Hillary Clinton's DNC Speech Was More of a Donald Trump Roast, Much Like All of DNC
[Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]
It was the moment Democrats have been waiting for. Last week, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), formally accepting the Democratic nomination, becoming the first woman presidential candidate for a major party. Though Clinton's 57-minute speech certainly had its highlights, the bulk of it, much like many of the DNC speeches this week, was focused on why GOP candidate Donald Trump would be the wrong choice for America, rather than why she would be the right choice.
As anticipated, Clinton began her speech by acknowledging her former Democratic candidate, State Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had endorsed Clinton during his own DNC speech earlier this week. Sanders, like many of the convention speakers, emphasized the need for Democrats to stick together to defeat the greater evil - Donald Trump. Sanders' name was met with cheers (although he certainly looked disappointed), as Clinton thanked him for inspiring America's youth to get out and vote in the Democratic Primaries.
"I want to thank Bernie Sanders, and to all of your supporters here and around the country – I want you to know, I've heard you. Your cause is our cause,” Clinton said. “Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion. That's the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.”
Clinton spent the next few minutes acknowledging her choice for Vice President, Tim Kaine, and thanking her family and fellow colleagues, including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
But it wasn't before long, about 10 minutes in, that get speech took an expected turn, becoming a full-on roast of Donald Trump. Blasting Trump for his remarks about building a wall (and having Mexico pay for it), as well as his highly publicized comments about barring Muslims for entering the country, Clinton argued that the GOP nominee “wants to divide us from the rest of the world, and from each other.”
“Stronger together is not just a lesson from our history, it’s not just a slogan for our campaign –it’s a guiding principle for the country we’ve always been, and the future we’re going to build,” Clinton said. “A country where the economy works for everyone – not just those at the top – where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school no matter what zip code you live in. A country where all our children can dream and those dreams are within reach. Where families are strong, communities are safe, and yes – where love trumps hate.”
The very obvious play on words was met with applause.
Clinton’s many, not-so-subtle jabs at Trump continued, with the Democratic nominee criticizing his Republican National Convention speech.
“He spoke for 70 odd minutes, and I do mean odd,” she said. Given its popularity on social media platforms, it seemed as though viewers at the convention and at home were especially fond of this comment.
In an attempt to appeal to Sanders supporters, Democrats weary of her reputation, Independents, and even Republicans on the fence, the former First Lady went on to make the case that Trump was very obviously unfit to be President of the United States.
“Do you really think Donald Trump has the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief?” she asked. “Donald Trump can't even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign."
"A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons,” she later added.
While many political analysts argue that Clinton’s speech was powerful – and even historic, I don’t know that I agree. In the moments where she wasn’t roasting Trump, the speech was filled with cliché phrases about breaking the “glass ceiling” and “building a better tomorrow.” Rather than keeping the focus on her experience as First Lady and State Senator of New York, her strategy was to tarnish Trump’s character – not shine a light on hers.
Ultimately, I am not confident that Clinton’s approach was the most effective approach – especially considering that many of the convention speakers and Clinton’s colleagues, (i.e. Michael Bloomberg, President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama) did exactly the same. As the first female to represent a major party in a presidential election, it would have been more refreshing to limit her mentions of Donald Trump and embrace this monumental achievement in our country’s history.