Hillary Clinton, beaming and fighting back tears, took the stage of the Democratic National Convention Thursday to accept her party's presidential nomination. Clinton appeared almost overcome with emotion as she enter the arena to loud cheers and embraced her daughter, Chelsea, who introduced her as the next President of the United States. She took a deep breath to collect herself as delegates in the crowd were in tears. "To all of you whose hard work brought us here tonight and to those of you who joined our campaign this week," Hillary Clinton said, "what a remarkable week it's been." Clinton quickly reached out to disappointed Bernie Sanders voters, saying "I want you to know, I've heard you. Your cause is our cause." She told Americans the nation is facing a "moment of reckoning" as powerful forces try to tear it apart. "Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart," she said. "Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. It truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together." As she makes history by accepting her role as the first female nominee of a major political party, Clinton is offering herself as the epitome of steady leadership to a nation that is anxious and looking for reassurance. Hillary Clinton's allies did everything in their power to set up her big moment Thursday night. Now it's up to her to deliver. As she takes center stage, Clinton faces a critical task: persuading Americans that she understands their frustration and economic anxiety at a time when many of them still do not trust her. The pressure is intense because the race is much tighter than most expected at this juncture, particularly among white working class voters in rust belt states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. With her sometimes-wooden demeanor and workman-like delivery, the former first lady has never shown the natural political talent that her husband had for reading and matching the mood of the electorate. And though President Barack Obama's popularity has rebounded to 56% in a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, Clinton also faces the historically difficult challenge of running for a third Democratic term in a year when the electorate has demonstrated hunger for change. 6 takeaways from Wednesday night at the Democratic Convention In that sense, Clinton takes the stage tonight in a vulnerable position. Up to this point, she has not been able to generate the kind of passion among her supporters that Donald Trump has among his by so effectively channeling Americans' anger about the direction of the country. While Clinton and Obama have argued that ISIS is on the run, the economy is on the upswing, and Americans are safer than they have been in years, they are struggling to rebut the dark image that Trump has painted of a nation in decline, chaos and disorder.
Behind the mic...
Anderson Cooper is the anchor of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360°, a global newscast that goes beyond the headlines with in-depth reporting and investigations. The show airs weeknights at 8:00pm ET on CNN and is simulcast to an international audience on CNN International.
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