Fresh off the final Super Tuesday of the 2016 primary season, Hillary Clinton came to Brooklyn to claim victory in the Democratic primary race, announcing to cheering supporters that she has enough delegates to become the official Democratic candidate in the 2016 presidential race during her speech at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on the evening of Tuesday, June 7.
Clinton had won the primaries in New Jersey and New Mexico before addressing the crowd (with Sanders winning in North Dakota , Clinton leading in South Dakota, Sanders expected to win Montana and the two neck and neck in California, where polls had not yet closed when Clinton spoke), but that was just icing on the cake.
A day earlier, according to a survey by the Associated Press, the former first lady, Secretary of State and U.S. senator had secured enough delegates (including both pledged delegates and superdelegates) to clinch the nomination, setting up a confrontation with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in November.
Clinton — who will be the first woman to run for the presidency as the candidate of a major political party — called herself the official Democratic candidate tonight.
“Thank you to all of you. So many of you feel that no one has your back, but I do. As your future president, I will always have your back,” said Clinton to the crowd in the Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Clinton congratulated competitor Senator Bernie Sanders for his campaign, and applauded him in the hard work he had put into his campaign.
“Whether you supported me, Senator Sanders, or a Republican candidate, we have to fight for a stronger America,” she said.
Clinton supporters knew walking into the venue that this was not going to be just any speech. With music blaring and American flags everywhere, this was a celebration.
Tonight, Brooklynites and New Yorkers watched history take place.
Brandon Powers, a volunteer for the Hillary Clinton campaign since March 2016, has been waiting for this day since he began volunteering.
“She’s the perfect person to bring Obama’s policies forward,” said Powers.
In a race where men preferred Sanders over Clinton, there were many men in attendance at Clinton’s speech who support her. Noah Bate is one. “It’s about substance over style. She gets the job done without making everything about her,” said Bate.
Even before the night’s poll numbers rolled in, Bate said he knew she was going to be the Democratic nominee. He’s excited to see what she will bring to the debates with Trump, and looks forward to seeing her become the 45th president of the United States.
“She has confidence and experience, and I’m really excited to see her smash Donald Trump in the race,” said Bate.