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Democratic National Convention: Day 4 updates

July 28, 2016
Balloons fall at the end of the Democratic National Convention, with Hillary Clinton on stage. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Balloons fall at the end of the Democratic National Convention, with Hillary Clinton on stage. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Hillary Clinton took the stage tonight at the Democratic National Convention to accept the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

  • Scott Clement
  • ·

Hillary Clinton criticized Wall Street’s political influence and the idea they do not pay their fair share in taxes, a popular message with the public that was core to her primary rival Bernie Sanders’s campaign. Yet Americans also voice skepticism about Clinton’s ties to big banks.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll last fall found 67 percent of the public saying they want the next president to favor stricter regulations on Wall Street financial institutions. Americans’ confidence in banks declined sharply after the 2008 financial collapse and has only barely inched up since then.

Yet a June Bloomberg poll found half of likely voters saying Clinton’s high-paid speeches to Wall Street institutions bother them “a lot,” the highest level of concern among five tested in the survey.

  • Abby Phillip
  • ·

Hillary Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

Hillary Clinton accepted her party’s nomination on Thursday night, officially becoming the first woman nominee of a major American political party.

“It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for President of the United States,” Clinton said to an electrified arena.

The historic milestone did not go unmarked, with Clinton casting it as a key moment for women and men.

“Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come,” Clinton said. “Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone.”

“When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit,” Clinton said.

Clinton laid out her vision for the country and her assessment of its current state. She described a country that is unmatched in its diversity, its tolerance, it ingenuity, and its freedom.

“So don’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak— we’re not,” Clinton said. “Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes.”

But she painted the election as a dire moment for the country, and the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency as a “moment of reckoning.”

“Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart,” Clinton said. “Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.”

“It’s truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we’re going to work together so we can all rise together,” Clinton said.

She added: “Yes, the world is watching what we do.”

Alluding to Republican President Ronald Reagan, Clinton said that Trump is taking the country and his party away from from “Morning in America” to “Midnight in America.”

“He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise,” Clinton said.

She accused Trump of lacking the “temperament” to be commander-in-chief.”

“Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis,” Clinton said. “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

She made an explicit plea that Americans who shared her vision for the country should “join us.”

Clinton’s speech caps a week that featured speakers who helped to tell the story of Clinton’s biography — beginning with former President Bill Clinton and on Thursday night, her daughter Chelsea Clinton.

Building off of their stories, Clinton told the story of her mother, Dorothy Rodham, who had been abandoned as a young girl but worked to pay her way through school and raised her children in a middle class suburban Chicago neighborhood.

“The lesson she passed on to me years later stuck with me: No one gets through life alone,” Clinton said.

Citing Trump’s speech to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week, Clinton denounced his claim that “I alone can fix it.”

“Don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it,” Clinton said. “Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.

“Remember: Our Founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power,” she added.

As Clinton spoke, she was confronted with the tensions that have been apparent in the arena all week. Supporters of her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders booed loudly from their seats, sometimes chanting “No More Wars.”

They waved signs opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and citing the WikiLeaks hack that revealed thousands of embarrassing emails from Democratic Party officials who were critical of Sanders and his campaign.

Throughout the night, Clinton’s backers attempted to drown them out with chants of “Hillary! Hillary!”

Still, in the midst of persistent heckling, Clinton thanked Sanders and pledged to continue his cause.

“To all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I’ve heard you,” she told them. “Your cause is our cause.’

Clinton faces the challenge of both acknowledging the economic and social anxiety in the country, while also presenting a positive outlook for the country’s future that contrasts with the more dire predictions that have been recently made by many republicans.

“We are clear-eyed about what our country is up against,” Clinton said. “But we are not afraid.”

“We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have,” she added.

  • Emily Guskin
  • ·

One of Clinton’s clearest policy stances Thursday night was her support for a path to citizenship for the “millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy.” Six in 10 Americans said they want the next president to support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants according to a Washington Post-ABC poll this month, a number that was up from 51 percent in 2015.

Donald Trump’s push for a border wall to block illegal immigration from Mexico allowed him to unify a passionate segment of the Republican base during the primary contests. But among the broader public, Clinton held the edge on trust to handle immigration issues – by 57 to 36 percent more said they trust Clinton than Trump.

  • Deirdra O'Regan
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  • Paul Kane
  • ·

California delegates hold up competing signs during the final day of the Democratic National Convention. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Protesters during Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech seemed largely drowned out by Clinton’s supporters.

Four people got escorted out  of the upper level by police and Secret Service, yelling “Boo Hillary!” Additional people were removed by uniformed officers near the Montana delegation on the first level of the arena.

Most of the anti-Clinton sentiment came from above the media section inside the Wells Fargo Center. Yet most of the hall couldn’t hear their shouts, only the chants of “Hill-a-ry” instead.

It’s a different twist on the “U-S-A” chants that have been used in modern conventions to block out protests.

There were pockets of support for Bernie Sanders supporters among various delegations.

People in the top rows of the California delegation briefly unfurled a white banner reading, #WIKILEAKS, referring to the leaked emails after a hack into the Democratic National Committee.

Within Clinton’s line of sight, someone has hoisted aloft a red and black “KEEP YOUR PROMISES” sign. Sporadic boos and shouts can still be heard across the hall.

Indiana delegates held up “Thank you Bernie” and “Ban Fracking” signs. About four delegates sitting in the Hawaii and Nevada section held “Jill Stein” signs demonstrating they’ll vote for the Green Party nominee in the fall.

“Sore losers!” one man yelled to the hecklers.

The anti-Clinton sentiment was largely muted on the final night of the convention, with some Sanders supporters wearing neon shirts to indicate their support for the losing candidate sitting or standing silently, arms folded, during Clinton’s remarks.

Before Clinton’s speech, Sanders sent a text message to his supporters to “respect” Clinton’s speech and remain silent during his ex-rival’s acceptance speech.

David Bruns, Ed O’Keefe, Abby Phillip, and Louisa Loveluck contributed to this report.

  • Ed O'Keefe
  • ·

Chelsea Clinton addresses the crowd during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Chelsea Clinton, the once and potentially future first daughter, sought to reintroduce her famous mother to the nation on Wednesday night by revealing personal anecdotes about their relationship.

Invoking iPhone’s Facetime, the children’s book “Goodnight Moon” and movies like “Pride and Prejudice,” the younger Clinton, a national figure herself for more than two decades, finally revealed a perspective of Hillary Clinton never shared before so publicly.

As a young mother herself, raising a 2-year-old and five-week-old, Chelsea Clinton said she thinks often of her “wonderful, thoughtful, hilarious mother.”

Her earliest memory, she said, was when the future secretary of state picked her up after falling and read her, “Goodnight Moon.”

“From that moment to this one, every single memory I have of my mom is that regardless of what was happening in her life, she was always, always there for me. Every soccer game, every softball game, every dance recital,” she said.

As a young child, Clinton said dinnertime conversations focused on her schoolwork or conversations about a favorite book, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

“I never doubted that that they cared about my thoughts and ideas. And I always, always knew how deeply they loved me,” she added. “That feeling — being valued and loved — that’s something my mom wants for every child. It is the calling of her life.”

Chelsea Clinton, 36, has spent much of this week making discreet public appearances, even briefly needling her friend, Ivanka Trump, for delivering similar remarks last week at the Republican National Convention that clashed with her father’s political positions.

On Thursday night, she admitted that her mother has faced several “low points” — and chose to focus on defeat of the former first lady’s health-care reform bill in 1994.

After the defeat, “she was amazing,” Chelsea Clinton recalled. “She took a little time to replenish her spirits. Family movie nights definitely helped. Dad, as all of you now know, liked ‘Police Academy.’ My mom and I loved, ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ And then she just got back right back to work, because she believed that she could still make a difference for kids.”

“People ask me all the time, how does she do it? How does she keep going amid the sound and the fury of politics? Here’s how: Because she never, ever forgets who she’s fighting for,” Clinton said.

“I’m voting for a fighter who never, ever gives up and believes that we can always do better, if we come together and work together,” she added.

Finally, invoking her late grandmother, Dorothy Rodham, Clinton added: “I know with all my heart that my mother will make us proud to be our next president.”

  • Tom LeGro
  • ·
  • Rachel Van Dongen
  • ·

While we were watching Katy Perry sing on stage for Hillary Clinton, we remembered that Donald Trump used to dole out — via Twitter — some dating advice to the pop star.

Seems that The Donald is not a fan of Perry’s ex-husband, Russell Brand, nor another former (we think? we confess this isn’t our area of expertise) boyfriend, singer John Mayer.

We unearthed Trump’s tweets for Katy (h/t Glenn Kessler and Terri Rupar):

  • Lateshia Beachum
  • ·

Singer Katy Perry performs during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Pop star Katy Perry — who’s hit the trail with Hillary Clinton a few times over the past year — threw her weight behind the Democrat Thursday on Clinton’s biggest stage yet.

Perry emerged in a nude and silver-striped sparkling dress, telling the crowd :”You’ll be just as powerful as any NRA [National Rifle Association] lobbyist” on Election Day.

Perry joked that she has a closet full of Hillary-themed dresses and that she has supported Clinton since Iowa.

The lights lowered in the arena and the crowd put up their cell phone lights as instructed when her background singers walked on stage.

Perry started with an unfamiliar song before transitioning into her hit “Roar.”

  • Louisa Loveluck
  • ·

General John Allen (ret. USMC) gives the thumbs up as the crowd chants USA after his speech during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The former U.S. special envoy in the fight against ISIS, Gen. John Allen, made an impassioned case to see Hillary Clinton in the Situation Room, speaking as booming chants of “USA, USA” echoed around the arena.

“The stakes are enormous. We must not, we could not stand on the sidelines,” Allen said.

Although he didn’t mention the Republican candidate by name, Allen’s speech was a direct rebuke of Donald Trump’s foreign policy statements that have turned off many in the GOP defense establishment.

Clinton’s America, Allen said, would continue to lead, to uphold its treaties, and to stop the threat of nuclear weapons.

“With her as our commander-in-chief, our international relations will not be reduced to a business transaction. Our armed forces will not become an instrument of torture, and they will not be ordered to engage in murder or carry out other illegal activities,” shouted Allen over frenzied chants that drowned out dozens of Bernie Sanders supporters as they bellowed objections.

Several California delegates rose up in unison with signs that read “No More Wars!”

They chanted the slogan as Allen spoke, while dissenting members of the California delegation began a counter chant of “USA, USA.” Some Californians shouted for the protesters to “shut up” and “respect” the general.

People hold up anti-war signs as General John Allen, retired US Marine Corp, speaks during the fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention. (Kayla Epstein/The Washington Post)

Trump has openly supported the use of so-called enhanced interrogation methods against terrorist suspects and called on the military to kill the families of ISIS fighters.

Allen left his special envoy post in the Obama administration at the end of last year, apparently frustrated at micromanagement from the White House and a lack of resources. Tonight he told the audience that Clinton was the woman to lead that battle.

“I tell you without any hesitation or reservation that Hillary Clinton will be exactly the kind of Commander-in-Chief America needs today,” he said. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment. This is the opportunity for our future and that of the world. We must seize this moment to elect Hillary Clinton as President of the United States of America.”

Kayla Epstein contributed to this report.

  • Michelle Ye Hee Lee
  • ·

“Donald Trump believes ‘wages are too high.’ Those are his words. Too high?”

–Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

THE FACT CHECKER | Democrats must really like this talking point. They have repeated this claim at least once each day throughout the DNC. For the fourth day in a row, we will note that Trump has clarified this “wages are too high” claim since he said it during a November 2015 Republican primary debate. However, Trump has shifted on the minimum wage issue many times and it has not always been clear where he stands on the federal minimum wage.

During the November debate, Trump was asked whether he was “sympathetic to the protesters’ cause since a $15 wage works out to about $31,000 a year.” His full answer, with the part Brown is quoting in bold:

“I can’t be, Neil. And the reason I can’t be is that we are a country that is being beaten on every front economically, militarily. There is nothing that we do now to win. We don’t win anymore. Our taxes are too high. I’ve come up with a tax plan that many, many people like very much. It’s going to be a tremendous plan. I think it’ll make our country and our economy very dynamic.

But, taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratum. But we cannot do this if we are going to compete with the rest of the world. We just can’t do it.”

Days later, Trump clarified he was referring to whether he would increase the minimum wage. He would not raise it, because then it would be “too high,” he said.

But most recently, Trump has indicated he might support raising the federal minimum wage to $10, and that states can raise it higher.

  • Rachel Van Dongen
  • ·

Khizir Khan, the father of Capt. Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq in 2004, gave an emotional address to Democratic delegates Thursday night in which he denounced Donald Trump and urged Muslims to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Flanked by his wife, who was wearing a bright blue hijab or head scarf, Khan said Trump “smears the character of Muslims” as well as that of women, judges and “even his own party leadership.”

“He wants to build walls and ban us from this country,” Khan said.

“Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you, ‘Have you ever read the U.S. Constitution?'” he asked, holding up a pocket copy of his own.

He told Trump he would gladly lend him his copy. “Look for the words liberty and equal protection of law.”

It was a remarkable image of a Muslim couple saying they better understood and defended American values than does Trump. The Democrats in Philadelphia have sought to showcase the diversity of their party, displaying African American preachers, Latinos, immigrants, generals and Republicans on the convention stage.

It was also a direct rebuke to Trump’s proposals, one of which calls for a ban on immigrants from any country that has been “compromised by terrorism.” Previously, the GOP nominee had called for a temporary suspension of  nearly all Muslim immigrants entering the country until they can be properly vetted.

Kahn’s speech was immediately preceded by remarks by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the former basketball player and one of the most prominent Muslim celebrity figures.

[Read more about Capt. Khan’s story]

Khan’s son was in Baquba, Iraq, on June 8, 2004, when he tried to protect fellow soldiers from an oncoming car that was laden with 200 pounds of explosives. He earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star posthumously after saving much of his unit, but not himself.

“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?” Khan asked Trump before Democrats on Thursday. “You’ll see all faiths, genders and ethnicities.”

To Trump, he said: “You have sacrificed nothing.”

Khan ended by urging Muslim Americans to get out and vote.

“I ask every patriot in America, all Muslim immigrants and all immigrants to not take this election lightly,” Khan said. “I request to honor the sacrifice of my son and on election day, take the time to get out and vote.”

  • Tom LeGro
  • ·
  • Lateshia Beachum
  • ·

The families of fallen police officers brought an unusual calm to delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

Lupe Valdez, sheriff of the Dallas Police department, received a standing ovation from the arena and chants of her name from the Texas section.

Valdez spoke of the pain Dallas has felt since the slaying of five police officers last month. She detailed how officers don’t know what awaits them with each 911 call or after routine traffic stops. However, they remain committed to their duty. “They keep answering the call,” she said. “They keep putting their life on the line.”

Valdez shared a story about how she and a colleague went to a restaurant and four tables offered to pay for their meals. “Tears came to our eyes,” she said.

Although Valdez and many officers have experienced increased support for the public, she wanted the crowd to honor officers who were killed in the line of duty by calling for a moment of silence.

People forcefully hushed others to commemorate the fallen. While there were a few hecklers who shouted “Black Lives Matter” most of the arena stood and sat silently.

Family members of three different officers shared their personal story. Wayne Walker of Philadelphia, Derek Owens of Cleveland and Thor Soderberg of Chicago were officers killed while on the job.

  • Rachel Van Dongen
  • ·

The Post’s David Weigel and Abby Phillip shared this text message that the Bernie Sanders campaign texted to its supporters on Thursday night before Hillary Clinton’s speech.

  • Paul Farhi
  • ·

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence waves at supporters as he arrives at a campaign rally in Scranton, Pa, on July 27, 2016. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Police in Wisconsin on Thursday sought to clarify their role in frisking a Washington Post reporter as he tried to cover a rally for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), Donald Trump’s running mate, and later was ejected.

The reporter, Jose A. DelReal, disputed elements of the police account of the episode, which occurred Wednesday night in Waukesha County, outside Milwaukee.

DelReal was denied a press credential at the Waukesha County Exposition Center and attempted to cover Pence’s appearance by entering through a ­general-admission door. He was stopped there by private security personnel and told he couldn’t bring his laptop or cellphone into the facility.

After dropping those items in his car, he returned but was ordered by security to submit to a pat-down by two county deputies who were seeking his cellphone. They did not find one, but he was nonetheless turned away from the public event, Pence’s first as the Republican vice-presidential nominee.

The county sheriff’s department on Thursday said it had nothing to do with the decision to eject the journalist. After the deputies confirmed that DelReal didn’t have his cellphone, he was allowed to enter the facility by event staff, the department said in a statement.

“Several minutes later the event staff walked the reporter out of the facility and advised the deputies that he was not allowed back for reasons unknown to the sheriff’s department.”

Read the full story here.

  • Abby Phillip
  • ·

In this election, it isn’t just swing, independent voters who are the target of Democrats’s outreach efforts. Moderate Republicans are too.

On Thursday, a pair of life-long Republicans became the face of that effort.

The first was Doug Elmets, a former Reagan administration official and former aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

“It’s an honor to be here. Candidly, it’s also a shock.” said Elmets. “It’s a shock because, unlike many of you, I’m a Republican.”

Elmets said he would cast his first-ever ballot for a Democrat in this election.

“While Hillary holds many policy positions that differ from my own, her qualifications are indisputable,” Elmets said. “Hillary knows that our strength as a nation lies in uniting, not dividing.”

The second was Jennifer Pierotti Lim, who is the director of health policy for he U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the co- founder of Republican Women for Hillary.

She was even more blunt, accusing the Republican Party of abandoning the values that the party has always believed in.

“In Donald Trump’s America, it doesn’t matter that I’m an accomplished attorney and a policy expert, it just matters how attractive I am on a scale of one to ten,” Lim said. “Trump’s loathsome comments about women and our appearances are too many to list and too crass to repeat.”

“But they are too important to ignore,” she added.

“I’m here tonight to say: I knew Ronald Reagan; I worked for Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan,” Elmets said

In an email to reporters, the Republican National Committee said Elmets is “not really a Republican” because he has a “long history of donating to Democrats.”

“It’s all just more smoke and mirrors from a convention about to nominate the least trusted presidential nominee in American history,” they said.

But Trump has also given money to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats.

  • Paul Kane
  • ·

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

The Democratic governor in the host state of the convention, Tom Wolf, excoriated the business record of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

In a speech Thursday evening, Wolf contrasted his worker-friendly ownership of a building materials company in central Pennsylvania with Trump’s many bankruptcies and lawsuits with business partners.

After noting his own practice of turning 20 to 30 percent of profits over to workers, Wolf panned Trump. “How about Donald Trump? He runs businesses so that they only help – you guessed it – Donald Trump,” Wolf said in an understated speech. “In his six, six bankruptcy filings, he used the process to protect himself and even enrich himself while his employees were left out of luck.”

Wolf came seemingly from nowhere in the 2014 Democratic primary, using $10 million of his own money to slingshot past other, more experienced rivals. He went on to defeat a Republican incumbent in a very bad year for Democrats, and Wolf now governs, after California Gov. Jerry Brown and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a state with the third-largest number of Democratic voters.

He has not yet built the sort of national profile that places him in conversations for future national office, as is often the case for Pennsylvania governors, and this week was a chance for Wolf to introduce himself to a broader audience of party activists.

His style lacks the fiery rhetorical skills that liberal activists have been looking for in recent years, but the nature of his state – a battleground that tilts Democratic in presidential years – should make him a more important figure in national political discussions in years to come.

“Hillary believes that if you work hard, you should share in your company’s success,” Wolf said Thursday, touting Clinton’s plan to offer tax credits that offer profit sharing with workers in the same vein as Wolf’s company.

  • Natalie Jennings
  • ·

The star-laden adaptation of Rachel Platten’ s ‘Fight Song’ debuted Tuesday at the Democratic Convention, to cheers in the arena and backlash on the Internet.

In order to alleviate questions on subsequent replays, the Post video team did our best to match the celebrity faces with names — though we may have missed a few.

  • Isaac Stanley-Becker
  • ·
Isaac Stanley-Becker

Isaac Stanley-Becker

Supporters of Bernie Sanders shouted. They protested. They stormed the media tents. They waved signs.

But on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, which saw their candidate cede to Hillary Clinton, Sanders diehards opted for a simple but stark display of their dissent from their party: They are wearing neon shirts that stand out brightly in the Wells Fargo Center when the lights dim.

“Enough is enough,” the shirts read, quoting the Vermont senator.

Martese Chism, an Illinois delegate donning one of the shirts, said they were intended as a simple visual display, in place of vocal protest that has at times disrupted proceedings here.

“We don’t want to disrespect her,” Chism said. “We just want to show, again, that we’re against TPP, we’re for Medicare for all, those ideas Bernie championed.”

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