The conventions are over and now the general election heats up. Ohio, as always is right in the middle of it.
Our state’s 18 electoral votes are a coveted prize and it was obvious by the last night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Here are some highlights:
1. Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman to accept the nomination of a major party
Regardless of politics, this was an historic day. If it had been a Republican woman accepting a presidential nomination, it would have been just as historic. A woman has become the presidential nominee of a major party.
Less than 100 years ago, she wouldn’t have been able to vote.
Hillary Clinton set the tone for her campaign on Thursday and went after Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again,” she said in a reference to his signature line. “Well, he could start by making things in America again,” she said.
The polls are close and the race ahead features two very well-known, loved and hated candidates.
2. Going after independents and Republicans
It was very clear that on Wednesday night President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and VP candidate Tim Kaine were focused on energizing Democrats for the fall. The goal was to make sure the base is energized. Thursday was about going a step farther and going after independents and Republicans.
During the night giant American flags flew across the crowd.
Retired Marine Gen. John Allen endorsed Clinton and gave a speech critical of Trump. Allen most recently served as America’s special envoy to the coalition fighting Islamic State militants. He’s also a former commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
The father of an Army captain who was a Muslim American probably went after Trump the hardest.
“Let me ask you, have you ever read the United State Constitution?” said Khizr Khan. “I will gladly lend you my copy.”
Khan says his late son wouldn’t have been allowed in the country if Trump’s ban was in place.
The fact that the Democratic convention focused a lot on national security on its last night was no mistake. It’s an area that they think Trump is weak on.
3. Ohio was in the house.
On Thursday night U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles and U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, all spoke during the evening proceedings at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
On the last day of its convention, the Democratic Party had more Ohioans speak than the Republican National Convention, which was held in Cleveland, had during the entire convention.
Further proof that Ohio is going to be ground zero again during the election.
4. Not everyone is on board yet
There are some signs of discontent amid the celebration of Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of the Democratic presidential nomination.
As Clinton spoke, several people in the crowd at the Democratic National Convention unfurled a banner that said “Wikileaks.” It’s a reference to the leaked party emails that some say show the Democratic National Committee favored Clinton over primary rival Bernie Sanders.
Near the Hawaii delegation, a few delegates waved signs for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Some Sanders delegates sat quietly throughout the speech.
For much of Clinton’s speech, a bright red sign stood out from the sea of campaign posters. It read, “Keep your promises.”
Clinton struggled to keep command of the arena. She was repeatedly interrupted by chants of “Hillary!” — that was her supporters’ way of drowning out hecklers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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