After strong night, an ebullient Hillary Clinton pledges to unify Democratic Party

Bringing in Sanders' supporters becomes new priority for Hillary Clinton

David Usborne
New York
Wednesday 27 April 2016 03:11
Comments
Hillary Clinton thanked her supporters after being declared winner in three states
Hillary Clinton thanked her supporters after being declared winner in three states

Celebrating another strong night of primary victories, an ebullient Hillary Clinton sought to paper over the schisms that her rivalry with Senator Bernie Sanders has exposed in the ranks of the Democratic Party insisting that “there is much more that unites us than divides us”.

While Ms Clinton did not mirror Donald Trump’s clean sweep of all five states voting on Tuesday - Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island - she was set to win at least three. Mr Sanders took Rhode Island; the race in Connecticut remained too close to call.

But Camp Clinton knew that the night was essentially theirs, not least because it will see the former first lady extend her delegate lead in the race for the Democratic nomination, which at this point more or less makes it impossible for Mr Sanders to deny her the brass ring.

She gave her victory speech in Philadelphia, the city that the United States was born in. It is also the city that will play host to the Democratic Convention in July. “We are going come back to Philadelphia for the Democratic national convention with the most votes and the most pledged delegates,” she declared. “We’ll unify our party to win this election.”

If she attempted to reach out to the supporters of Mr Sanders with her message of unity - repeatedly praising the campaign of the Vermont Senator - Ms Clinton was also not ignoring Donald Trump, whom she is likely to meet in the general election in November.

“Mr Trump accused me of playing the woman card,” she noted, before instantly barreling on with a tart riposte, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, watching from the sidelines with a wide smilie on his face: “If fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card then then deal me in!”

If Ms Clinton rarely meets the standards of rhetoric and political mastery of her husband, she delivered something close to a soaring speech on Tuesday night, almost a trial run of the speech she hopes she will be able to deliver in July at the convention, when the target will not be Mr Sanders but the Republican nominee, probably Mr Trump.

“Imagine a tomorrow,” she told her cheering supporters, “when love trumps hate”. She added: “Imagine a tomorrow where instead of building walls, we’re break down barriers”.

She also acknowledged the frustration among American voters with government and Washington, which has fueled the insurgent campaigns not just of Mr Sanders but also of Mr Trump. “Our campaign is about restoring peoples confidence in our ability to solve problems together by delivering results that help people follow their own dreams,” Ms Clinton said. “We have to be both dreamers and doers.”

As for her Democratic rival, she spared little praise, a change from weeks of often toxic exchanges between them. “I applaud Senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality and I know tougher we will get that done,” she proclaimed.

Ms Clinton then identified may of the main themes of the Sanders campaign. “We all agree that wages are too low and inequality is too high, Wall Street can never be allowed to threaten Main Street and we should expand Social Security not cut or privatise it. We Democrats agree that college should be affordable to all and student debt shouldn't hold anyone back. We Democrats agree that every single American should and must have quality affordable healthcare.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in