Civil rights, feminist icons formally nominate Clinton

Civil rights, feminist icons formally nominate Clinton
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A powerful duo of civil rights icon John Lewis and ground-breaking senator Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE formally nominated Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Hillary Clinton praises former administration officials who testified before House as 'gutsy women' Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart MORE to become the Democratic presidential nominee Tuesday.

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The tributes from both congressional leaders, which were met by thunderous applause, kicked off the official nominating process, known as the roll call of the states. 

The Clinton campaign announced just before the speeches that Lewis, a congressman from Georgia, and Mikulski, a senator from Maryland, would perform the ceremonial nominating duties. Hours earlier, the Clinton team was reportedly in talks to have her former rival, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems change drug pricing bill to address progressive concerns | Top Republican rejects Dem proposal on surprise medical bills | Vaping group launches Fox News ad blitz Democrats have reason to worry after the last presidential debate Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (I-Vt.), nominate her on the floor.

The move could have helped show party unity and given Sanders a larger role in this week's Democratic National Convention, though the talks apparently failed. Instead, Sanders announced his home state’s roll call, handing over votes for Clinton. Clinton is expected to easily clear the 2,383-delegate threshold needed to win the nomination. 

Lewis, a 15-term congressman who played an important role in the civil rights movement, called Clinton “one of the most qualified candidates to ever run for president.” 

He also offered a stark warning against electing GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE

“There are forces in America that want to take us backwards,” he said, his voice booming in the packed Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

“We've made too much progress, and we're not going back, we're going forward. That’s why we must all go to the polls in November and vote like we never ever voted before,” Lewis roared. 

Lewis was joined on stage by Mikulski, the first woman to win a U.S. Senate seat not held by her husband or father. 

Mikulski is retiring after a groundbreaking career that includes being the first longest-serving female lawmaker, the first woman to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, and the first female lawmaker to wear pants on the Senate floor.

“On behalf of all the women who've broken down barriers for others, and with an eye toward the barriers still ahead, I proudly place Hillary Clinton’s name in nomination to be the next president of the United States of America,” Mikulski said.