The Real One: Bill Clinton sells wife to American voters

Former US president Bill Clinton has set out the case why his wife and “best friend” Hillary should lead the nation.

He told the Democratic convention in Philadelphia that she was the “best darn change-maker I’ve ever known”.

In a very personal speech, he spoke warmly about how they met and her dedication to public service.

“She gave me 26 years, so I intended to give her 26 years,” the 69-year-old said.

Hours earlier, his wife became the first woman to be officially nominated for president by any major US party.

Mrs Clinton ended the night with a video message, saying: “I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.

“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.”

Earlier, Mr Clinton shared the story of how he and his wife met at Yale Law School in the spring of 1971.

“I married my best friend,” he said. “We’ve been walking and talking and laughing together ever since.”

The former secretary of state and first lady was uniquely qualified to be president, he said.

“Hillary opened my eyes to a whole new world of public service by private citizens,” he said before recounting her early career.

Mr Clinton said Republicans led by Donald Trump had made Hillary out to be “a cartoon” but the real thing was nothing like their portrayal of her.

“They’re running against a cartoon. Cartoons are two-dimensional, they’re easy to absorb. Life in the real world is complicated and real change is hard, and a lot of people even think it’s boring,” he said.

Then speaking directly to the crowd, he said to cheers and applause: “Good for you because earlier today you nominated the real one.”

Mrs Clinton passed the 2,382 delegates needed to claim the nomination after South Dakota announced its delegate vote count.

In a symbolic gesture of party unity, former Democratic rival Senator Bernie Sanders took the microphone to move to suspend the procedural rules and declare Mrs Clinton as the nominee by acclamation.

Members of the crowd erupted into cheers and held up Clinton signs.

The second night focused on race and justice, topics that dominated last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Dissention on the convention floor plagued the first day when Sanders supporters booed throughout the event.

Mr Sanders later took centre stage as the final speaker on Monday night and directly told his supporters that “”Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.”

In declaring her the nominee, Mr Sanders echoed Mrs Clinton in a role she played eight years ago after a hard-fought primary.

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Mrs Clinton called for a vote for Barack Obama by acclamation, ending the roll call vote in an effort to unite the party behind his candidacy.

Mrs Clinton will face off against Trump in November.

Recent national polls suggest the two candidates will be in a tight race for the White House.

Trump, who uncharacteristically did not tweet after Mrs Obama practically wiped him on the floor the day before, was quick to describe Mr Clinton’s speech as highly overrated.