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A wedding proposal, protests and scandal: Democratic Convention begins

July 25, 2016 19:45 IST

The Democratic convention to anoint Hillary Clinton as the presidential nominee and make her the first woman flagbearer of any major American political party began on Monday amid a row over leaked e-mails that led to the resignation of the party’s chairwoman.

IMAGE: Environmentalists and Bernie Sanders supporters gather for a march before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images 

Hours before the start of the convention, the chairwoman of the Democratic party Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned, dealing a blow to hopes of demonstrating unity in the face of the threat from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Philadelphia, the city where America’s founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1778, is all set to make history with the Democratic National Convention, during which for the first time in America’s history a woman would be nominated by a major party as its presidential candidate.

Having overcome a bitter and tough battle against her primary rival Bernie Sanders, who surprised all garnering overwhelming support from across the country in particular the youths, the former secretary of state Clinton would be formally nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee here.

IMAGE: Andrew Binns, Chief Innovation Officer for the DNCC proposes to Liz Hart, Director of Studio 2016 for the DNCC on stage before the convention began. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

When on Thursday, Clinton, 68, delivers her acceptance speech, she would make history and if she is elected in the November general elections, she would be the first woman president of the United States.

Last week, she selected Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia as her vice presidential running mate.

Clinton faces fellow New Yorker Trump in the November 8 election with the latest poll figures suggesting that the 70-year-old business tycoon has taken a slight lead over her.

Clinton’s campaign, however, argues that she would increase her lead over the Republican rival after the Philadelphia convention.

The convention started under the cloud of the e-mail scandal with Congresswoman Schultz, Chairwoman of Democratic National Committee, announcing her resignation after the e-mails leaked by WikiLeaks showed that she tended to support Clinton over Sanders in the party’s presidential primaries.

IMAGE: Supporters in large numbers came out to protest against the backdrop of the e-mail scandal which suggested that the primaries were fixed in favour of Clinton. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Clinton has said she would present a positive vision of the country in Philadelphia, where the Democratic National Party has lined up a galaxy of Americans to match the historic event.

Topping the list will be US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle and Clinton’s husband and former US President Bill Clinton.

On the first day itself, the convention among others would be addressed by Sanders and Michelle.

IMAGE: A union tradesman wears a Hillary Clinton t-shirt as preparations continue ahead of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photograph: Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters

Neera Tanden, a close confident of Clinton and president of the Center for American Progress and widely seen as a potential Cabinet member of a Clinton Administration, is the only Indian-American to be listed as a speaker during the convention. She would address the convention on July 27. 

The Democratic National Convention has a large number of Indian-American delegates from across the country.

Lalit K Jha
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