The 10 Most Jaw-Dropping Moments of the Democratic Convention
The four-day coronation of the first woman presidential nominee got off to a rocky start before its star-studded lineup of first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama took to the stage.
Here are the 10 most remarkable moments of the Democrats' historic convention that ended Thursday with Hillary Clinton accepting the nomination in a prime-time speech.
Seeking to calm restive Bernie Sanders supporters, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Sunday she would resign at the end of the Philadelphia convention after directing the proceedings. But that wasn't enough. At a Monday breakfast, the Florida congresswoman faced screaming boos from her own state delegation, a chaotic scene that quickly dominated the news and elevated pressure from Democrats to step aside immediately. She surrendered, opting not to gavel in the convention that afternoon for fear of inciting the ire of Sanders supporters, not to be heard from again this week.
U.S. intelligence officials told the New York Times on Tuesday they have "high confidence" the Russian government was responsible for the DNC e-mail hack, raising suspicions that Vladimir Putin's regime is trying to meddle in the election and help Republican nominee Donald Trump. Fueling the intrigue was Trump's praise for Putin as a strong and effective leader, and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's lobbying work for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.
Trump didn’t help matters by publicly encouraging Russia to get ahold of deleted e-mails from Clinton’s account. "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing," he said at a Wednesday press conference. "You'll probably be rewarded mightily by our press."
For that, Trump was slammed by Republicans and Democrats alike, and his campaign tried to walk it back. Yet it will be hard for Democrats to stop worrying that hackers have material that could hurt Clinton's chances—at least until Election Day.
Larry Sanders, a U.K. Green Party politician and member of the Democrats Abroad delegation, was given a moment to cast his vote on the convention floor for his younger brother. His emotional tribute moved Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane, to tears.
Feeling the Bern
An important subplot of the convention was disgruntled Sanders delegates, who believed the system was stacked against him, acting out. It was ugly—they booed and jeered mentions of Clinton, chanted "Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!", waved placards opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and heckled and interrupted speakers, including former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, with anti-war chants. After the vote Tuesday that crowned Clinton as the nominee, dozens of Sanders supporters briefly occupied one of three media tents outside the Wells-Fargo Arena.
Sanders, for his part, mostly succeeded in convincing his supporters to stand down. His prime-time speech Monday night enthusiastically endorsed Clinton, then he ceded his Vermont delegation to her during the roll call vote Tuesday in a powerful moment of unity for Democrats.
'You're Being Ridiculous'
Sarah Silverman, the comedian who backed Sanders before Clinton won the primary, went off script on Monday evening when boos for Clinton rang loudly in the arena. "Can I just say to the Bernie or Bust people: you're being ridiculous," she said. That didn’t go over well with Sanders delegates, who responded with even louder boos and began chanting his name.
Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia governor and a longtime friend of the Clintons, saw fit to tell a Politico reporter that Clinton would be willing to ink the TPP trade deal as president with some fixes. It contradicted her opposition to the Obama-backed trade pact she previously supported as secretary of state, and poured salt in a long-festering wound with the left that dogged her throughout the primary campaign.
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta soon repudiated the claim by McAuliffe, who also tried to backtrack. But it still seemed to validate the left's misgivings about Clinton, and leaves Democrats with major doubts at a convention meant to quell them.
Obama Uses the D-Word
In a remarkable moment, the U.S. president labeled the nominee of the other party a "homegrown demagogue" preying on voters' fears and prejudices. The election, Obama argued in his Wednesday speech, is not so much a battle between liberalism and conservatism as it is a choice between American democracy and authoritarianism.
By contrast, he said, "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."
'Dean Scream' Throwback
Howard Dean stirred his fellow Democrats to deafening cheers and applause when he re-enacted the boisterous primal scream from his ill-fated 2004 campaign. Only this time he echoed the lead-in to the iconic moment and climaxed by pumping both his fists in silence—no scream. The crowd ate it up.
Kareem or Michael?
"Hello everyone. I'm Michael Jordan and I'm here with Hillary," said NBA legend and Clinton supporter Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said Thursday evening as he introduced himself to the convention on the final night. "I said that because I know that Donald Trump couldn't tell the difference."
The arena burst into cheers, laughter and "ooohs." Abdul-Jabbar chuckled.
Clinton Baits Trump
In her keynote speech Thursday accepting the Democratic nomination, Clinton painted Trump as a thin-skinned figure. "Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis," she said. "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."
Trump responded with a string of tweets lashing out at his rival.