Opinion: US Democrats celebrate female equality | Opinion | DW | 29.07.2016
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Opinion

Opinion: US Democrats celebrate female equality

The US Democrats have shown what strength they can develop when they get behind a common goal. And that goal is for a woman, through all her charms, to bring down Trump, writes DW's Ines Pohl from Philadelphia.

While the Democrats at the National Convention are jubilant at having nominated a woman to run for president, the Republicans seem to be suffering a hangover. And, of course, the differing reactions to this historic moment are just a part of the broader and deeper differences between the two sides.

Anyone with even the slightest interest in America would have found it difficult to miss, during the long preselection process, how controversial and vulnerable the former Secretary of State is. It is also hard to miss the fact that she has made small as well as large mistakes during her long career. And it is not hard to imagine that with all the criticism there's always a bit of sexism with all the criticism.

That is why the National Convention nominating her as the first female presidential candidate could not have been an smooth ride. For a start there is the never-ending email scandal. Then there is the disappointment of the Bernie Sanders' supporters who don't want to accept that the revolutionary from Vermont, despite shaping the election debate, has not won.

So despite all the celebration, speeches and Hollywood stars, a big question mark was hanging over whether the rather reserved Clinton would manage to give a speech to win the hearts and minds, not only of the audience in Philadelphia, but of the people watching on tv around the country.

The pressure was huge. It was the most important speech of her long political career so far.

And Hillary Clinton nailed it.

Ines Pohl

DW Washington correspondent Ines Pohl

She was almost like an American Angela Merkel, who doesn't like all the fuss and just gets on with it, because that is what you have to do.

Clinton didn't try to turn on the charisma and be like Barack or Michelle Obama. She also resisted the temptation to turn to that kind of acid, sharp-tongued humor like Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren or the billionaire, Michael Bloomberg.

She was simply herself, focusing on her achievements. Even if it sometimes sounded like a speech at a job interview, where the candidate outlines her resume, it worked. Because it is true that for decades she has supported handicapped children, she has worked for general access to public healthcare, for Muslims, for blacks and homosexuals, for families and single mothers.

But one reason her matter-of-fact approach did work so well was due to the powerful speeches of the previous days. These paved the way in creating a new mood of hope and reconciliation.

Talented campaign assistants

Clinton is able to rely on a whole army of talented supporters, they are well-orchestrated and each taking different roles. In this way she is also able to reach out to the divergent groups that make up the Democrat supporters. And the fact that she can also count on support from conservatives such as the former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has increased the sense of panic in the Republicans. And while the Democrats send Clinton on her way with good wishes and overwhelming support, increasing numbers of prominent Republicans are recoiling from their candidate DonaldTrump in horror.

The Democrats turned their National Convention into a celebration of diversity, unity and trust, rejoicing in the fact that they have chosen a woman to lead them. The Republicans, on the other hand, are realising what it means that they allowed Donald Trump to take over their convention and turn it into an egocentric event for the purpose of creating fear.

For the Republican Party such realisations come too late. But for the United States there is still hope.

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