On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton delivered a blow that sent a crack running through the glass ceiling keeping women from top positions.
After earning enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination, Clinton became the first woman with the support to head a major party ticket in the run to the White House.
As the former state secretary said, from now on any parent will be able to tell his or her daughter that she can be anything she likes in life, including president of the world’s biggest power.
We are stronger when we act together for the future
Seven-year-old Liley Kate did not want to miss an event that she will always remember. Her mother wanted her to be there, at the old Brooklyn shipyards where Clinton celebrated her new status as presumptive nominee.
“I won’t have to tell her anything because she is already living it,” said Liley Kate’s mother. “The message is enormous.”
The delegate recount had already given Clinton the magic number required for her nomination as early as Monday. But the former first lady decided to wait until the results of primaries in New Jersey, California and four other states came in, so she could better underscore the meaning of the moment.
With around 90% of votes counted, Clinton won in South Dakota, New Mexico, New Jersey and in California, according to CNN projections. The presumptive nominee cemented a lead of hundreds of delegates and around three million votes over her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, who managed to take 22 states with no more funding than his own supporters’ donations.
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Clinton supporters know that having a woman in the White House would send out a strong message of defense of the values currently being threatened by the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate in the November 8 elections.
Just the fact that she will be the first woman to make a run for the country’s top office is revolutionary in itself, and Clinton showcased that fact at her celebration, aware of the remaining internal division within the progressive camp.
“The Democratic Party is breaking down another barrier,” announced a video produced for the occasion that looked back at other women who blazed a trail towards equal opportunities.
Clinton began her speech by acknowledging everyone who came before her.
“Tonight's victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible,” she said.
Gone are the days when politics were a hostile place for ambitious women. Until the early 1990s, the US Congress had a rule forcing women to wear skirts. But that was until Senators Nancy Kassebaum and Barbara Mikulski began the so-called “Pantsuit Rebellion.”
Tonight's victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible Hillary Clinton
Three decades after the elimination of that archaic rule and the rise of the Clintons to the White House, Hillary has made it abundantly clear that she was Bill’s associate during his term in office, and not just his wife.
A supporter at the rally said that Clinton’s nomination could redefine the concept of citizenship.
“Women will no longer have limits to their life aspirations,” said Ammy Grimm, 39. “Hillary Clinton is going to be an example for millions across the world, not just in the US.”
“That’s what Barack Obama did when he became the first black candidate to the White House,” recalls Frances Lippette, 73, an African American who votes Democrat. “And now we are doing the same with Hillary Clinton. It gives me goosebumps to see that in such a short space of time we’ve managed something so great for society.”
Exactly eight years ago, Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race and paved the way for her fellow Democrat Obama to make his run. Back then, she said that the glass ceiling was not broken yet, but cracked in 18 million spots. “The road will be easier next time,” she said at the time.
The first time a woman ran for president was in 1872. She did not receive a single vote
The first time a woman ran for president was in 1872. She did not receive a single vote. That was the beginning of the battle for representation in politics, including the right to vote, which was granted in 1920.
Hillary Clinton concluded by saying that this election will affect what Americans want to be as a nation, regardless of whether they vote Democrat or Republican. Her message was aimed at conservative voters considering whether to support Trump.
“We are stronger when we act together for the future,” she said, recalling her own mother’s influence on her life. “I wish she could be here to see her daughter as the Democratic candidate.”
English version by Susana Urra.