this is "nightline." >> i accept your nomination! >> tonight, an historic night. hillary clinton makes the case for why she should be the first female president of the united states. calling on the convictions of our forefathers, saying, there's still work to be done. >> we have to look out for each other, and lift each other up. >> taking on donald trump. >> a man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons. >> plus, being hillary. she's been in the nation's spotlight for decades, and yet to many, still impenetrable, untrustworthy. are her biggest weaknesses also her greatest strengths? but first the "nightline" five.
american history. hillary clinton the first female candidate of a major party to accept the nomination for the presidency. it was an emotional and fiery close to a dramatic week. a party striving for unity, a candidate attempting to reframe her past and push back against her critics. the speech of a lifetime, hillary rodham-clinton, on stage alone, savoring her moment. making her case to become commander in chief. the first woman ever to get the nomination of a major party. >> and so, my friends, it is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in america's promise that i accept your nomination for president of the united states! >> reporter: emotions were high in the arena. >> standing here as my mother's daughter and my daughter's mother. i'm so happy this day has come. when there are no ceilings, the
sky's the limit. >> reporter: she attempted to answer that burning question -- who is hillary clinton in her heart? >> i get it, that some people just don't know what to make of me. so let me tell you. >> reporter: she spoke fondly of her family. while the 42nd president and potential first gentleman watched on, visibly moved. addressing her husband and their past, she went there. >> and, bill, that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago, it is still going strong. you know, that conversation has lasted through good times that filled us with joy and hard times that tested us. >> reporter: the historic snifrgs of hillary's nomination, not lost on the women of this crowd. >> it's very emotional to me,
because it's also my daughter's first election she'll vote in. and so, she'll vote for a woman for president, what an incredible thing. >> it moves you, i can tell. >> it gives me goose bumps. >> if fighting for affordable childcare and paid family leave is playing the woman card, then deal me in! >> reporter: but did the nominee do enough tonight to change the minds of the voters who already have such strong opinions of her? >> hillary clinton leaves philadelphia a stronger candidate. she was asking for a fresh start and i think her party showed all of its raucous energy and its diversity in a really compelling way. >> reporter: president obama. >> she never, ever quits. >> reporter: and former president bill clinton. >> she's still the best darn change-maker i have ever known. >> reporter: went to bat for hillary clinton earlier this
week. then it was her turn to sell herself. alone on stage. >> if you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty, join us! [ cheers and applause ] if you believe that every man, woman, and child in america has the right to affordable health care, join us! >> reporter: her speech, full of conviction, emphasizing unity as the key to america's strength, and pushing back against her republican critics. >> he also talks a big game about putting america first. well, please explain what part of america first leads him to make trump ties in china, not colorado. donald trump says he wants to make america great again. well, he could start by actually making things in america again.
>> reporter: clinton mocking donald trump repeatedly. >> imagine him in the oval office facing a real crisis. a man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons! >> reporter: but also focusing on the issues tonight in a speech that lasted nearly an hour. >> we have to heal the divides in our country, not just on guns, but on race, immigration, and more. >> reporter: as an order, hillary clinton is not barack obama, she's not her husband, bill clinton. and she stuck closely to the facts of her argument. was that an effective strategy? >> i think she gets graded on a curve. i know this country knows me. but i recognize that i need to communicate better, give me that chance. >> hillary clinton was introduced by her daughter chelsea clinton, who could be the first first daughter to have a second time around. >> every single memory i have of
my mom is that she was always, always there for me. >> reporter: chelsea, who has two young children of her own, celebrated her mother in a way few have seen. >> my mom can be about to walk on stage for a debate or a speech and it just doesn't matter. she'll drop everything for a few minutes of blowing kisses and reading chuga chuga choo choo with her granddaughter. >> reporter: it's been 24 years since chelsea clinton first appeared at the democratic national convention with her parents. she was only 13 when the family moved to the white house. an awkward coming of age in the harsh glare of a global spotlight. her parents were extremely protective. she mostly kept a low profile. but not tonight. >> i never -- [ inaudible ] -- and i always, always knew how
deeply they loved me. >> reporter: and a direct message for her mother. >> and, mom, grandma would be so, so proud of you tonight. >> reporter: she represents a demographic that most lly felt e bern. millennial women, a group the clinton campaign needs to beat donald trump. >> i've been on the road with her since iowa. so they brought out some celebrity millenials like katy perry. ♪ you're gonna hear me roar >> reporter: and actress chloe grace moretz. >> i'm so excited to be able to say that my first vote for president will be for hillary clinton. >> reporter: barely 19 years old, but feeling the magnitude of this history-making election. >> i grew up just not knowing anything different than that a black man could be president. now i hope my younger peers can grow up knowing a woman can be
president if she wants to too. >> reporter: sarah mcbride became the first transgender person to ever address a national convention. >> i believe that tomorrow can be different. tomorrow we can be respected and protected. especially if hillary clinton is our president. >> reporter: we ran into dustin lance black, the oscar-winning screen writer of the 2008 film "milk." >> do you feel a partnership with hillary clinton? >> yes, i do. i believe she will fight for things like the equality act, to make us equals. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: the democrats four days in philadelphia have been carefully calculated to maximize excitement. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: but did expose a disconnect with the rest of the country. polls show 68% of americans think the country is headed on the wrong track. >> i know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine
how we'll ever pull together. but i'm here to tell you tonight, progress is possible. >> reporter: tonight the balloons fall, spirits soar. this is the hopeful side of history. the hard and likely ugly home stretch begins in the morning. in their response tonight, the trump campaign called clinton's speech, quote, an insulting collection of cliches delivered from a fantasy universe. next, her nomination is historic, but hillary clinton is also a candidate with history. howe her years in the spotlight have shaped how we see her. and later, we look back on some of the stars who came out to rave and roar about the democratic nominee. ♪ ♪ i am a champion ♪ and you're gonna hear me roar ♪ with my moderate to severe crohn's disease,... ...i was always searching for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i had it covered.
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♪ ♪ >> she has seconds of experience in dozens of countries, but the question remains, who is hillary clinton? here's david wright. >> so let's be stronger together, my fellow americans. ♪ what you want to say >> reporter: breaking glass ceilings has meant plenty of cuts and bruises for hillary rodham-clinton. her ambition, never a secret. her skill set, never in doubt. >> there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than hillary clinton. >> reporter: and yet, getting to this historic moment hasn't been easy. >> one of the real problems with hillary clinton is that she's
sort of a hostage of her history, in that because the press never gives her the benefit of the doubt, she's always on her guard. >> reporter: she has the highest negatives of any democratic front-runner in modern times. her fate was tied to her husband's in those early years. in their first "60 minutes" interview in 1992 his past infidelity threatened to derail his campaign early on. >> i'm not sitting here, some little woman standing by her man, like tammy wynette. >> reporter: tammy wynette was furious about that, telling reporters nowhere in that song did i say, be a door mat. >> reporter: hillary clinton has a wealth of experience. but some say she's the ultimate
insider. it's an impression the democrats sought to counter this week. >> she is still the best darn change-maker i have ever known. >> reporter: she's been in the trenches for years, fighting for women's rights in beijing. >> if there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights once and for
all. >> reporter: fighting republicans over benghazi. >> with all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who despicided to kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? it's our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. >> even her former rivals admired her endurance. >> and no matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits. >> reporter: but the flip side of that resilience is a certain amount of defensiveness. nearly 20 years ago, she had this to say about the republicans. >> the great story here is this
vast, right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president. >> reporter: more recently on "60 minutes," she insisted she's held to a higher standard. >> i often feel like there's a hillary standard and there's the standard for everybody else. >> what's the hillary standard? >> it's unfounded, mean-spirited attacks
with no basis in truth, reality, which take on a life of their own. >> reporter: that may explain, but not excuse why she broke state department rules and set up a private e-mail server for her government business. >> looking back, it would have been better for me to use two separate phones and two e-mail accounts. i thought using one device would be simpler, and obviously it hasn't worked out that way. >> reporter: the fact that clinton is a woman should be a plus in a country where more than half the voters are women, many of whom rightly believe it's high time for the u.s. to follow the example of other
nations, britain, germany, israel, india, pakistan, and many others, trusting the top job to a woman. but nearly half of american women view clinton unfavorably. 48%. >> there is a hesitancy around women candidates. it's still there, and part of it is that you have to put yourself forward, and women find that somewhat hard to take. we were all raised that you're not supposed to toot your own horn. >> reporter: there's no question she's been subjected to a different level of scrutiny than most male politicians. her every hairstyle, every pant suit dissected for 25 years. her shifting style, almost a metaphor for the way she has shifted some of her policy positions over the years. ever the realist -- >> hello! >> reporter: it's made endless fodder for parity on "saturday night live." >> hold up your phone and look natural.
>> reporter: the candidate who wants so badly to be liked, some say she comes across as unlikeable. >> citizens, you will elect me! i will be your leader! >> one thing that happens, she says, when she's running for office, people don't like her. when she's in office, people do. >> reporter: back in 2008, clinton played down her femininity, emphasizing her toughness instead. >> it's 3:00 a.m. and your children are safe asleep. but there's a phone in the white house, and it's ringing. your vote will decide who answers that call. >> her former campaign adviser lisa caputo says hillary clinton learned a lot in this campaign. >> she's not made those same mistakes this time around, and i think she has a more disciplined message now. >> reporter: she's highlighted her role as a mother and grandmother. hillary clinton is hoping to make history. tonight she did. >> after all, when there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit. >> reporter: but there's still one more crack she's hoping to make in that glass ceiling. i'm david wright for "nightline" in new york. katy perry wasn't the only
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finally tonight, we take a look back at this week's top moments. >> in the spring of 1971, i met a girl. >> i can say with confidence, there has never been a man or a woman, not me, not bill, nobody, more qualified than hillary clinton. >> it is no secret that hillary clinton and i disagree on a number of issues. that is what this campaign has been about. that is what democracy is about! >> hillary clinton has never quit on anything in her life. >> hillary clinton and i are.
[ speaking spanish ] and we share this basic belief. it's simple. do all the good you can and serve one another. >> she's the best darn change-maker i ever met in my entire life. >> she's a listener and a doer. i know with all my heart that my mother will make us proud. as our next president. >> let's build a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country. and when we do, america will be greater than ever. >> reporter: it has been at times a raucous week, but it was winston churchill who reminds us, democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. thank you for watching. as always, we're online with our "nightline" facebook page.