Eight years to the day after she ended her bid for president, ceding the Democratic primary race to then-Senator Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton made official history Tuesday night by claiming title of standard bearer for the Democratic party in the 2016 presidential race. She is the first woman in American history to become a major political party’s nominee for president. “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” Clinton famously told supporters in 2008 as she closed down her bid. This year she obliterated that glass ceiling, winning four of six states including New Jersey and California, the biggest prize of the 2016 election cycle’s final Super Tuesday.
California was the state where her remaining rival, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, put all his chips in recent weeks, hoping for a stunning upset that might upend the victory Clinton had all but officially sealed. That gamble turned out to be nothing more than a pipe dream as Clinton stormed to a landslide victory in California, capturing 56 percent of the vote in the Golden State to Sanders’s 43 percent.
“Tonight caps an amazing journey — a long, long journey,” Clinton told a raucous crowd of supporters in Brooklyn, New York, late Tuesday night in her victory speech. “Barriers can come down. Justice and equality can win. This campaign is about making sure there are no ceilings, no limits on any of us. This is our moment to come together,” she said. “Thanks to you we’ve reached a milestone, the first time in our nation’s history that a woman will be a major party’s nominee,” noting that the occasion comes nearly a century after American women won the right to vote. Watch her complete speech below.
The gravity and history in the making moment wasn’t lost on observers and supporters from across the spectrum of influential women (and men) who took to Twitter to mark the occasion and congratulate the presumptive nominee.
As Clinton mentioned in her speech, the journey she made was a remarkable one. Just days after she began that journey, she brought down the house at the 2015 Women in the World Summit in New York City with a rousing keynote address in which she laid out the key pillars of her winning campaign. “When women are strong, families are strong,” Clinton said at the time. “When families are strong, countries are strong.” Watch it in full below.
But perhaps the most succinct summary of the night’s events came from the candidate herself when she changed her avatar on Twitter to the following: