Hillary Clinton To Describe Nation’s ‘Moment Of Reckoning’

MIAMI, FL - JULY 23:  Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on as her running mate Democratic vice presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) speaks during a campaign rally at Florida International University Panther Arena on July 23, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Hillary Clinton and  Tim Kaine made their first public appearance together a day after the Clinton campaign announced Senator Kaine as the Democratic vice presidential candidate.   (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL - JULY 23: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on as her running mate Democratic vice presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) speaks during a campaign rally at Florida International University Panther Arena on July 23, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine made their first public appearance together a day after the Clinton campaign announced Senator Kaine as the Democratic vice presidential candidate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — Hillary Clinton will tell Americans Thursday that the nation is facing a “moment of reckoning” as powerful forces try to tear it apart and will pledge in her Democratic convention speech to battle economic deprivation at home and “threats and turbulence” overseas.

As she makes history by accepting her role as the first female nominee of a major political party, Clinton will offer herself as the epitome of steady leadership to a nation that is anxious and looking for reassurance.

“We are clear-eyed about what our country is up against. But we are not afraid. We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have,” Clinton will tell delegates at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, according to excerpts of her remarks.

Clinton’s remarks will be a clear effort to persuade Americans that she understands their frustration and economic anxiety at a time when many of them still do not trust her. Her prime-time televised address is especially crucial because she has not so far generated the kind of passion among her supporters that Donald Trump has among his backers by channeling anger about the direction of the country.

While Clinton and President Barack Obama have argued that ISIS is on the run, the economy is on the upswing, and Americans are safer than they have been in years, they are struggling to counter the dark image that Trump has painted of a nation in decline, chaos and disorder.

Clinton will address that challenge.

“America is once again at a moment of reckoning. Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart,” Clinton will say. “Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. And just as with our founders, there are no guarantees. It’s truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we’re going to work together so we can all rise together.”

Amid charges by Republicans that the optimistic mood of the Democratic convention has ignored the threat from ISIS and Islamic terrorism, Clinton will be specific about the global national security threats that loom.

“Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face,” Clinton will say. “From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, to San Bernardino and Orlando, we’re dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated. No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance — looking for steady leadership.”

Ahead of her speech, retired four star General John Allen, the former head of US and international forces in Afghanistan, delivered a powerful speech in which he told delegates that Clinton would be “exactly the Commander-in-Chief America needs.”

‘America will continue to lead’

“With her as our Commander-in-Chief, America will continue to lead this volatile world. We will oppose and resist tyranny and we will defeat evil. America will defeat ISIS and protect the homeland,” said Allen, who was surrounded on stage by 37 military veterans.

Without specifically naming Trump, Allen, who at one point interrupted his speech to lead the crowd in a chant of “USA, USA” which overwhelmed sporadic cries of “no more war” from the floor, implied that the billionaire would imperil the safety and reputation of the US military.

“I also know that with her as our Commander-in-Chief, our international relations will not be reduced to a business transaction. I also know that our armed forces will not become an instrument of torture, and they will not be engaged in murder or carry out other illegal activities.”

She will go on: “Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger. None of us can do it alone. That’s why we are stronger together.”

The phrase “stronger together” is emerging as a key theme of Clinton’s campaign and is seen by her team as a way to differentiate her from Trump, who critics say is exploiting divides for political gain.

Clinton will deliver her speech after a largely successful convention which has begun to mend the split left in the party by her divisive primary with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The mood on the convention floor Thursday was festive and upbeat — in contrast to the discontent that festered on the opening night on Monday when die-hard Sanders fans loudly make their disappointment known.

There’s no guarantee there won’t be some show of dissent from “Bernie or Bust” supporters on Thursday. But political reality is beginning to solidify.

Samantha Herring of Walton County, Florida, was a Sanders supporter but has decided this week to work hard to elect Clinton.

“Is it hard? Yes. I loved Bernie, but that’s why I have to vote for Hillary,” said Herring, who made signs reading “He has my heart but she has my vote.”

In the Florida delegation, there were several signs that said “Was voting for Bernie, Now Voting with Bernie” above the Clinton campaign logo.

Sanders supporters

But not all the Sanders supporters were reconciled to Clinton. Some of the most ardent fans of the Vermont Senator wore yellow “Enough is Enough” t-shirts and were clustered in the more progressive states, including California, Oregon and Washington. Not all were agreed about how to protest during Clinton’s big speech but did see their party nominee is catering to the right with her pick of Tim Kaine as her vice presidential nominee and believe she is untrustworthy and lacks integrity.

“There’s not going to be one flavor of resistance from Sanders delegates. We have diverse backgrounds of organizers and activists — I think you can say though that the DNC has underestimated us greatly,” said Robert Shearer, a 33-year-old Sanders delegate from California, during an interview inside the California section of the arena.

In the Florida delegation, there were several signs that said “Was voting for Bernie, Now Voting with Bernie” above the Clinton campaign logo.

While many Democratic delegates here in Philadelphia initially believed that Clinton would have no problem dispatching Trump, given his erratic behavior and divisive rhetoric, they said in interviews this week that they were alarmed by how close the race looks, particularly in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Though the Republican convention was chaotic, Trump’s nomination speech was mocked by commentators as dark and foreboding, and the Republican candidate has spent virtually no money on advertising, he is enjoying a considerable bounce after last week’s convention.

In a CNN/ORC poll released this week, Trump was leading Clinton 44% to 39% in a four-way matchup that included Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson (9%) and Green Party Candidate Jill Stein at 3%,

Trump’s improved standing is due in large part to a surge in support among independents, with 46% saying they would back Trump compared with 28% for Clinton in that four way matchup. Underscoring Clinton’s challenges this fall, 68% of those polled said Clinton was not honest and trustworthy.

Clinton faces four formidable challenges tonight: unifying the Democratic Party at a time when many Sanders supporters insist they will not fall in line; assuaging concerns about her trustworthiness; convincing independent voters that that Trump is unfit to be commander-in-chief; and generating excitement about her own campaign during a year of intense negativity.

While Trump’s biggest struggle ahead will be to win over college-educated white voters and minorities, Clinton is facing a huge deficit among white working class voters. They will be crucial to victory in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, where she will campaign later this week.

Heavy hitters

With those challenges in mind, the Democratic convention this week has gone about as smoothly as Clinton could have hoped — bringing a cavalry of the party’s heavy hitters to offer personal testimonials about her strength, her empathy and her work as a tireless public servant advocating for change for the better part of her life.

While the convention opened with the embarrassing ouster of party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz as a result of the DNC email hacking scandal, the marquee speakers — Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton — have made an effective case against Trump, while humanizing Clinton and casting her as a far more steady hand as commander-in-chief.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered a blistering takedown of Trump’s business acumen, which has been the real estate magnate’s rationale for his candidacy. “I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one,” Bloomberg said.

But it was President Obama who delivered the most withering case against Trump’s candidacy Wednesday night as he described his former rival as the most qualified person to ever seek the presidency and Trump as a demagogue who traffics in fear.

“I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America,” Obama said.

Trump, the president said, “is betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election. That is another bet that Donald Trump will lose. Because he’s selling the American people short. We are not a fragile or frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order. We don’t look to be ruled.”

CNN’s Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s