PHILADELPHIA: Hillary Clinton makes her case for the White House day, armed with a ringing endorsement from President Barack Obama and the crucial backing of the opponent she beat to become the Democratic Party candidate for November's election. Capping a Democratic Party convention that has sought to heal divisions from a protracted primary battle, former Secretary of State Clinton, 68, will accept the nomination to run against Republican Donald Trump. In doing so, she will become the first woman presidential candidate of a major US party.
In her speech in Philadelphia, Clinton needs to make a convincing argument that she can bring about change, while still representing the legacy of Obama, who is nearing the end of his second term with high approval ratings. She also needs to make inroads with voters who find her untrustworthy.
Seeking to rally the party on Wednesday night, Obama offered rousing support for Clinton and an optimistic view of the United States that he contrasted with Trump's vision. Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton and a former US senator, was likely to issue a similarly upbeat message. She aimed to draw on an idea that has driven her throughout her career, that every American should be given the chance to fulfill their potential, a campaign aide said. Clinton, who will be introduced on the stage by her daughter, Chelsea, was still working on her speech on Thursday, the aide said.
Nobody more qualified than Hillary
In his speech, Obama urged Democrats to enable Clinton to finish the job he started with his election in 2008. "There has never been a man or woman, not me, not Bill - nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States," he told the cheering audience.
"Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me," he said. As he finished, Clinton joined him on stage where they hugged, clasped hands and waved to the crowd. Clinton lost the Democratic nomination to Obama in 2008, and went on to be his secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. She promises to tackle income inequality, tighten gun control and rein in Wall Street if she wins the Nov. 8 election.
Trump, a 70-year-old New York businessman who has never held political office, is running just ahead of Clinton in a RealClearPolitics average of recent national opinion polls. He has hammered Clinton as untrustworthy, and Republicans have painted her as a Washington insider who would represent a "third term" for what they view as failed policies under Obama's two-term presidency.
Assault on Trump
The Democratic gathering began on a note of discord on Monday, with backers of Bernie Sanders, the US senator from Vermont who lost the nomination to Clinton, reluctant to get behind her and noisily booing her name. But Sanders himself has urged his supporters to support her, and a string of party leaders have warmly endorsed Clinton. That contrasted with last week's Republican convention in Cleveland, where many party notables showed their concern about Trump's rhetoric and policies by staying away.
Trump, a former reality TV star whose campaign appearances have been peppered with insults and tough talk, has portrayed the country as being under siege from illegal immigrants, crime and terrorism and losing influence in the world. He has proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country and a wall along the border with Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out.
Speakers were scathingly critical of him on Wednesday night. Obama took aim at his campaign slogan and promise to "Make America Great Again." "America is already great," the president said. "America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump."
Vice President Joe Biden called Trump an opportunist with no clue about how to make America great. Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, a US senator from Virginia, said Trump is a "a one-man wrecking crew" who cannot be trusted in the Oval Office. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent media mogul, joined the Democratic gathering to call Trump's presidential bid a "con" and rip into his history of bankruptcies and lawsuits.
Responding to Obama on Twitter, Trump wrote, "Our country does not feel 'great already' to the millions of wonderful people living in poverty, violence and despair." The Republican candidate caused a furor on Wednesday when he urged Russia to find and release tens of thousands of emails that Clinton had not handed over to US officials as part of a probe into her use of a private email system while she was secretary of state. Yesterday, he said he was being sarcastic.-Reuters