The 2016 DNC Is Not About Electing Any Woman President—It’s About Electing Hillary Clinton President

July 27, 2016 - accent chair


Photographed by Daniel Arnold

Yesterday we voiced wish that destiny days of a DNC would be some-more about looking forward, reduction about looking back. Boarding a transport during City Hall to conduct toward a Wells Fargo Center for day two, it was not transparent my wish would be granted. When a doors of a automobile swooshed open, a initial thing we listened was a rousing delivery of “Ding Dong a Witch Is Dead,” finish with bongo accompaniment. (Never mind that a “witch” was presumably alive and good and on lane to accept a central Democratic Party assignment for president.)

The bongo-er was a immature college tyro bustling chatting adult a hippieish 30-something woman. “Montreal is a biggest multitude we found outward of a Pacific Northwest,” he proclaimed, afterwards common a cost of his Canadian college tuition: $1,500. “I know Bernie’s prophesy is possible. I’m vital Bernie’s vision!” Later they concluded that America should mountain a viable third domestic party. “A two-party complement is one celebration divided from a one-party state.”

The protestors were chanting “Hillary for Prison!” as we pulled adult to a final stop before Wells Fargo, when suddenly, as if summoned, a transformation military appeared. No, they weren’t there to detain a destiny initial lady boss of a United States; they were there to chaperon everybody off a transport who didn’t have DNC credentials. The protestors seemed confused and debarked with surprisingly tiny protest. Our sight rattled off to conventionland.


Photographed by Daniel Arnold

Among a initial orders of business was a hurl call, a mostly rite procession by that any state declares how many representatives went a approach of Bernie Sanders and how many went a approach of Clinton, slips in a gloat about because it’s a greatest, and, if all goes well, during a finish a assignment is proffered.

The states sounded off alphabetically, and we arrived usually in time to hear a representatives from North Dakota exaggerate about being “the hearth of a Nonpartisan League movement.” Things didn’t get exciting—let’s be clear: comparatively speaking—until it was Vermont’s turn, and a state that brought us Senator Sanders chose to pass. An act of insurrection? No, a lady in front of me wearily sensitive her companion, who had a same thought: We’ll usually come behind to them during a end.

As a delegations ticked down (Wisconsin, “a state where workers still make things!” West Virginia, “home of a many merciful people in a world!”), a throng began to list toward a Vermont side of a room. we incidentally found myself during a front of a pack, congested between a span of surly, jostling photographers with telephoto lenses and a really large, perspiring hopeful in a suit. “I can’t get adult to my delegation!” he yelled over a heads. “I’m not feeling a Bern,” he joked to another suit. “I’m feeling a heartburn,” fit dual quipped. “I’m contagious,” fit one exclaimed, though nobody seemed to care.

They were watchful for Vermont. First, Dotty Dean, chair of a state’s Democratic party, gloated that her state “helped quarrel and win a domestic series of 2016,” that their “leaders denounced a demagoguery of Joseph McCarthy,” and that they “speak out opposite a modern-day McCarthy, Donald Trump.” Then she upheld a mic to Sanders, who stoically changed “that Hillary Clinton be comparison as a hopeful of a Democratic Party for President of a United States.”

With a resounding stipulation of “aye,” it was official: History was underneath way. Pharrell’s “Happy” bloody out of a PA, and a throng topsy-turvy course, fighting an upstream conflict opposite a sea of representatives all compelled to constraint a impulse with a selfie. (It fast became transparent because selfie sticks were on a list of equipment not authorised in a Wells Fargo Center.) “I’m so miserable,” griped a cameraman behind me in a thick unfamiliar accent. The discontented hopeful from progressing gleefully reupped his tirade: “I’ve never been so insinuate with so many people during once! I’ve been during a Roman bath and it wasn’t like this. I’m contagious. I’m contagious!”

By 24 hours in, a DNC had wised adult to a strangely messy confidence measures that had prevailed on day one. Gone were a shy immature volunteers attempting and unwell to keep order, transposed by vast organisation with earpieces and overdeveloped management complexes. we was sensitive when we got to a track that my media certification no longer postulated me entrance to anything, so photographer Daniel Arnold and we spent a day regulating his pass to tab in and out. It was his spin to enter a melee, so we wandered a fringe of a arena, checking out a central merch counter and eavesdropping. In a tiny seating area supposing by Microsoft, we sidled adult to daytime speak uncover horde and progressing Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer as he chatted with another reporter. “To remove his talent is crazy,” Springer pronounced of Sanders. “We have to keep adult a Sanders revolution.” Of Clinton: If something ever happened to him, she’s a chairman he’d entrust to lift his children or grandchildren.

Hearing rumors that a organisation of Sanders representatives had walked out of hurl call to occupy a circuitously media tent in wordless protest, we headed over. Outside a tiny army of state troopers, looking wearied and overheated in their wide-brim hats, had gathered. Inside, a theatre was resigned and undeserving of any turn of military presence. A few dozen people, their mouths taped and gagged, sat on a floor, arms linked, swarmed by media in a ratio of during slightest one-to-one. One lady hold aloft a journal, a cover printed with owls. On a splayed widespread of pages she’d scrawled: “A opinion for Hillary is a opinion for Trump.” “What does that even mean?” a publisher mumbled.

Time to tab behind into a action. In a stadium, a Clinton debate was no longer meditative about Sanders. Tonight was all about a nominee: Any boos were boos for Trump.

Elizabeth Banks presided as a arrange of master of ceremonies (was this a play on a Stephen Colbert Hunger Games RNC stunt?—unclear), introducing a prolonged register of speakers and cueing adult promotional videos meant to remind us what Clinton’s candidacy means for women everywhere. It was a summary punctuated during a night’s finish when a slideshow of past presidents climaxed with a cheesy striking of ruinous glass. As a shards fell, Clinton beamed in, live from New York, sitting in what seemed to be a Revolutionary War–era tavern. “I can’t trust we usually put a biggest moment in that potion roof yet,” she proclaimed.


Photographed by Daniel Arnold

But if it was a jubilant day for women en masse, it was also a day about celebrating Hillary Clinton in particular. As Lena Dunham pronounced progressing in a afternoon, vocalization with America Ferrera and Chelsea Clinton on a row hosted by Glamour repository and Facebook, “Not usually are we so propitious that a lady can be a candidate, we’re propitious that it’s this woman.” Later, Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards echoed a same sentiment: “This isn’t usually about electing a initial lady president; it’s about electing this lady president.”

The Mothers of a Movement spoke of Clinton’s joining to “common-sense gun legislation”; Richards framed her as a aegis opposite Trump’s immorality bulletin to overturn Roe v. Wade; Howard Dean done transparent her loyalty to health-care remodel (and took a event to send adult his possess famous barbarous yawp); Madeleine Albright attested to Clinton’s foreign-policy chops: and in a keynote slot, Bill Clinton, folksy as ever, embellished a mural of his mother as someone who “has never been confident with a station quo in anything,” who “always wants to pierce a round forward,” who is “still a best damn change-maker I’ve ever known.”

Earlier in a night, in outcast from a action, we was examination Dean’s debate on a radio set haphazardly mounted in a corridor somewhere in a guts of a arena, when Meryl Streep sashayed by, wrapped in a dress printed with a American flag. Hot on her route screeched an Italian newscaster, cameraman in tow. “One word for Italian TV?” a newscaster pleaded. “Are we happy to be here?” Streep turned, smiled her Mona Lisa smile, slanted her conduct into a microphone, and said, “Si.”

Later, station in a same spot, we watched her take a stage, evacuate a strangled, overjoyed yap that seemed to anxiety Dean’s, and broach a debate that compared Clinton, her “grit and grace,” to Deborah Sampson, a continental infantryman who dressed as a male to quarrel in a Revolutionary War and took a bullet for a America. “Hillary Clinton has taken some glow over 40 years of her quarrel for families and children,” Streep reminded us. “How does she do it?”

If final night didn’t answer that question, I’m not certain what will. By a time Alicia Keys came on to perform a brief set—“dedicated to a mothers of a movement”—people were fading, including a confidence guards, who finally gave adult and let me into a stadium.

“More, more!” yelled one hopeful as Keys took her final bows. “I got 3 hours of sleep. we gotta get out of here,” groused another.

On a transport float behind to a Airbnb, we sat subsequent to dual immature girls, Ella and Ana. They were just-graduated high propagandize seniors, headed off to college in a fall. How’d they get in? A garland of Sanders representatives had left a gathering early, vigilant on flitting their certification along to Bernie-or-bust protestors. The girls were pro-Clinton—they valued her experience, they said, and felt a Sanders debate given a primary better had turn a catchall for lefty swindling theories—but they played along.

They had anxious to Bill Clinton. “You listen to him and we know because people adore him,” Ella gushed. “When everybody started cheering Hillary’s name, he looked really taken,” Ana remembered. “It was powerful.”

“We’ve never had a boss who knew firsthand a problems women face,” she combined about because she supports Hillary.

It strikes me that these girls—old adequate to vote, though still so young—are of an age where a Clinton presidency will make a genuine disproportion in how they see a world, how they see themselves in it. What will she do with those Clinton signs she’s clutching, we asked Ella. “They’re going on a wall of my dorm subsequent year,” she said, grinning sheepishly.


Daniel Arnold roams a DNC:

Photographed by Daniel Arnold



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