The heavy hitters have done their part. Now, it’s up to her.
On the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton will deliver her first speech as the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party.
For the last 72 hours, surrogates from President Barack Obama to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to her husband, former President Bill Clinton, rolled out the rhetorical flourishes to vouch for her.
Thursday night, Clinton will make the appeal herself, acknowledging the historical moment, fleshing out her stances on key issues and asking the voters to choose her over Republican Donald Trump.
Her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, will introduce her.
Before that, a group of Democratic women senators will take the stage to emphasize the historical moment.
Aides said Clinton will talk about values, invoke her 1996 book “It Takes a Village” and present the November election as a “moment of reckoning for America.”
She will lay out “two paths” for the nation, said Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri. One is divisive and dark, as presented by Trump, she said, the other is about optimism and “working together.”
She must make a case to several sets of voters, said Marist College pollster Lee Miringoff.
For skeptical older voters who have seen her on the national scene for 25 years, she must “convince them to take a second look,” he said. And she must “introduce herself” to many of the young voters who supported her primary opponent for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Hillary Clinton is not known to be as good a speaker as Obama, first lady Michelle Obama or even her husband, and she shouldn’t try to top them, Miringoff said. But she doesn’t have to.
“Genuine and authentic beats raising the rafters,” he said. “The history of the moment should elevate her even if she doesn’t match Michelle or Barack Obama.
“Tonight, she has to show some emotion to the history of the moment,” Miringoff said. “I think that would serve her well. Communicate a sense of the historical dimensions of this and how, as a person, she is connecting with that.”
Wednesday night, the president passed the Democratic baton to his rival for the 2008 nomination. Obama declared that Clinton not only can defeat the “deeply pessimistic vision” of Trump but also realize the “promise of this great nation.” While knocking Trump’s credentials, Obama argued that there’s never been a more “qualified man or woman — not me, not Bill” than Hillary Clinton to run for the White House.