PHILADELPHIA — “What does it take to be the first female anything?” actress Meryl Streep asked near the end of a historic Democratic convention session Tuesday where Hillary Clinton became the first female major party presidential nominee.
“Grit and it takes grace,” said Streep on a night that celebrated the fact that in the history of the United States, it took until July 26, 2016, to make it official that a woman may finally become president.
Clinton and her team played the glass ceiling theme hard. Female speakers were prominent throughout the session, hosted by Elizabeth Banks, who directed and acted in the “Pitch Perfect” movies.
A video near the end of the session showed black and white pictures of the nation’s 44 presidents — and then in a burst, a beaming Clinton dressed in bright red appeared from New York, surrounded by children.
“I can’t believe that we’ve just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet. This is really your victory, this is really your night. And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say: I may become the first woman president but one of you is next,” Clinton said.
Out of all the signs that were passed out at the Wells Fargo Center — “Change Maker,” “Fighting for Us,” “Do the most good” — the sign most in demand as a souvenir was the one that simply said “History.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was featured along with the Democratic Women of the House. The Mothers of the Movement, whose children were victims of violence, were on the stage.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and actresses America Fererra and Lena Dunham were in the spotlight, as well as Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in an unusual role.
“We’re family. My daughter was married to her brother, and my beloved grandson is her beloved nephew,” Boxer said of Hillary Clinton.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., talked about sex trafficing.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the first female in that role, appointed by President Bill Clinton, talked of Clinton’s historic visit to Bejing as first lady when she spoke out for human rights and women’s rights.
Progress is measured, it is said, not just by solo breakthroughs. As Streep said about Clinton, “She’ll be the first,” but she won’t be the last.”