Analysis by Reporting San Diego.
Editor’s note: Just like last week, we posted Trump’s speech the night it was delivered and waited overnight to post the analysis. We are doing the same with this one.
July 29, 2016 (San Diego) Hillary Clinton delivered an acceptance speech that was light, compared to the speech delivered by Donald Trump last week. Her vision was a far more positive vision of the country.
Clinton also delivered a more old school speech, in the sense that she first thanked speakers and her family, as well as voters and the party before accepting the nomination. She was personal in her thanks of former president Bill Clinton. She said “And Bill, that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago is still going strong. It’s lasted through good times that filled us with joy, and hard times that tested us.
And I’ve even gotten a few words in along the way.”
She also thanked Chelsea and her husband Mark Mezvisky, as well as their two grand children. She also was thankful to the President, Barack Obama, who she expects to succeed. Clinton knows that she needs Bernie Sanders supporters and had a strong appeal to them near the beginning of the speech.
>And… I want to thank Bernie Sanders.
>Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary.
>You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.
>And to all of your supporters here and around the country:
>I want you to know, I’ve heard you.
>Your cause is our cause.
>Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion.
>That’s the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.
>We wrote it together – now let’s go out there and make it happen together.
Clinton had a very strong appeal to the center and she did this by a summation of American history. She spoke of the roots of the revolution, and how the revolution hung in the balance when some wanted to remain with the king and others break away. The numbers are well known by historians, About one third of colonists wanted to remain loyal to the king, one third wanted to break away and one third was caught in the middle. So while the story did not precisely go as she spoke of it, it was that middle that she appealed to, as well as the men on both sides who actually started to listen to each other. Some of them would not change their views, but others did. And out of that came this country.
It was an appeal to reason and to working together, and how we all have more in common than apart. This is when she introduced the theme of thee general election, contrasting that of Donald Trump. “Our Founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together.”
Clinton took trump to task on this, and the acceptance speech when she said:
>Well, we heard Donald Trump‘s answer last week at his convention.
>He wants to divide us – from the rest of the world, and from each other.
>He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise.
>He’s taken the Republican Party a long way…from “Morning in America” to “Midnight in America.”
She was also clear, that this was an inclusive nation, not one to build walls.
During the speech she also alluded to themes her opponent over the course of the primary, Senator Bernie Sander (I-VT) spoke off. She said that it was clear that there was “There’s too much inequality. Too little social mobility. Too much paralysis in Washington. Too many threats at home and abroad.”
But it was until after she accepted the nomination, midway though the speech, that she went into some specifics. She also alluded to how important policy was to her. She said: “It’s true… I sweat the details of policy – whether we’re talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs.”
She also addressed the fact that there is a need to raise workers, and to protect the middle class. Clinton also hung on a critical priority for Democrats, and a bette noir of progressives. “That’s why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And we’ll pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!” This is a tall order and if done would bring a new age of campaign finance reform.
She also addressed two other issues critical to many on the left flank of the Democratic Party: “And I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.” This is an appeal to the 2008 crash, and the quiet demand that commercial banks be separated from business banks. What at one point was called Glass Steagal. It is a good question how this could come from Democrats, given where a lot of donations are coming from. So this is one item in the speech that people will have to hold her accountable for.
Climate change was a core part of the Sanders campaign and she also made this promise, which was in stark contrast to Trump. “I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.” She did not give many specifics during the speech, but her website has a full plan on this.
Immigration is a big deal in San Diego, with many communities. Clinton addressed this issue by drawing a night and day contrast with Trump. She said: “I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out. Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together – and it’s the right thing to do.”
This is based on economic calculations that expelling 11 million people would not only cost billions, but would cost the economy billions. A recent report death this this in detail.
>“Depending on how the government conducts its apprehensions, it would need to spend $100 billion to $300 billion arresting and removing all undocumented immigrants residing in the country, a process that we estimate would take 20 years. In addition, to prevent any new undocumented immigrants going forward, the government would at a minimum have to maintain current immigration enforcement levels. This results in an additional $315 billion in continuing enforcement costs over that time period.”
What struck us as very interesting was her open position to Free Trade Agreements, (FTA) among them the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which President Barack Obama wants to still pass as one of his last acts in Congress. And this has to be noted. it is part of the Democratic Party Platform. This we quote in part:
>While we believe that openness to the world economy is an important source of American leadership and dynamism, we will oppose trade agreements that do not support good American jobs, raise wages, and improve our national security. We believe any new trade agreements must include strong and enforceable labor and environmental standards in their core text with streamlined and effective enforcement mechanisms. Trade agreements should crack down on the unfair and illegal subsidies other countries grant their businesses at the expense of ours. It should promote innovation of and access to lifesaving medicines. And it should protect a free and open internet. We should never enter into a trade agreement that prevents our government, or other governments, from putting in place rules that protect the environment, food safety, or the health of American citizens or others around the world.
>These are the standards Democrats believe must be applied to all trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
She also addressed national security in the speech. She acknowledged the fear and the uneasiness that people are feeling around the world, including the United States, due to terrorism. There are also assurances to allies that the United States will sand side by side with them. Clinton mentioned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) specifically. This is in response to Trump’s recent comments (and not so recent comments) regarding the alliance.
Clinton also said that we must respect the military and said that this includes one of her political opponents: “A president should respect the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country – including the sons of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, both Marines.”
Clinton also addressed the gun lobby specifically “I’m not here to repeal the 2nd Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”
Clinton also addressed the crisis we have in our streets. She addressed both Black Lives Matter and police officers. “So let’s put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job.
We will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
In short she wants people to start listening to each other to solve the problems of the country.
In short this was a states person speech, that had policy prescriptions. This was a traditional, and even old fashioned in the order done, acceptance speech. It was a far more traditional speech and was one that admitted we have problems, but that those problems require all of us to solve them, not just a strong man.
The test will be if this speech reaches both the Bernie Supporter who are still mad at the DNC for all that has been done, including this week, and both independents and republicans. That is the test.
For the record, we expect a healthy post convention bump in the polls. She did better than Trump.