Live from the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia

     (CN) – Tonight’s the night Hillary Clinton will accept the Democratic nomination for president. On this, the final night of the party’s nominating convention, about two dozen speakers will make the case that Clinton is the only candidate qualified to be the next leader of the free world. Despite bids for unity, however, diehard supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders insist they still need convincing.
     
     10:16 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Chelsea Clinton introduced her mother to become the first woman to accept the nomination of a major American political party Thursday night.
     Chelsea Clinton told stories about Hillary Clinton as a caring grandmother and mother who attended her softball and soccer games, piano and dance recitals. She said her first memory was her mom picking her up after she fell down and reading her “Goodnight Moon.”
     “From that moment to this one, every single memory I have of my mother is that, whatever’s happening in her life, she’s always, always there for me,” Clinton said.
     Clinton also told the audience about her mother’s work for kids in Arkansas and her caring method of public service.
     “As her daughter, I’ve had a special window into how she serves,” Clinton said. “I’ve seen her holding the hands of mothers worried about how to feed their kids, worried about how to get them the health care they need, my mother promising to do everything she could to help.”
     Clinton called her mother’s fight for universal health care in 1994 “bruising and exhausting,” but used that fight to show her mother as a tireless champion for the causes she believes in.
     She called her mother a “progressive” who would fight for families and children as well as against climate change and gun violence.
     “People ask me all the time, how does she do it? How does she keep going amid all the sound and fury of politics,” Clinton said. “Here’s how. It’s because she never, ever forgets who she’s fighting for.”
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     9:46 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Sen. Sherrod Brown promised voters a more fair economy if they helped to elect Hillary Clinton in November in a speech to the Democratic National Convention Thursday night.
     Brown, once rumored to on the shortlist to serve as Clinton’s vice president, said Clinton would promote down on worker-focused trade deals and bring jobs back to America through tax credits designed to incentivize companies to produce goods at home rather than shipping them overseas.
     “Hillary Clinton knows a job is not just a paycheck,” Brown said. “It’s about building a better life for your family. She’s a progressive who gets things done and she has a real plan to give American workers the chance to share in the profits they create.”
     The Ohio senator bashed Republican nominee Donald Trump for exporting jobs oversees for his companies while talking tough on trade at his packed campaign rallies. Clinton, on the other hand, has a real plan to bring jobs back home, Brown insisted.
     “I’ve been fighting for a trade agenda for more than 20 years that puts American workers first,” Brown said. “And I can tell you, in all those years, I’ve never ever even seen Donald Trump. No, the only thing I’ve seen Donald Trump do when it comes to U.S. trade policy is run his mouth and line his pockets.”
     Reaching for a common attack on Trump from Democrats in the past week, Brown hit the billionaire for not paying contractors who helped build his hotels and other properties.
     Reaching out to voters in areas of the country that have been ravaged by a loss of manufacturing jobs that some fear could vote for Trump in November, Brown pushed back against the Rust Belt moniker that has been given to the region.
     He touted Cleveland and other cities in the area for creating wind farms and “advanced manufacturing” plants he said produce jobs and a strong middle class.
     “Donald Trump looks at towns in the middle of America and sees a ‘rust belt of decay,” Brown said. “Well, we reject the term ‘rust belt.’ Hillary, my friend Tim Kaine and I see vibrant and innovative communities throughout the industrial heartland.”
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     9:39 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Retired four star Marine Corps Gen. John Allen endorsed Hillary Clinton for president Thursday, saying he trusted her judgment.
     “We must not and we could not stand on the sidelines,” Allen said in a speech to the Democratic National Convention. “This election can carry us to a future of unity and hope or to a dark place of discord and fear. We must choose hope.”
     Allen had to speak over chants of “USA, USA” that broke out in the crowd in an effort to cover up chants of “no more war,” which seemed to be emanating from some of the spots on the floor where supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders were sitting.
     As soon as the “USA” chants died down, snippets of “no more war” would come through until the “USA” chants picked up again.
     Allen called Clinton prepared to use diplomacy and the full breadth of American power to meet America’s challenges.
     “With Hillary Clinton as our commander in chief the United States will continue to be that indispensable transformation power in the world,” Allen said.
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     8:56 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) — Democrats challenged the Republican Party’s claim as the party of police, giving the convention podium to family members of police officers killed on the job.
     A widow, a mother and the parents of three fallen police officers silenced the crowd with stories of their loved ones’ good deeds in uniform, and the holes left by their deaths.
     “I know in light of recent events it’s easy to lose faith, but I want every American to remember … all of those officers who risk their lives every day,” said Jennifer Loudon, a Chicago woman.
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     8:53 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A former official in the Reagan White House endorsed Hillary Clinton for president at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night.
     Doug Elmets, a former advisor to President Ronald Reagan, was one of two Republicans to endorse Clinton Thursday night, making them perhaps the first in the GOP to earn applause at the convention.
     “Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan,” Elmets said.
     Jennifer Lim, director of health policy with the Chamber of Commerce, followed Elmets in endorsing Clinton. She based her support of the Democratic nominee in part on Trump’s demeaning comments to women during the campaign and before he entered politics.
     Elmets gave one of the strongest rebukes of the Republican nominee yet at the convention, attacking Trump as a person who took over a party he spent his life supporting and contrasting him pointedly with Reagan.
     “Trump is a petulant, dangerously imbalanced reality star who will coddle tyrants and alienate allies,” Elmets said.
     As he closed his speech, Elmets called on others within his party to vote for Clinton as well instead of just staying home on election day.
     “To my fellow Republicans, if you believe like I do,” Elmets said. “If you believe that loyalty to our country is more important than loyalty to party.
     If you want a president with good judgment, a steady hand and a temperment to represent our nation to the world and our children, I ask you join me in voting Hillary Clinton as president of the United States.”
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     8:49 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) — Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm breathed some life into the DNC by slinging barbs at Republican nominee Donald Trump.
     “You’re so vain, Donald,” Granholm said. “You probably think this speech is about you.”
     Granholm’s speech was warmly received and pulled the convention out of a lackluster, anticlimactic afternoon after President Barrack Obama’s speech last night.
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     8:25 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) — To highlight the party’s working class platform, Democrats trotted out a group of blue collar Americans struggling to earn a living wage under fair conditions.
     “Even as I work my fingers to the bone, I don’t always feel the support I need from the leaders I’m supposed to trust,” said Henrietta Ivey, a home health care worker from Detroit.
     Ivey said she supports Clinton because of her support to raise the minimum wage to $15.
     Dave Wils, an eighth grade social studies teacher saddled with student debt, told delegates that Clinton will make college debt free.
     Beth Mathias of Ohio said she works two jobs and barely sees her kids.
     “We don’t want a handout, we want a hand to hold us up,” Mathias said.
     A pair of young adults fired by a pizza parlor for talking about their unequal wages also told their story.
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     8:00 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – On the night Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman to be the presidential nominee for a major political party, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called Clinton a fighter for families and progressive values.
     While Pelosi called putting a woman in the White House a “milestone moment” for America, she insisted Clinton would be more than just a pinpoint in history.
     “Hillary Clinton knows that this movement is not just about one woman’s achievement,” Pelosi said. “It’s about what electing a woman president will mean for achieving the dreams and hopes and aspirations of every woman, every daughter, every son and every family, all across our land, for generations to come.”
     Pelosi laid out the agenda for Democrats under Clinton, committing the party to fighting ISIS, controlling guns and “investing in education, innovation and opportunity.” She also assured the party would work towards affordable college, equal pay and paid family leave.
     Taking on a popular theme at the Democratic National Convention, Pelosi also called for the overturn of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
     “For the future of the Supreme Court, for the fate of a planet imperiled by climate change, for the sake of immigration reform, for the promise of an America that rewards hard work rather than rewarding those who exploit America’s workers, for women’s reproductive rights, equal rights, civil rights and to do what is right for our service members, veterans and military families who have given us so much,” Pelosi said. “We will stand and speak and campaign for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.” – Tim Ryan.
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     7:44 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday took on Donald Trump and the Republican party while portraying Democrats as the party of hope and inclusion.
     Speaking at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, Cuomo criticized Republicans for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” motto and called them a party of dividers.
     “The Trump campaign is marketing a great distraction, using people’s fear and anxiety to drive his ratings,” Cuomo said. “Their message comes down to
     this: be afraid of people who are different – be afraid of religions, and of different colors, and of different languages. Stop immigration and the nation will automatically rise. It’s not right, it’s divisive, it’s delusional and we must expose the truth to the people of this nation.”
     Cuomo questioned what time period Trump yearns for when promising to “Make America Great Again,” suggesting he and the Republican party wants to take the country back before the Civil Rights Act, the minimum wage and worker protection laws.
     He harkened back to the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a time when Americans were able to unite together, calling it “America at its best.”
     Cuomo started and ended his speech with a tribute to his father, Mario, who died last year and also served as governor of New York.
     “And tonight Pop, wherever you are – and I think I know where – at this time of fear, please help this country remember what truly makes it great: that we are one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all,” Cuomo said.
     He then presented voters with a clear choice between what the Republicans offered at their convention and what Democrats have given at theirs. Cuomo said “progressive government works” and that Clinton has the experience to move the nation forward.
     “We have a different vision, we’re not going back, we’re going forward,”
     Cuomo said. They say they want to make America greater than ever before, we say you haven’t seen anything yet.”
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     6:43 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) — The Democratic Women of the Senate addressed the DNC to sustained applause led by outgoing Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
     “In 1987, I was the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate in her own right,” Mikulski said. “The history of women in the Senate is not short — it’s about four-foot-eleven.”
     The senators asked voters to make Hillary Clinton the nation’s first female president.
     
     6:39 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) — Pro-Hillary Clinton delegations distributed instructions on how to deal with Bernie-or-bust delegates: Take the high road.
     According to a Maryland delegate who spoke on condition of anonymity, instructions were sent this afternoon telling Clinton delegates not to engage or escalate the situation if or when Sanders delegates attempt to disrupt the convention.
     “If they hold up signs, you hold up your signs,” the message said. “Be respectful. Take the high road.”
     
     5:41 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – The first transgender person to ever address a national convention called Hillary Clinton a champion of the LGBT community Thursday night.
     Sarah McBride endorsed Clinton, saying she would help transgender and gay people living in fear of discrimination or attacks and end the AIDS epidemic.
     “My name is Sarah McBride and I am a proud transgender American,” McBride said, drawing loud cheers from the audience.
     McBride said the struggle for transgender rights hit home when she found out her husband Andy, a transgender man, had cancer. Andy died four days after the two married, McBride said, making her realize that every day mattered in the fight for equality.
     
     5:10 p.m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – The scene at South Philadelphia’s FDR Park across the street from the Democratic National Convention site was similar to Occupy Wall Street’s campsites five years ago.
     Tents were set up throughout the park surrounded by a hodgepodge of campaign signs and banners, supporting causes ranging from Libertarian Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign to the Communist Party.
     Many people were barefoot, some played musical instruments, and others brought their kids to the park for a taste of the utopian atmosphere. In short, it was a decidedly more jovial scene than the loud and often angry gatherings outside Philadelphia city hall earlier this week,
     At FDR Park, despite numerous campaign signs and T-shirts showing support for Vermont Sen.
     Bernie Sanders and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, almost no one mentioned candidates or political parties by name. Other than some discussion about the Democratic party having rigged the elections — a prevailing sentiment among most demonstrators Courthouse News spoke to throughout the week — most of the conversations in the park concern issues, not candidates or personalities.
     Among the park dwellers Courthouse News encountered during the week was a Delaware woman named Shell, who works with an organization called POW 420. The group is dedicated to the “decarceration” of people imprisoned for marijuana.
     However, as she spoke, Shell was quick to say the views she was expressing were strictly her own.
     Shell animatedly discussed her support for various causes like addressing climate change, assuring access to drinking water and marijuana decriminalization, adding that it was important for people to be willing to get arrested in the name of the latter cause in order to change the laws.
     She also praised the local police, who she said had been “fabulous” throughout the week. News reports about people getting arrested Wednesday night for breaking through police barricades on the street were “overdramatized and overreported,” she said.
     “Those were isolated incidents,” she said. “They didn’t go any further.”
     People in the park also shared food and drink — and logistical information about transportation and various demonstrations scheduled for the last day of the DNC.
     Many local kitchens came to bring food and drink, the leftovers of which were donated to day care centers in inner-city North Philadelphia.
     Several groups who had been traveling throughout the country feeding activists since the Occupy protests also showed up with refreshments.
     Many of the demonstrators had met each other during the Occupy Wall Street rallies and kept in touch since, according to a young girl from Northern California who was coordinating a sign-making station.
     “I’m really happy to be here,” she said, scurrying off before giving her name in order to help newcomers to the campsite get settled. – Gina Carrano
     
     4:34 p..m.
     
     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – The final day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention is underway.
     Democratic National Convention chair Rep. Marsha Fudge gaveled in Thursday’s session of the convention, which will culminate in Hillary Clinton formally accepting the nomination for president.
     Before Clinton speaks the party will roll out a lineup of state representatives, governors and federal lawmakers to talk about Clinton’s economic policy, her vision for an “inclusive” country and her commitment to the military. Clinton’s daughter Chelsea will introduce her around 10 p.m. – Tim Ryan.

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