Hillary Clinton Just Made History

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
It's official: Hillary Clinton just made history.

With a roll-call vote on the floor of Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, the former secretary of state won the Democratic nomination for president.

She is the first woman to be the presidential nominee for a major political party.

"I can't stop crying," Gina Chirillo, a 26-year-old Clinton supporter from Washington, D.C., told Refinery29 ahead of the vote Tuesday. "It is so momentous to me."

Clinton's nomination may feel like a long time coming — she famously put "18 million cracks" in "that highest, hardest glass ceiling" when she first ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008. And as a former lawyer, first lady, U.S. senator, and secretary of state, Clinton has had a long, storied, and closely scrutinized run in the public eye.

But the victory also comes less than 100 years after women first gained the right to vote here in the United States. Clinton's own mother was born the day Congress approved the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote when it was ratified the following year. In fact, there are women alive today who were born back when women couldn't yet cast a ballot — and now, they are able to vote for the first female nominee for U.S. president from a major political party, ever. On Tuesday, one such woman, a 102-year-old Democrat from Arizona, cast her state's votes for Clinton on the floor.

“I cried! I never cry,” Jerry Emmett told The Arizona Republic after the vote.
Clinton, who will address delegates on Thursday, appeared via video at the end of Tuesday's session, telling supporters, “We just put the biggest crack in the glass ceiling yet.” She also gave a nod to the political path she's blazed for future generations.

"If there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next," she said.

The evening also saw remarks from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who played a role in formally nominating his former rival, and former President Bill Clinton, who delivered a long and heartfelt speech defending the character and qualifications of his wife.

Wendy Davis, the former Texas senator and gubernatorial hopeful who has served as a longtime Clinton surrogate, said witnessing those moments "made me prouder than ever to be a supporter."

"I was so emotionally overwhelmed tonight, it was hard to put it into words," Davis, who recently launched a new initiative called Deeds Not Words, told Refinery29 after the speech.

The historic nature of the moment wasn't lost on supporters and officials gathered at the Democratic National Convention.

"Two hundred-forty years ago, Abigail Adams told her husband, the future president, ‘Remember the ladies,'” Donna Brazile, a longtime strategist who took the helm of the DNC in the wake of the brewing email controversy, told attendees at a Women's Caucus meeting Tuesday.

"Now, Abigail probably didn’t know that those three words, ‘Remember the ladies,’ would be echoed this year, at this moment, in Philadelphia. So let me just say: Abigail, sister, we remember the ladies, because the ladies are now here in Philly to nominate and elect the first female president of the United States of America!" said Brazile.

Not all Democrats are celebrating, though. Some Sanders supporters are embracing her candidacy reluctantly — or, in some cases, continuing to reject it altogether. Hundreds of Sanders supporters staged a walkout in protest of Clinton's nomination during the vote.

The nomination officially sets the stage for Clinton to go head-to-head with Republican nominee Donald Trump on the November ballot. Current polls are showing a close race, with the so-called "convention bounce" or "Trump bump" following last week's GOP convention in Cleveland putting the candidates, as things stand today, in a dead heat.

Clinton will formally accept the nomination in a speech on Thursday.



Editor's note: This story was originally published on July 26, 2017.

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