By: Annie Karni
POLITICO.-Hillary Clinton thanked a lot of people in her historic victory speech Tuesday night — but two people who were not name-checked were Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
The current and former president figured prominently in her kick-off speech on Roosevelt Island last year and are often invoked by Clinton on the campaign trail. Both are key surrogates she will need in the coming months to fight off Donald Trump, whom she described Tuesday night as a “bully” who is “unfit to be president.”
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But as she secured the Democratic nomination Tuesday night, claiming she had won a majority of pledged delegates to the delight of a warehouse full of cheering supporters in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Clinton chose to keep the focus on the women in her life — a striking contrast as she criticized the presumptive Republican nominee for “calling women pigs.”
“My mother believed that life is about serving others,” said Clinton, dressed in an ice-white jacket and illuminated by a beam of light, noting that Dorothy Rodham’s birthday fell on the day Congress passed the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. “She taught me never to back down from a bully.”
“I really wish my mother could be here tonight, to see what a wonderful mother Chelsea has become,” Clinton said. “I wish she could see her daughter become the Democratic Party’s nominee.” The crowd erupted in sustained cheers.
Refining themes she rolled out last week in major speech in San Diego, Clinton offered a warning to Trump, telegraphing the bruising general election ahead.
“We are better than this,” she said. “We won’t let this happen in America.”
But speaking calmly and beaming from the victory stage, where she was framed by five over-sized flags, Clinton delivered speech marked by her fullest embrace yet of women’s rights.
“This campaign is about making sure there are no ceilings — on any of us,” she said, a reference to the famous concession speech she made eight years ago to the day when she noted that in loss her supporters still put “18 million cracks” in the highest, hardest glass ceiling of all.
“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. Clinton noted that at home, “it started right here in New York, a place called Seneca Falls, when a small but determined group of women and men came together with the idea that women deserved equal rights.”