(CN) – Hillary Clinton will formally accept the Democratic party’s nomination for president Tuesday night, capping a drive for the White House that began nine years ago, but was a dream until deferred by the two term presidency of Barack Obama.
President Obama anointed Clinton the inheritor of his legacy Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention.
On Thursday, it’ll be up to Clinton alone to persuade Americans many of them still wary of her that she is the best choice to helm a nation looking for a new era of leadership.
Even with hours to go until her the biggest moment of her public life to date, one thing is clear:
It hasn’t come easy to the former first lady and secretary of state. Heading into the 2008 contest, Clinton believed her main competition would by former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who’d been the Democrats vice presidential nominee four years earlier.
Even, then, she believed she’d best Edwards quickly and have the nomination sewn up by the late spring. What neither she nor Edwards counted on was the sudden emergence of then-senator Obama, who became a certifiable phenomena on his way to the White House.
Eight years later, Clinton again started the primary season as the favorite to win the nomination, but again found herself in a life for her political life with an unexpected challenger Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-declared socialist who early on said he didn’t expect to be president but hoped his presence in the race would push the Democratic party to the left.
Lo and behold, Sanders himself became a phenomena, and his followers, a movement. Between January and June, he won 23 contests, including 19 of the final 25 state primaries and caucuses.
Sanders eventually conceded that Clinton would be the nominee, but many of his supporters continued on Thursday to refuse to give in. Fired up by a leak of some 19,000 Democratic National Committee emails that showed the extent to which the deck was stacked against their candidate, Sanders supporters have been a raucous presence in Philadelphia, interrupting gatherings large and small with walkouts, chants, sit-ins and other protests.
On Wednesday night, President Obama sought to quell the unrest once and for all, by declaring that Clinton is the only candidate for the presidency able to realize the “promise of this great nation.”
“She’s been there for us, even if we haven’t always noticed,” he said.
Clinton appeared unannounced on the platform as the president concluded his remarks, smiling a wide smile and soaking up the delegates’ adoration.
On Thursday night, Clinton will be introduced shortly after 10 p.m. by her daughter, Chelsea, who was 12 when her family first moved into the White House, and who at 36, wants her mother to return to it.
In an interview with NBC’s “Today” show Thursday morning, Chelsea Clinton said she expects to choke up during her introduction, which will focus primarily on her relationship and bond with her mother.
But she said, she won’t only be thinking about the past and present as she stands before the delegates Thursday night.
“This election is so important to be because I’m now a mom,” Clinton told “Today.”
“As proud as I am of my mom, this election, to me, is fundamentally about my children, Charlotte and Aidan,” she said.
Hillary Clinton will lean heavily on her “stronger together” campaign theme during her acceptance speech, and will invoke her 1996 book “It Takes a Village,” her campaign said.
She also will continue to try to woo moderate Republicans who may be unnerved by Trump.
Preceding her to the podium will be number of the Democratic party’s biggest names, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California.
There will also be a number of speakers from South Carolina, a traditionally Republican state, but one with a large black Democratic vote that gave Clinton her first huge primary victory against Sanders.
The Palmetto State speakers include U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, former U.S. Rep Bakari Sellers, and South Carolina Democratic party chairman Jamie Harrison.
The geographically diverse remainder of the bill includes Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
There will also be speakers on a series of set themes, including the economy, “an inclusive America,” supporting for the military, and a tribute to fallen law enforcement officers.
Carole King and Katie Perry are among the scheduled performers.
President Barack Obama and Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wave to delegates after President Obama’s speech during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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