Wednesday 20 June 2018

Hillary sets out her stall for White House

US President Barack Obama is joined by US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after his address to the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
US President Barack Obama is joined by US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after his address to the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A delegate wears a hat that reads "Dump Trump" during the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center

Ruth Sherlock and Nick Allen in Philadelphia

Hillary Clinton launches into the US general election campaign today with a tour promoting jobs in America's industrial heartland, in a bid to undercut support for Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Appearing for first time since winning the Democratic presidential ticket, Mrs Clinton and Tim Kaine, her running mate, are due to hold a victory rally in Philadelphia before boarding the bus for the three-day trip through Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Visiting towns affected by job losses as factories move abroad, Mrs Clinton will vow, as president, to "make the largest investment in jobs since the Second World War".

It is a direct attack against Mr Trump, who won his party's nomination in large part due to the support of blue-collar Americans. While Mr Trump promises to "Make America Great Again", Mrs Clinton is rolling out a $10bn (€9bn) plan to strengthen the country's manufacturing industry to help citizens "Make It America".

Barack Obama championed Mrs Clinton as his political heir in a speech at the Democratic convention, asking voters to do for her "what you did for me".

Mr Obama stressed her experience and skills. "There has never been a man or woman, not me, not Bill - nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States," he said.

Wisconsin delegate Michael Childers attends the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center
Wisconsin delegate Michael Childers attends the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center

The president, who broke with tradition earlier in the primary race to come out in opposition to Mr Trump, said that with Mrs Clinton's help America would prevail over it's "home-grown demagogues".

US Vice-President Joe Biden, described Mr Trump as a selfish reality television entertainer who is crawling his way to the Oval Office on false pretences. He derided Mr Trump's attempts to woo middle-class Americans, dismissing his promises to them as "malarkey".

"He's trying to tell us he cares about the middle class?" he said. "Give me a break." He reminded the convention that while Mr Trump promised to create jobs, he is most famous for saying "you're fired!" - a reference to his television show, 'The Apprentice'.

The intervention by Mr Obama and Mr Biden was seen as a critical step in Mrs Clinton's efforts to convince America she should become their leader.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Time Kaine and his wife Anne Holton
Democratic vice presidential candidate Time Kaine and his wife Anne Holton

The former first lady has lacked the soaring rhetoric of Mr Obama or the intimate style of Mr Biden, whom supporters affectionately call "Uncle Joe".

A new poll showed that, despite Mrs Clinton's unifying message, she is now as disliked by the American public as Mr Trump. According to a Gallup poll they are both viewed favourably by just 37pc of voters, and unfavourably by 58pc. Mrs Clinton has particularly low ratings among the white working class, the demographic that analysts say could well decide the election.

To capture this demographic she may need the support of Bernie Sanders, her socialist rival, who fought hard in the primary race but finally endorsed Mrs Clinton in the name of party unity at the convention.

However, Mr Sanders announced yesterday he was leaving the Democratic Party to become an Independent as a US senator from Vermont.

Vice President Joe Biden kisses his wife Jill
Vice President Joe Biden kisses his wife Jill

Mr Sanders said he would still support Mrs Clinton, but it is unclear how involved he will be on the campaign trail from now on.

At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last night, Mrs Clinton laid out her stall for the White House last night.

Capping a Democratic Party convention that has sought to heal divisions from a protracted primary battle, former secretary of state Clinton (68) accepted the nomination to run against Mr Trump.

In her speech in Philadelphia, Ms Clinton's focus was to construct a convincing argument that she can bring about change, while still representing the legacy of Mr Obama. She was also striving to make inroads with voters who find her untrustworthy or unlikeable.

Ms Clinton sought to draw on an idea that has driven her throughout her career, that every American should be given the chance to fulfil their potential, a campaign aide said.

Known as a more effective politician in small gatherings than as a big-event speaker, she had a hard act to follow after well-received speeches this week by Obama, his wife Michelle Obama and Mr Biden.

She was introduced on the stage by her daughter, Chelsea, who was still working on her speech yesterday afternoon, the aide said.

Clinton, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Obama in 2008, promises to tackle income inequality, tighten gun control and rein in Wall Street.

Telegraph.co.uk

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