PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton marked her place in history on Thursday night by accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, fighting to shift perceptions that have dogged her for more than two decades on a global stage as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
Clinton, 68, becomes the first woman nominee of a major American party, a milestone not lost on her allies at the Democratic National Convention this week. Images of shattered glass ceilings and ringing proclamations of progress from civil rights icons and lawmakers who broke barriers of their own filled the four days leading to Clinton's address here.
"Tonight, we've reached a milestone in our nation's march toward a more perfect union. The first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president," Clinton said to a standing ovation. "Standing here as my mother's daughter, and my daughter's mother, I'm so happy this day has come. 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."
She channeled the prevailing theme of optimism that the Democrats this week have tried to contrast with Republican billionaire Donald Trump's acceptance speech in Cleveland last week. She described a clear difference from Trump and the GOP on key issues, calling to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation, act on climate change and maintain women's health care institutions. She echoed Vice President Joe Biden in portraying the Democratic Party as the party of the middle class.
"So don't let anyone tell you that our country is weak. We're not. Don't let anyone tell you that we don't have what it takes. We do," she said. "And most of all, don't believe anyone who says, 'I alone can fix it.' Those were actually Donald Trump's words in Cleveland," Clinton said.