And she’s embracing the moment.
Over the last week, beginning with a broadside attack on Donald Trump, Clinton has undoubtedly found her voice in a way that she has struggled to do in the past. She’s been comfortable, authoritative, and, yes, presidential. In a victory speech delivered in Brooklyn on Tuesday, she spoke candidly—and movingly—about the path-breaking nature of her candidacy, which she had previously been reluctant to do. “It may be hard to see tonight, but we are all standing under a glass ceiling right now,” she said. “But don’t worry. We’re not smashing this one. 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.”
Clinton’s speech was many things, including a call for unity aimed at both Bernie Sanders’s supporters and all those who are troubled by Donald Trump’s candidacy. But mostly it was a speech about this astonishing historical moment, which Clinton underscored by talking about her own mother, who died in 2011:
Rebecca Traister’s recent sympathetic (and excellent) New York magazine profile of Clinton focused, in part, on the perception that Clinton is a bad campaigner. She admitted as much to Traister, saying, “I am not a natural politician, in case you haven’t noticed, like my husband or President Obama.” But over the last week she’s seemed not only a natural campaigner, but an inspiring one. When she looked out and said, “Tonight’s victory is not about one person, it belongs to generations,” it was hard not to get chills.