DNC Day 2: Bill Clinton hopes to shift convention’s tone

Former President Bill Clinton, shown in a January 2016 file photo, will headline Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (AP file)

PHILADELPHIA (MEDIA GENERAL) — Democrats hope Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia will get things back on track, leaving behind headlines of warring delegates, resignations and scheming party leaders.

The theme will highlight Hillary Clinton’s record of fighting for children and families.

One of her strongest surrogates, former President Bill Clinton, will take the stage to help the effort by building on blockbuster speeches Monday evening from First Lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The star power of the nominee’s husband can’t be overstated in an arena holding more than 4,600 Democratic diehards.

He’s brought together the country’s left, right and center in the past to form winning coalitions — something Hillary Clinton needs to replicate in 2016 to defeat Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Bill Clinton also has a history of delivering strong performances at the Democratic National Convention.

In 1988, the southern governor learned the important lesson of brevity, when he spoke for double the time he was allotted and drew huge applause when he finally said the words “in closing.”

He didn’t repeat that mistake again.

In his subsequent 1992 and 1996 presidential nomination acceptance speeches, Clinton drew in a nationwide audience with a simple, hopeful message and shorter delivery.

In 2012, President Barack Obama tapped Clinton to be his economic “explainer-in-chief” at the DNC, soothing Americans’ fear of a troubled economy.

On Tuesday evening, Hillary Clinton, a meticulous and shrewd strategist, will entrust the primetime spot to the man she married in 1975 and helped navigate the upper rungs of elective office.

Now that it’s his wife at the top of the ticket, the former president will be extra diligent in delivering a message he believes will help pave Hillary Clinton’s path to victory in November.

The evening will also feature appearances by the “Mothers of the Movement,” a group of black women who have seen their children killed in high-profile incidents, sometimes involving law enforcement.

States will also sound off in a roll call vote that will include many votes in favor of Sanders, but end in Clinton officially being named the nominee.

Tuesday’s session is scheduled to be gaveled to order at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

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