Nevada delegates on Clinton milestone, Reid’s fiery speech
LAS VEGAS — Forty-three Nevada delegates are in Philadelphia this week for the Democratic National Convention, which formally kicked off Monday. Here are their statements and reactions:
RETIRING REID’S FIERY SPEECH
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid delivered a blistering critique of Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress in his final address at a Democratic National Convention before retirement.
Reid took the stage Wednesday night to cheers of “Harry! Harry!” before launching into a speech that slammed his Republican counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell, as “craven.”
He blamed the Senate leader and other Republicans for stoking fear of Muslims and waging a war on women, saying they had set the stage for “a hateful con man, Donald Trump.”
Reid, a Nevada superdelegate, praised “my forever friend, Bernie Sanders” and plugged the candidate he’s endorsed to take his seat, Catherine Cortez Masto, before praising Hillary Clinton as “the most qualified and prepared candidate in the history of America,” according to prepared remarks.
ON CLINTON MAKING HISTORY
Hillary Clinton officially won the Democratic nomination Tuesday night, marking the first time in history that a woman has been nominated by a major U.S. political party.
“The glass ceiling is being broken, and it is the ultimate glass ceiling,” said Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin, a Clinton delegate. “It’s good for equity, and she happens to be the best-qualified.”
Bernie Sanders delegate Angie Morelli is still deeply skeptical of Clinton, especially in light of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee that appear to show bias in favor of her candidacy.
“I find her at the very least to be accepting of the fact that this is going on,” said Morelli, who’s still deciding whether she can get on the same page as Clinton or needs to vote “none of the above” in November.
But she acknowledged the history Clinton made on Tuesday.
“Last night was a monumental thing,” she said. “I’d like to see a woman president as much as anyone else.”
ON BILL CLINTON’S SPEECH
Former President Bill Clinton detailed his courtship with “a girl” named Hillary Rodham, praised her dedication as a mother and painted her as a tenacious “change-maker” in a lengthy personal speech on Tuesday night.
“I’ve heard him speak many times, and he was at the top of his game,” said Coffin, who said Bill Clinton came across as tired in a Las Vegas appearance earlier this year. “He knew what he wanted to say. He didn’t need to rehearse. He’s proud of his wife.”
Clinton didn’t touch on scandals that have sometimes defined their relationship. Instead, he called his wife his best friend and said she’s always looked for ways to make her world a better place.
“People need that reminder,” said state Sen. Aaron Ford, a Clinton delegate. “They’ve attacked her for 30 years for being a change person, and now they want to attack her as a status quo person.”
ON PARTY UNITY
Morelli was among the Bernie Sanders supporters who walked out of the convention after the Vermont senator asked for rules to be suspended and Clinton be nominated by acclamation. She said she understood he had to be a team player, but was disappointed.
“He’s just a different person,” Morelli said. “He’s having to put up a front.”
She said Sanders’ emotional moment was overshadowed by tensions within the Nevada delegation. Clinton delegates didn’t allow a proportionate number of Sanders delegates into the camera shot when Nevada’s votes were cast on national TV, Morelli said.
At a delegation breakfast on Wednesday, Sanders backers again called for Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange to resign, indicating they’re still troubled by a May state convention they felt was biased toward Clinton.
Coffin said he’s tried to reassure Sanders voters, especially ones who are attending their first convention, that they’re not the only ones who’ve suffered a tough defeat. He recalled the 1976 and 1992 Democratic conventions, when he stood by his candidate Jerry Brown but ended up losing.
“I said, ‘Believe me. I can relate to you,’ “ he said. “I cannot say anything to you that would make you feel good. Nothing is going to make you feel good, and you’re going to feel crappy.”