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Politics aside, Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday

PHILADELPHIA — Put politics aside for a moment.

If you’re able to do that, you could appreciate Tuesday’s events at the 2016 Democratic National Convention for what they were: the nomination of the first woman to head a major-party ticket in American history.

That’s not an exclusive reason to vote for a person of course, any more than Barack Obama’s race was a reason to vote for him in 2008. A vote must be based on much more: on trust, on a person’s record, on judgment.

But you can appreciate the history and the people who helped make it.

There was Bernie Sanders, who has spent the past two days trying to convince his followers that it’s time for Clinton. He made the motion from the floor asking the convention to certify Clinton’s mathematical victory. (Shortly thereafter, some Sanders supporters noisily left the floor, chanting “Walk out!”)

And there were the Nevadans who helped make history: a pair of state Senate minority leaders, Dina Titus (now a congresswoman) and Aaron Ford (who’s trying to become majority leader this year). Titus, a longtime teacher of political history, made a little of her own, kicking off Nevada’s response to the roll call of the states. Ford then read the results of Nevada’s February caucus.

“Hashtag: We made history,” Ford said after his duties were complete, calling the experience “breathtaking.”

Titus, who led Nevada’s delegation to Chicago in 1996 and cast Nevada’s votes then for another politician named Clinton, said this time was different: She was nominating the first woman.

“I definitely think the unity message is very strong,” said Titus, a longtime Clinton supporter.

Ford and Titus said the eruptions of pro-Sanders emotion at the convention were understandable, given the hard-fought primary race. Titus even allowed that Sanders’ revolution inspired her to work harder, even though Republicans control the agenda in the House of Representatives.

“Yes, I think we’ll be bridging the gap,” said Ford, pointing to the party’s new liberal platform. And while some — including me — have dismissed the importance of the platform, Ford said that was a mistake.

“As Senate minority leader, I can guarantee you that we’re going to follow the platform,” he said. “My position in politics is I want to speak truth to power from my position of power.”

Ford said the election of Barack Obama in 2008 made it far easier for him to envision a successful career in politics. And Titus said Clinton’s victory Tuesday would do the same thing for her. “When she broke the glass ceiling she broke it not just for herself, she broke it for all women and girls,” Titus said.

Many nations around the world have had a female leader, including Israel, India, Argentina, Great Britain, Bolivia, Portugal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Bulgaria, Haiti, Panama and Indonesia. Come November, that list could include the United States of America.

No matter your politics, you can still appreciate the history.

Steve Sebelius is a Las Vegas Review-Journal political columnist. Follow him on Twitter @SteveSebelius or reach him at 702-387-5276 or ssebelius@reviewjournal.com.

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