The Democratic Party has wrapped up its national convention and officially named Hillary Clinton its nominee for the 2016 U.S. presidential election. What was most striking about the four-day spectacular in Philadelphia last week, apart from the soaring rhetoric and the strident takedowns of Republican nominee Donald Trump, was the reversal of positions between Democrats and the GOP. Historically, the Republicans have been the party of optimism and hope — “morning in America,” as President Ronald Reagan so memorably described it — yet that is now the Democrats’ terrain. They are the party of the future; the Republicans are the party of fear.

As in Cleveland the week before, the Democrats had two tasks in Philadelphia: they had to rally the party behind Clinton and they had to convince undecided voters that Clinton and the Democrats deserved a third consecutive term in the White House. The first task was largely accomplished, although divisions remain. Hard-core Bernie Sanders supporters refused to join their candidate and back Clinton. Some voiced noisy protests, some walked out and some tried to disrupt the proceedings, but the majority of Sanders’ backers accepted reality and his urgings to get in line.

Given their impact on the Democratic Party platform, which is much more progressive than any other in recent history, they have reason to be satisfied. Sanders’ warning that a refusal to back Clinton could propel Trump to the White House persuaded many that were on the fence. Some, however, preferred the purity of their principles and continuing opposition to Clinton. Still, there was nothing in Philadelphia that approximated the hard core and very public opposition of Sen. Ted Cruz at the Republican National Convention.

The appeal to the undecided middle was palpable. Clinton was depicted as a good mother, a committed progressive and a policy wonk who focused on the big picture and the day-to-day slog that accepted incrementalism as an objective. For her and her many supporters who spoke at the convention, the Obama record is positive and his agenda is to be pursued. President Barack Obama made that case most forcefully in his speech at the convention. The economy has recovered. Crime is down. The United States is respected around the world.

Still, the Democrats acknowledged that all Americans may not feel that progress and many worry about their future. Yet even as they conceded that there is more work to be done, they rejected the isolationism that Trump offered and the fear that provided the basis for his candidacy.

This is the most powerful contrast between the two conventions and one that the Democrats are eager to accentuate. For Trump and his party, it is one minute before midnight and only Trump can save the U.S. from a dark future. For him, the U.S. is assaulted on all fronts and only a strong man can save the country from the perils that it confronts.

The Democrats argue that challenges will be surmounted by a nation united, one that pulls together to deal with the future. As Obama said in his remarks at the convention, “Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order. We don’t look to be ruled.” This emphasis on collective action, and the trust that is required to make that succeed, was one of the most important and compelling differences between the two parties.

The Democrats also took aim at Trump’s temperament and judgment, insisting that he cannot be trusted to govern the United States. None put it more succinctly than Clinton, who said in her speech, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

That line of attack will appeal to some, but it is countered by the questions and concerns that swirl around the Democratic nominee. To be blunt, many Americans do not like nor trust Hillary Clinton. Her unfavorable ratings are at historical levels; Trump is even less popular, however. That is why the Democratic convention spent considerable time humanizing Clinton and emphasizing her commitment to reform.

Equally prominent at the Democratic convention, especially in Clinton’s speech, were the policies and ideas that she is fighting for. In stark contrast to Trump, Clinton likes to talk policy. As she noted in her convention speech, “It’s not just a detail if it’s your kid — if it’s your family. It’s a big deal.”

The convention played up Clinton’s status as the first woman presidential party nominee. Shattering the glass ceiling was a frequent image during the convention. While many women were aware of the history-making moment when she was nominated, many others said they were surprised by the power of their own reaction to the nomination. It is worth asking to what degree newly elected Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike may have benefited from the Clinton tailwind and when Japan will have its first prime minister.

That answer may depend on if Clinton prevails in November. While the race is tighter than many anticipated, Clinton received a substantial bounce after the convention, one larger than that which Trump got after the RNC. Although it is still too early to predict an outcome with confidence, Clinton leaves the convention season with a bigger lead than when she entered it. Sustaining that lead may well depend on her ability, and that of her party, to continue the role reversal that was evident last week and reclaim the sunny optimism and hope that has so long been the province of the Republican Party.

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