PHILADELPHIA — We are still about two hours away from Hillary Clinton’s address to the Democratic National Convention to officially accept the party’s nomination as president.
But as speaker after speaker crosses the stage here at the Wells Fargo Center, members of Georgia’s delegation have a few specific hopes for Clinton’s speech tonight.
For David Worley of Atlanta, a member of the Democratic National Committee, the ask is simple. He wants to hear “how genuinely committed she is to working on the country’s problems and how capable she is of handling that.”
Worley has met Clinton in a small gathering before. In that setting, he said, she was “incredibly intelligent and focused and caring, and I hope that quality comes across in a larger setting. It’s important both to understand the kind of person she really is, which is different from the way Republicans are trying to portray her.”
Robin Biro, field director for Fulton County Democrats, said he understands the urge to showcase Democrats’ compassion after the “dark and scary convention” Republicans held last week in Cleveland.
“But I’m getting hit hard from the right about ISIS and our military response, so that’s what I most want to hear about,” Biro, an Army Ranger, said.
Clinton also, Biro said, work hard to bring the party’s factions together after a week of evidence that divisions remain.
“She needs to throw a conciliatory bone to the hardcore Bernie fans and say something specifically about trade agreements,” he said.
Biro, who is gay, said on a personal level he’d “love to hear her
According to limited excerpts released by the campaign, Clinton will meet at least one of Biro’s requests.
“The choice we face is just as stark when it comes to our national security,” she will say. “Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face. From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, to San Bernardino and Orlando, we’re dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated. No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance — looking for steady leadership.”
Atlanta City Council Member Kwanza Hall said Clinton needs to connect with the public and show authenticity.
“I would like to hear the honest, down to earth Hillary that I know… I want to hear her speak from and in her mother’s and grandmother’s voices.”
When it comes to policy, Hall said Clinton should be clear and direct. Explain her ideas in simple terms, he said: “Equity, inclusion, criminal justice and education reform with thoughtful consideration of economic empowerment in urban, middle and rural America.”
Clinton is a smart person, Hall said, and possesses and intelligence that can be off-putting.
“I hope she conveys her intelligence in a way that is relatable and makes people trust her. I think she can do that by letting us love her for her honest, giving and caring self,” he said.
Like Biro, Hall said Clinton must go about healing the family and should offer Sanders supporters “a seat at the table, invite them to join and continue the revolution and fight enthusiastically for our common values.”
The bottom line is simple, Hall said.
“In other words, I want her to express what we all know, which is that she’s everything Donald Trump cannot be,” he said “With her leadership America will continue its great story.”