Democrats set to nominate Clinton for US presidency

Hillary Clinton set to receive presidential nomination by Democrats as Bernie Sanders supporters protest party bias.

    Democrats set to nominate Clinton for US presidency
    Democrats were set to nominate Hilary Clinton at the DNC as Sanders supporters continued to protest [Justin Lane/EPA]

    Taking her place in US history, Hillary Clinton is set to become the first woman to lead a major party toward the White House, a triumphant moment for Democrats to relish before plunging into a bruising general election against Republican Donald Trump.

    After the roll call of states formalising Clinton's nomination on Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton will take the stage for a history-making appearance of his own at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Former presidents often vouch for their potential successors, but never before has that candidate also been a spouse

    By night's end, the Clinton campaign hopes to have moved past the dissent that somewhat tarnished the convention's opening day. Supporters of Bernie Sanders, Clinton's primary rival, repeatedly interrupted Monday's proceedings with boos and chants of "Bernie".

    US election: Sanders urges support for Clinton at DNC

    Although the outcome is a foregone conclusion, the vote could be an occasion for protests on the convention floor by supporters of Sanders frustrated with recent revelations that the DNC was biased against him in favour of Clinton. 

    Sanders, however, took the DNC podium on Monday to urge his supporters to come together and vote for Clinton, telling them they cannot "sit out" the election.

    Amid a hearty welcome and sustained applause that lasted almost three minutes, Sanders told his followers that Clinton "must become the next president of the United States", and urged unity.

    "What we must do, or forever look back in regret, is defeat Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton," Sanders also said on Tuesday, while addressing the California delegation.

    "In my view, it's easy - it's easy to boo, but it is harder to look your kids in the face who would be living under a Donald Trump presidency," he said.

    OPINION: Why Bernie Sanders still matters

    Trump, meanwhile, took the usual shots at Clinton during a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Charlotte, North Carolina, calling her "crooked Hillary" and charging that her use of a private email account as secretary of state "put America's entire national security at risk". 

    A Clinton campaign official said Tuesday's events aim to draw a sharp contrast with Trump, with a line-up of speakers who will talk about her life-long fights to make a difference.

    Chief among them will be former president Clinton who will take the stage during prime-time to hail his wife as a "change-maker", the official said.

    But Clinton and the others - who include mothers who have lost children to gun violence or in clashes with police - will also have the unstated mission of mending fences with Sanders' army of vocal young activists.

    Michelle support

    Speaking at the convention's opening day, US President Barack Obama's wife Michelle also announced her support for Clinton. 

    She also offered a thinly-veiled jab at Trump while discussing how her family has had to adapt to the shrill tone of today's politics.

    "We insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country," Obama said.

    Sanders called on his supporters to get behind Clinton twice on Monday before his prime-time endorsement speech, including by texting supporters asking them not to protest on the convention floor, as a "personal courtesy" to him.

    But many of Sanders' supporters seem discontent with the Democratic party's business-as-usual politics and instead continue to call for the more widespread economic and political reforms championed during the his campaign. 

    Sanders himself was booed by some sections of the audience when he told the crowd: "Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight."

    OPINION: The US election is about the past

    Michigan delegate Charles Niswander, 28, said he and other Sanders delegates would never line up behind Clinton.

    "None of them want her. The people who voted for Bernie," Niswander told the AFP news agency.

    "There is obviously more than four days' work necessary to heal all the wounds, and everybody accepts that," said Clinton delegate Josep Carlson, 64, of Massachusetts.

    The party is reeling from leaked DNC emails which show nominally neutral party staff trying to undermine Sanders' campaign and attempting to place an emphasis on his alleged atheism. 

    WikiLeaks at the weekend released nearly 20,000 emails from between January 2015 and May 2016, gleaned by hackers who apparently raided the accounts of seven DNC leaders.

    Inside Story - What's the Republicans' message by nominating Trump?

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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