Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and first woman to run for the White House under the mantle of a major U.S. party, marked the historic milestone Tuesday by declaring to supporters that “we broke one of the highest, hardest glass ceilings in America.”
At a victory rally in Brooklyn, held in a warehouse covered by a partial glass ceiling, Hillary told hundreds of animated supporters that her victory over Bernie Sanders to become the first female presidential nominee of a major political party “belongs to generations of women and men.”
“We are all standing under a glass ceiling right now, but don’t worry, we’re not smashing this one,” Clinton told the boisterous crowd at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “Thanks to you, we reached a milestone, the first time in our nation’s history that a woman will be a major party’s nominee to become president of the United States.”
Clinton, gearing up for the general election, declared her eagerness to take-on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who she called “temperamentally unfit to be president,” deriding his fiery campaign rhetoric and pledges to build a wall along the U.S. and Mexico border.
“We all want a society that is tolerant, inclusive and fair,” Clinton told supporters, calling on the nation to build bridges, not walls.
“No ceilings, no limits on any of us, this is our moment to come together,” Clinton said, later sharing the stage with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Hillary Clinton was declared the presumptive nominee by The Associated Press on Monday night, hours before polls opened in six states holding primary contests Tuesday, including New Jersey, which Clinton won handily Tuesday night. She also won New Mexico and South Dakota.
With 82 percent of precincts in California — where Sanders hoped to make a big showing — reporting early Wednesday, Clinton had 56 percent and Sanders had 43 percent, The Associated Press reported.
Early Wednesday, CNN was also projecting Clinton to win the California primary.
The Monday night announcement that Clinton had reached the 2,383-delegate threshold to secure the nomination came sooner than either campaign anticipated, even though the former secretary of state was already on pace to capture the nomination on Tuesday, having amassed an insurmountable delegate lead against Sanders.
Both candidates on Tuesday continued to encourage primary voters, including those in California, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota, to head to the polls, with Sanders vowing to remain in the race through the party’s final primary in Washington on June 14 and pledging to fight for the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in July in Philadelphia.
Clinton’s victory celebration came eight years to the day that she ended her first run for the White House, conceding to Barack Obama after a drawn-out primary battle that resembled her long-running race against Sanders.
In her 2008 concession speech, Clinton lamented that she had not cracked “the hardest, highest glass ceiling,” by becoming the nation’s first woman president, but she thanked her primary voters for helping place “18 million cracks” in the symbolic barrier.
On Tuesday, she reveled in announcing to supporters in an email sent to supporters just before she took the stage in Brooklyn, that “we broke one of the highest, hardest glass ceilings in America.”
Shortly after her victory in New Jersey, Clinton wrote on Twitter: “To every little girl who dreams big: Yes, you can be anything you want even president. Tonight is for you.”
Many of her supporters, men and women alike, celebrated the possibility of Clinton becoming the country’s first female president.
“It’s going to be great that girls and young women will be able to see themselves in her, and know that they too can run for president,” said Gaby Moreno, 56, of Manhattan.
Clinton’s campaign, transitioning to a general election battle, announced Tuesday she would be campaigning in the battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania next week.