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‘Let’s return as a unified party’: In Philly, Hillary makes peace with Bernie

The atmosphere was all “Fight Song” for Hillary Clinton at her victory party. The Rachel Platten song played over and over after each of her victories was announced, including Pennsylvania, by about 15 percentage points over Bernie Sanders.

But Clinton herself wasn’t in a fighting mood. She spent her much of her 15-minute speech to a raucous Convention Center crowd talking about the need for a unified Democratic Party, starting with Sanders.

“There’s much more that unites us,” she said of the former Vermont Senator, “than divides us.”

In recent weeks, Sanders has heavily targeted Clinton. Much of the rhetoric has come either in Philadelphia or about Philadelphia. At Sanders’ Temple rally earlier this month, he said Clinton was not “qualified” to be president because of her pro-Iraq War vote, her decision to accept millions from PACs and her approval of what he termed disastrous trade decisions. It came a day after Clinton questioned whether Sanders was a Democrat. The sniping continued last week, with each taking opposing positions over Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed soda tax.

On Tuesday night, after a day in which both candidates spent time in Philly yet again, Clinton sounded like she wanted to bury the hatchet. She listed several things she and Sanders and Democrats in general agreed upon: Too much income inequality in the United States, the need to tackle climate change and staying out of the Middle East while keeping the US safe, among other things.

“We have to be both dreamers and doers,” Clinton said.

Hundreds of loud supporters packed into the third floor of the Convention Center for the rally. They packed into an area less than 100 feet from where Clinton was speaking, and people in the audience repeated over and over how cool it was to be so close. High school senior Milo Dominguez was there with a Hillary shirt he bought online.

Twenty American flags surrounded the room. A massive Hillary “H” logo stood in the corner. She walked through it a little after 9, less than a half hour after Pennsylvania had been called in her favor. The crowd roared every time a new Clinton victory was announced and booed when a live CNN feed showed Donald Trump.

Clinton’s remark about Trump garnered the loudest boos and then cheers of the night, an endless chorus of “Hillary, Hillary, Hillary.” She said, “The other day Mr. Trump accused me of playing the ‘woman card.’…If fighting for women’s equality and equal pay is playing the woman’s card then deal me in.”

But she didn’t focus on Trump for long. Hillary’s Philadelphia victory speech was all about extending an olive branch to Sanders so the Democratic National Convention can go that much smoother in a few weeks.

“Let’s go forward,” she said. “Let’s win the nomination. And in July let’s return as a unified party.”

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