In a 45-minute speech that closed out the second night of the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton recounted Hillary Clinton’s long record of public service to make a case for why voters should cast their vote for the former secretary of state.
Beginning with the story of how they first met in 1971, Clinton painted a painstakingly personal portrait of the Democratic nominee. He portrayed his wife as someone who was confident, continuously committed to social justice, and so focused on her career that she rejected his marriage proposal three times.
“Hillary opened my eyes,” he said to the cheering crowd in Philadelphia, “to a whole new world of public service by a private citizen.”
The former president highlighted Hillary Clinton’s numerous achievements as a New York senator and as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state, focusing on her ability to listen, build change “from the bottom up,” and not quit.
He only briefly alluded to the Republican Party, saying Hillary Clinton’s opponents have described her in superficial terms.
“If you win elections on the theory that government is always bad and will mess up a two-car parade, a real change-maker represents a real threat,” Bill Clinton said. “Your only option is to create a cartoon alternative, then run against the cartoons. Cartoons are two-dimensional and are easy to absorb. Real life is complex and hard to absorb,” he said.
The real Hillary, he said, was the one who “had done more positive change-making before she was 30 than most public officials do in their time in office.”
“Good for you, because today you nominated the real one,” he added amid cheers.
“Hillary will make us stronger together. You know it because she spent a lifetime doing it. I hope you’ll do it—I hope you’ll elect her,” Clinton said at the close of his speech. “The reason that you should elect her is that in this greatest country on Earth, we have always been about tomorrow, and your children and grandchildren will bless you forever if you do.”
Watch the full speech below.
This article has been updated.