Yahoo News has enlisted participants at the Democratic National Convention representing different viewpoints and roles to file daily diary entries on their experiences in Philadelphia. They are your eyes and ears at one of the most unconventional political gatherings in generations, offering a front-row seat on the convention floor, behind-the-scenes access to key political meetings and a vivid picture of what conventions are really like, both inside and outside the arena. Here are yesterday’s entries.
Tuesday night really was historic. It was a great night for Hillary and for the whole country. I had the great privilege of having our daughters on the floor when she officially locked up the nomination.
I was Hillary’s Arkansas co-chair in 2008 when she ran for president eight years ago. My daughter Emma Grace was 7 at the time, and when we were out campaigning, I would lean over and tell her that girls can do anything they want to do and be anything they want to be. I thought her candidacy then was important and, as the father of a girl, I think it is even more important now. I hope tonight is something that they will always remember. I hope that it is a memory that will be up there with the inauguration, when Hillary, we hope, is sworn in. And I will do everything I can to make sure that happens.
Lots of friends and family were sending us messages. They blew up our phones, telling us that we were on TV. That was fun too. If you take away the historic and emotional nature of it all, if you remove all the noble feelings, that part was also kind of cool.
We’re spoiled in Arkansas to see Bill Clinton many times a year. Maybe our kids have lost perspective that he is such a big celebrity and such an influential person. But tonight was unique. The movie was very moving, and I was very touched by it. When he came out, there was an awful lot of pride from the state of Arkansas. We love him and we are proud of him. We’re grateful to both Hillary and Bill. It was very special for us to be able to be a part of that crowd tonight and know the whole country was watching — and to help shower President Clinton with some of the affection and pride that we all feel. I think it was very special for the president too. I know he enjoyed the reaction and was very proud of it.
In his speech, the president did a tremendous job telling the voters about the special, personal side of Hillary. He knows her in ways we never will. He hit a home run with that speech.
Going back to earlier in the day, we started out with breakfast, which went well. New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall came and spoke. I dropped by the Democratic Attorneys General Association events in the afternoon. I chaired the DAGA for many years, and it was good to talk with people I hadn’t seen in awhile.
I was particularly interested to see how the Bernie Sanders delegates felt about last night and the coverage the speech received. I would say the vast majority I spoke to were satisfied and felt like they were heard. They looked forward to casting their ballots today. His delegates knew Vermont would move to nominate Hillary by acclamation, and they seemed to think it was an honor for Bernie.
As told to Andrew Bahl/Yahoo News
Monday night was filled with the kind of moments that leave you positively glowing. It was fantastic. Michelle Obama’s speech was moving and inspiring. It brought tears to your eyes and brought you to your feet. It was lovely. And Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker were great too. It was just a great mix of people.
Earlier that day, I ran into a friend who was worried about how all this would go, but when I saw him Tuesday, his mood had completely changed. “Isn’t this great? Isn’t this wonderful?” he exclaimed. The glow persisted, and the party already feels more united.
On Tuesday morning, I attended the Jewish Women for Hillary breakfast to kick off our Pennsylvania Ambassador program. Sixty women crammed into my friend’s apartment. It was standing room only. It was incredible. Every one of them is committed, signed on to the effort and ready for more. I spoke about how important it is for everyone to reach voters personally about their experience with Hillary. This inspired some of the attendees to share their stories right then and there. One woman said she had heard Hillary speak about children and health care and what we need to do together at a conference in 1994 or 1995. This shows how consistent she’s been. Hillary is not someone who just discovered these issues in time to run for office. She’s always been working on these problems.
Based on how great the breakfast went, I think the Ambassador Program will be a huge success. I just got an email that said, “Let’s get this show on the road and get to these other states.” People are really eager to get started.
After breakfast, I picked up my credentials and went to the Colored Girls Lunch, which some of my friends put together. The lunch, which honored African-American women, took place on the top floor of one of those old office buildings on Chestnut Street. We talked about the importance of women and diversity in politics.
I ran into a friend there who, like me, understands the importance of women’s history. One thing led to another, and we started planning events for the women’s suffrage centennial beginning next year. Women earned the right to vote in 1920, so the official centennial will be in 2020. But we want to begin commemorating the centennial in 2017. You would never say women were given that right — they fought for it. Those women organized, mobilized and strategized — it was a major achievement.
Suffice it to say it was a great albeit busy day. By the time I got back to my room, I realized that amid all the excitement, I had been talking so much that I forgot to eat not only breakfast, but lunch too. I finally took the time to eat and regroup and make plans for the evening with my husband. Traveling to and from these conventions can be difficult to navigate.
Bill Clinton isn’t the only person to watch on Tuesday night. Pay attention to some of the lesser-known people. On Monday night, I found that the people I had never heard of before gave some of my favorite speeches of the night. Those will be folks to watch in the coming years.
As told to Susanna Heller/Yahoo News
We made history Tuesday night.
Hillary Clinton officially became the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. It took 226 years, but as Hillary said in her surprise video appearance to the convention, we’ve put the biggest crack in the glass ceiling yet.
As the roll call got underway, each state delegation announced how it would cast their votes for the Democratic nominee. After every state had shared their vote counts along with favorite facts about their state, the Vermont delegation took the mic and Bernie Sanders called for a suspension of the rules so that Hillary could be nominated by acclamation.
After a hard-fought, sometimes bitter and always passionate primary, it was a heavy moment. Around me, many women wiped away tears as the audience screamed their support for Hillary, and the room went wild.
Standing on the convention floor, you could feel joy. And from around the world, friends who had seen my posts on social media were texting and messaging to share in the celebration with us.
Once the roll call was complete, the speakers started to take the stage. Each one spoke about Hillary’s long history of fighting for children and families.
I was especially moved by the stories from the New Yorkers whom Hillary fought for as a U.S. senator. I was born in New York and still have a lot of family there, including some first responders who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. They may not all support Hillary, but it doesn’t matter, because she still supports them. She still fights to make sure we do right by them.
In my own way, this contrast is a small personal example of the points former President Bill Clinton made as he spoke of his life with Hillary. In stark contrast to the cartoon character the Republicans portrayed last week, the real Hillary is a fighter who never gives up.
Her grit, grace and determination are among the qualities I most admire. In fact, when I speak with other women who are supporting her, it’s Hillary’s strength and the way she won’t give up or give in that they point to most often. She’s a fighter, and we know she is going to fight for us.
Today, America heard the stories of the many people who are proof of that.
As written by Tracy Russo
We kicked things off Tuesday with a breakfast hosted by people trying to turn out young voters. I heard Peter Hamby from Snapchat speak about using technology to get young people involved and Sarah Audelo, Hillary Clinton’s millennial vote director, talk about organizing. Legally, we couldn’t talk about strategy because NextGen Climate Action is an independent group. But we just tried to acknowledge the challenges we face when working with this group of independent voters. We throw the spaghetti at the fridge and see what sticks, what gets people out to vote. We try every creative tactic we can think of.
I also met with representatives from iHeart Radio and Twitter to discuss advertising to young people. It’s actually cool. I’m normally on the phone with people in D.C. or New York, and it is great to actually have real, face-to-face conversations. One of the great things about this convention is that, because of the Bernie supporters, we see a focus on voters who may not be 100 percent onboard with the party yet. In previous years, we knew we had the people but wondered if we could get them to vote. But this year, we don’t know if we have these people’s support. And then we still have to get them to vote. This year, I need to motivate young people — not just to tell them how to vote, but to try and get them to understand voting actually matters.
I had a panel at the DNC Youth Council with some other organizers. It was crazy to be in a room full of 16-year-olds who probably watched “West Wing” all the way through. They’re just such awesome nerds. It is really cool to share stories with young people who are creating change in their communities. Nobody has really asked them to do more than knock on a door, and this is trying to get them to run their own show. People seem excited, and a lot of those young people came up to me after and wanted to get involved with our organization, which is one of the many reasons I’m happy to be here.
We want to recruit passionate people who don’t feel like there is an outlet for their creative work. No matter who you are or where you are, you can do work with us that will matter. One of the funny things about people who say, “Young folks aren’t engaged in politics,” is those people think voting is the be-all-end-all of it. However, I think for most young people, their first instinct isn’t to vote, but to get involved with community service and volunteer or speak out online. We need to show that you can mobilize that impulse and create a voting program. That isn’t rocket science, it’s what we do!
I went down to Wells Fargo Center and worked with the California delegation, talking with the lawmakers. Kesha and the Drive-By Truckers played a concert, which was awesome. But I’m also excited for tomorrow, and NextGen has a big event tomorrow night. I’ve been bouncing from place to place. I’m here to hustle and to get stuff done!
As told to Andrew Bahl/Yahoo News
Monday was a very long and emotional day. Tuesday started out with a much slower pace. That tends to happen, though. People get so jacked up on the first day, but by the second day, excitement dies down and people start tapering off — showing up late, coming in and out throughout the night. The fatigue definitely is starting to set in.
The delegation breakfast I attended Tuesday morning went well. We heard some great speakers, including one who spoke about labor. After that, I made my way down to the convention center to pick up my credentials. I didn’t go to as many caucus meetings as the day before. Although I’m not LGBT, I did get to sit in on the LGBT caucus, as an ally. Chris Sgro, a member of the North Carolina delegation, was on a panel about HB2, so that was one of the reasons I attended the LGBT caucus. The HB2 is the very controversial bill regarding transgender people and public bathrooms. This bill passed in North Carolina recently, and in my opinion, it is horrendous.
Another reason I attended the LGBT caucus was to support a friend of mine named Jane Campbell. Jane is running for a state House seat in the northern suburbs of Charlotte, N.C. She is a 26-year Navy veteran who is openly LGBT. She was inspired to run for office when she found out her local representative supported HB2. One of the cool things about national gatherings is they are great for state-level politicians to network with national politicians. It was great to tell Jane’s story and advocate for someone whom I consider a friend.
After that, I made my way to the convention center. There was a lot of excitement for roll call. I was very pleased with how it went. I didn’t see any booing or heckling — very minimal amounts of that. I was very satisfied with that display of unity. I was a little worried coming into the arena today. Prior to arriving at the Wells Fargo Center, I was messaging a fellow Bernie delegate who is on the same page as me regarding party unity and rallying behind Hillary Clinton. We met up before heading to the floor, and he told me he was a little worried, because some people were still feeling disruptive. He was worried fights would break out, but I’m glad it didn’t work out that way.
I’m so pleased with the way today went. There are still a lot of protesters outside of the arena, but I get the feeling that the majority of the delegates on the inside were able to vent their frustrations yesterday. I’m hopeful that in the next day or two, the protesters will get their catharsis and move on.
All in all, the mood was positive during roll call. There was a lot of cheering on the floor. Everyone was kind of waiting with bated breath for their state to be called. It was interesting to watch every state slowly stand up and edge closer to the podium.
After Bill Clinton’s speech, I’m going to try to make it to a party tonight. The parties are sort of a hallmark of the conventions, and I couldn’t make it to any last night. The first day is always so tiring, but I’m looking forward to doing some of the fun stuff tonight.
All week, it has been kind of fun to watch the influence technology has on this convention. This time around, it’s like every other person will tell you that they need to charge their cellphone. It’s kind of funny, because if you leave the convention floor, you’ll see everyone stationed around an outlet with their phones plugged in. I was well-prepared on this front — I have an external battery pack to plug into my phone with me. That’s helped a lot, because I’ve been posting a lot on Twitter and Instagram detailing my experience.
As told to Susanna Heller/Yahoo News