Democrats made Hillary Clinton the first female presidential nominee of a major party in the nation’s history on Tuesday, shattering one of the last remaining glass ceilings in American politics.
The former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state was formally installed as the party nominee to take on Donald Trump on an emotional night at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
Clinton will formally accept the nomination on Thursday night, before embarking on an intense fall campaign with polls showing her clash with Republican nominee Trump is, for now, too close to call.
As part of the ongoing push to bring Democrats together following repeated shows of dissent from disenchanted Sanders supporters, Sanders addressed the convention and moved for Clinton to be acclaimed the party nominee.
“I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States,” he said.
South Dakota put Clinton over the top of the 2,382 delegate threshold needed to win the nomination. The roll call continued through full roster of states and territories, returning to Vermont at the end for Sanders’ motion.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland emphasized the historic nature of the moment in nominating Clinton Tuesday afternoon.
“On behalf of all the women who’ve broken down barriers for others, and with an eye toward the barriers still ahead, I proudly place Hillary Clinton’s name in nomination to be the next President of the United States of America,” Mikulski said.
Nancy Pelosi, a history maker in her own right after becoming the highest ranking woman in the history of the US government when she was elected House speaker in 2007, was overcome with emotion as she contemplated Clinton’s achievement.
“It’s beyond thrilling. It’s very exciting and to see at the end she’s the nominee. It’s going to be spectacular,” Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash.
“It’s pretty exciting … she’s the best.”
Sanders’ move at the end recalled Clinton’s similar gesture at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, after her own divisive primary duel against then-Sen. Barack Obama.
The self-proclaimed democratic socialist won nearly 2,000 delegates during his insurgent campaign, but told his supporters on Monday night in that they had no choice but to unite around Clinton to ensure the defeat of GOP nominee Donald Trump.
The nominating formalities on Tuesday night mark moment of vindication for Clinton who emerged from the wreckage of her unsuccessful 2008 bid — in which she started out as highly favored — to serve as secretary of state in Obama’s “Team of Rivals” cabinet.
But she faces a grueling campaign against Trump, who has engineered a polling bounce after his own convention in Cleveland last week and is now locked in a close race with the soon to be Democratic nominee.
Clinton can however draw on political lesson learned after her long career in the glare of the public spotlight.
This year, the Clinton campaign and the candidate herself appeared determined to apply the lessons from her defeat eight years ago to her second White House bid, running a notably different campaign.