo the supporters of Bernie Sanders, using strikingly Sandersesque language to talk about the economy and the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

"I believe that our economy isn't working the way it should because our democracy isn't working the way it should," she said. That's why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them."


Clinton talked about the time she thinks it takes to make real change, insisting that it comes "step-by-step, year-by-year … sometimes even door-by-door." She emphasized the importance of community, saying that "no one does it alone."

"I sweat the details of policy – whether we're talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs," she said. "Because it's not just a detail if it's your kid - if it's your family. It's a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president."

She then said that Trump was no solution.

"Donald Trump's not offering real change.  He's offering empty promises," she said. "What are we offering? A bold agenda to improve the lives of people across our country - to keep you safe, to get you good jobs, and to give your kids the opportunities they deserve."


Clinton also pointedly cast herself as a unifying figure. Thursday night's theme of "Stronger Together" had focused heavily on bringing wavering Republicans towards the party, and Clinton continued that focus. She insisted she spoke not just for Democrats, but for Republicans and independents, and led the crowd by saying "Join us!…That's how we are going to make sure the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top."

Though most of the speech was centered around domestic policy, Clinton saved some of her most pointed criticisms of Trump for a section on international affairs. Her hawkishness on global matters has not endeared her to many within the Democratic Party, but she stuck to it steadfastly, and said that Trump was a reckless, thin-skinned man who could not be trusted:

Ask yourself: Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief? Donald Trump can't even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he's gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he's challenged in a debate. When he sees a protester at a rally. Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.


She also paid tribute to her late mother, Dorothy Rodham.

"The lesson she passed on to me years later stuck with me: No one gets through life alone," she said. "We have to look out for each other and lift each other up. She made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith: 'Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.'"

And, of course, Clinton touched on the groundbreaking nature of her speech, saying that she is "so happy this day has come." She continued:

"Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit. So let's keep going, until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves."