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Clinton: America is at ‘a moment of reckoning’

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at the

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Clinton: Don’t let Trump divide us

Hillary Clinton drew contrasts as sharp as they could be between herself and Donald Trump, telling the Democratic convention and the nation, “We have to decide whether we’re going to work together so we can all rise together.”

Trump, she said, “wants to divide us from the rest of the world, and from each other” and is “betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise.”

But even as she touted her record and a program aimed at lifting up poor and middle-class Americans, she acknowledged some who feel left behind are looking to Trump.

“Democrats are the party of working people. But we haven’t done a good enough job showing that we get what you’re going through,” she said.

That, as much anything she said, defines her challenge between now and November. Read Newsday’s story about the convention’s finale by Yancey Roy. For a video of Clinton’s speech, click here.

Fitness to lead

Clinton also sought to take down Trump as disrespectful of the U.S. military and unfit to decide matters of war and peace.

“He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. ... Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

Click here for a full transcript of her speech.

Whose America?

The final night’s program was an all-out effort to show Clinton and her party as champions of a mainstream, patriotic and hopeful America that celebrates its diversity.

There were families of fallen police officers and military leaders and heroes. A searing segment came from the father of a Muslim U.S. Army captain who died saving his comrades in Iraq.

“If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America,” Khizr Khan said of his son. Calling on Trump to visit Arlington National Cemetery and look at the graves of soldiers of all faiths, Khan cried out, “You have sacrificed nothing!” (Video link here.)

Chelsea’s turn

The job of introducing Clinton fell to daughter Chelsea, who portrayed her as a devoted mother and grandmother, a tireless advocate for children and women, and a “fighter who never, ever gives up.”

She appeared nervous onstage but spoke for roughly 12 minutes, writes Newsday’s Emily Ngo. Depending on the election’s outcome, Chelsea Clinton could herself become part of history by having both her father and mother serving as president. Click here for video of her speech.

Dissent in the open

Bernie Sanders implored his supporters to be quiet and respectful, but some tried to interrupt speeches by Clinton, Gen. John Allen and even a Medal of Honor winner who lost part of a leg in Afghanistan with chants of “no more war.”

They were drowned out by much larger numbers who responded with “U.S.A., U.S.A.” and “Hillary, Hillary.”

Trump’s response

On Twitter, he said: “Hillary’s vision is a borderless world where working people have no power, no jobs, no safety.”

The take-away: Blowing it

The Democratic convention opened amid a brand-new embarrassment for Clinton and her allies: Revelations from the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails.

But then Trump surrendered the advantage by calling on Russian cyberspies to dig deeper. The resulting uproar was bigger than anything the Bernie Sanders die-hards were able to foment, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Yeah, right, sarcasm, got it

Trump said Thursday he was just “being sarcastic” the day before when he called on Russia to hack Clinton’s missing emails.

Trump said it more than once during his news conference Wednesday. Later that day, his communications chief, Jason Miller, said Trump was suggesting that Russia share the emails with the FBI if it had them. Trump said the same on Twitter.

Swing in her favor

Clinton is leading Trump by 9 points in the latest Suffolk University poll of swing-state Pennsylvania.

That’s where Clinton and Kaine will launch a bus tour Friday that also takes them to Ohio.

Heard that before

Donald Trump Jr. went on Twitter Thursday with a gotcha accusation — that President Barack Obama had lifted a phrase — “That’s not the America I know” — from his speech a week earlier to the Republican convention.

“Where’s the outrage?” demanded the GOP candidate’s son.

As it turns out, the words in question were used several times in the past by Obama, as well as by former President George W. Bush. Also, before them, by CBS newsman Walter Cronkite and civil rights activist Julian Bond.

Winning the ratings

The Democratic convention’s Nielsen TV ratings topped the GOP’s for a third night Wednesday. Trump has paid close attention to TV ratings since his “Apprentice” days, and a fundraising email Thursday morning urged supporters not to watch Clinton’s acceptance speech.

What else is happening

  • For a video of Goldschlag and Janison’s post-convention analysis, click here or see Newsday’s Facebook page.
  • Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on a Politico podcast that for earning trust from voters, the convention is the “beginning of that process.” Clinton did not address her email scandal Thursday night.
  • Trump’s verdict on Obama’s speech Wednesday night, to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren: “I thought it was well-delivered, but I don’t think he said what’s going on with the country.”
  • Also in that interview, Trump talked about not releasing his tax returns. He has often cited an ongoing audit as the reason, but spoke at length Thursday of the negative effect on 2012 candidate Mitt Romney when he put out his returns.
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo recalled his father Mario’s famous 1984 convention speech and some of his own accomplishments. Then, starting at 13 minutes into a 15-minute speech, praised Clinton, Newsday’s Laura Figueroa reports.
  • Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani credits Clinton, as a senator, with having “worked hard on behalf of the 9/11 families” after the attacks, but added that “on all other aspects, she fails the test” for the presidency.
  • Conservative fans of “American Sniper,” the film about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, are angry with its star, Bradley Cooper, for attending the Democratic convention. Some threatened to boycott his future films.
  • Trump hinted that he was holding back from firing at former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s speech attacking him. “I was going to hit one guy in particular, a very little guy ... so hard his head would spin,” Trump told an Iowa rally.

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