Breakfast. The delegate breakfast yesterday morning included non-Californians as speakers. One of the advantages of being the largest state in the union is that other politicians like to visit us. For Tuesday, the list included Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a rising star in the party, and Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon, who received a standing ovation.
Making a surprise appearance was Sen. Bernie Sanders. He received a standing ovation also and was surrounded by picture takers. His theme included three things to be accomplished: defeat Trump, elect Hillary president, and begin a revolution to implement his campaign agenda.
Nomination. For someone who first volunteered for Hillary’s campaign eight years ago, tonight was historical and personally emotional. In classic Democratic tradition, the secretary of the party went from state to state asking for the number of votes for both Hillary and Bernie. Although Bernie received great support, it was always clear that Hillary had the votes. It took more than an hour for the voting process to finish as each state extolled its own virtues. In the end, the state of Vermont invited Sen. Sanders to speak, and he asked the convention to confirm Hillary’s election unanimously.
Although there were many disappointed Bernie supporters in the arena, the majority stood and cheered, and many of us cried and hugged one another. Signs with a big “H” and an arrow through it were waved by the crowd. The roll call was completed, the ayes roared with approval, and the deed was done!
This country’s highest glass ceiling had been broken. For every woman and girl in America, there are no longer any political limits. This will be a hard-fought election, but the door has been opened, never to be shut again.
The evening program included President Clinton, in his inimitable speaking style, describing his long relationship with Hillary — their meeting in 1971 and life since. He was warm and funny. He described the personal but also the political, calling Hillary the most effective change maker he knew. Over and over the former president described not only her personal connections but her public accomplishments. It was the theme of the evening for all the speakers. President Clinton did his job well.
The evening ended dramatically with a huge screen shattering a glass ceiling, and Hillary appearing on the screen to thank everyone. It was a dramatic but fitting ending for a special night for all America, but especially for women activists who have long waited for this moment.
I was glad to be there as history was made!
Susan Rose, a former Santa Barbara County supervisor, attended her first Democratic National Convention in 1960 as a college student. She writes about the 2016 convention this week at The Santa Barbara Independent.