Hillary Clinton delegates were riding high Friday in the afterglow of this week’s historic moment: A female presidential candidate accepted a major political party’s nomination.
“It was incredible,” said Marsha Conant, a Clinton delegate from Fresno. “It was the most historical event to happen in my lifetime, and I got to be a part of it.”
On Sunday before the Democratic National Convention started here, Conant said she was most excited for the balloon drop. Turns out, she said Friday, “that was just the icing on the cake.”
Other Fresno delegates reflected on the week in Philadelphia.
“I came to this convention knowing that history was going to be made,” said Anthony Capozzi, a Clinton delegate. “It was exciting and something I will be able to pass on to my family and friends.”
“I think it was a victory for all of us to see the first woman nominee,” said Bill Hess, one of Fresno’s Bernie Sanders delegates. “I’m very proud of that.”
Judy Lund-Bell, a Clinton delegate, said Khizr Khan’s speech on Thursday was one of the most memorable moments of the convention. “Let me ask (Donald Trump): ‘Have you even read the United States Constitution?’ ” said Khan, the Muslim father of a fallen American soldier, as he pulled a booklet out of his jacket. “I will gladly lend you my copy.”
“I don’t think he reads much,” Lund-Bell said, chuckling. “I thought that was absolutely fantastic.”
She also noted the moment that Hillary and Chelsea Clinton hugged onstage. “You could see their relationship, you could see the warmth,” she said. “As a mother, I just related to that so, so much.”
I think it was a victory for all of us to see the first woman nominee. I’m very proud of that.
Bill Hess, one of Fresno’s Bernie Sanders delegate at the Democratic National Convention
Whether the convention was a success is open to interpretation.
“It was very successful, especially when you compare it to the Republican convention,” Capozzi said, with Gen. John Allen’s speech particularly noteworthy.
Hess considered the convention a success as well, citing the same speech but for different reasons. “When we interrupted (Allen’s) speech by chanting, ‘No more war,’ that was very significant to me,” Hess said. “Then we stopped and we cheered … celebrating the victory of having a little bit of a voice in this convention.”
“If by ‘success,’ you mean exposing fraud and a disregard for the American people, then yes,” said Yamina Roland, a “Bernie or Bust” delegate from Fresno. She cited Tuesday’s walkout after roll call as her most memorable experience. “We grabbed the world’s attention. I think that’s what history will remember about at least the beginning of the convention.”
While the Sanders delegates of California’s 22nd Congressional District said they remain unmoved, the convention did successfully bring some Sanders delegates to Clinton’s side. Magdalena Gomez, a Sanders delegate from California’s 4th District, is one of them.
“I’m leaving Philadelphia united,” she said, “to push for our democratic platform across the country, state and Fresno County.”
The Temple University School of Media and Communication assembled a team of student reporters to cover the Democratic National Convention in their hometown. Harrison Brink is a graduating senior journalism major at Temple: firstname.lastname@example.org