Hillary Clinton formally selected as Democratic candidate for President with help from Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton is officially the first woman to top a major party ticket — and Bernie Sanders helped put her there Tuesday evening.
Sanders came to the floor at the Democratic National Convention at the end of their official roll call vote for President to ask that the party give Clinton the nomination by acclamation, his latest move toward unifying the party and assuaging his most stubborn supporters.
Clinton formally surpassed the 2,382 delegate votes she needed to officially lock in the nomination when the South Dakota delegation cast its votes during a state-by-state roll-call early in the evening.
But Sanders’ surprise speech provided the moment of catharsis.
“I move that the convention suspend the procedural votes … I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States,” he said before he kissed his wife Jane.
The crowd inside the Wells Fargo Center erupted into a deafening roar, with loud “Bernie” chants overtaking several delegations.
Sanders was then ushered out of the arena and Democratic National Committee interim Chairwoman Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) retook the stage.
“All in favor of the motion,” she gleefully asked.
“Aye,” the thousands in attendance roared.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) was even more effusive as usual as the roll call ticked toward history.
“This is extraordinary. This is a moment in history. This is the first time a major party in the United States of America has nominated a woman, and whatever your party affiliation is, this is a breakthrough moment in our country,” he told the Daily News on the convention floor.
Just moments earlier, the New York delegation passionately pledged its delegates to both candidates, with a beaming Gov. Cuomo making the announcement.
“The great state of New York … the proud home of the next President of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton,” Cuomo said as Sen. Chuck Schumer pumped his fist and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand grinned over his shoulder.
Support from Clinton’s closest confidantes rolled in quickly.Clinton will formally accept the nomination on Thursday.
“So proud of you, Hillary,” tweeted Bill Clinton, who will speak at the convention later Tuesday.
“It’s official. I couldn’t be more proud to call @HillaryClinton my mom — today & every day. #ImWithHer,” tweeted Chelsea Clinton.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the only senator to back Sanders in the primary, said he was hopeful the cathartic roll call vote and the rest of the week’s events would both help Clinton unify the party and let Sanders voters have their moment.
“We’re another step in this journey of bringing folks together,” he told the Daily News. “This process, this week is very important in bringing together the energy, the grassroots organizing, the passion, behind our united Hillary Clinton-Tim Kaine team.”
But Merkley admitted not all those in his Bernie-heavy state delegation were ready to come aboard. And in spite of the mostly happy moment on the floor, dozens of Sanders delegates stormed out in disgust, chanting “This is what democracy looks like.”
“The Democratic system in this country is rigged,” said Daniel Carter, a Florida Sanders delegate.
Carter said he’d hold his nose and back Clinton in the fall but said he was furious with the process.
Kentucky Sanders delegate Christian Duque didn’t walk out, but said they “didn’t take our marching orders from Bernie,” and threatened to skip voting for president.
“We don’t want to cast a fear vote anymore,” he said, alluding to warnings that not voting for Clinton was essentially voting for Trump.
Other Sanders delegates begged their brethren to stay and work together as they streamed out, warning what would happen if Trump was elected, as Clinton backers split between trying to win them over and cursing them as they exited.
In spite of the scattered protests, things ran much smoother early on Tuesday than they did Monday, when hundreds of Sanders delegates repeatedly interrupted other speakers with boos and “Bernie” chants.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the first Democratic woman elected in her own right to the Senate, formally entered Clinton’s name as the nominee as the crowd inside the Wells Fargo Center chanted, “Hillary, Hillary.”
“It is with a full heart as I here today nominate Hillary Clinton to be the first woman President,” Mikulski, a long-time Clinton ally, said
“She wants to break barriers to opportunities so you won’t have barriers. You can count on her. She will work for you,” she added.
She was followed by civil rights icon and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
“There are forces in America that want to take us back. They want to undo 50 years of progress this country has made … we have come too far, we have made too much progress, and we are not going back. We are going forward,” Lewis said.
The night marked a bittersweet end to Sanders’ shot at the White House, a run catapulted by extraordinary support from the progressive wing of the party, prolific grassroots fund-raising and undying loyalty that stretched right into the convention, as some “Bernie or bust” stalwarts refused to admit the fact that he’d conceded and the race was over.“Tonight ... we shatter that glass ceiling again,” he added, nodding to a popular phrase oft-used by Clinton.
On Monday, Sanders himself acknowledged the “revolution” he helped usher in, but implored his supporters to cast ballots for Clinton in the fall.
"Any objective observer will conclude that based on her ideas and her leadership Hillary Clinton must become the next President of the United States," Sanders declared to huge cheers.
"Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding President and I am proud to stand with her tonight," he said amid roars.