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Day 2 at DNC: Hillary makes history

First lady, senator, secretary of state nominated

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(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA – Democrats made Hillary Clinton the first female presidential nominee of a major party in the nation's history on Tuesday, shattering one of the last remaining glass ceilings in American politics.

The former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state was formally installed as the party nominee to take on Donald Trump on an emotional night at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Clinton will formally accept the nomination on Thursday night, before embarking on an intense fall campaign with polls showing her clash with Republican nominee Trump is, for now, too close to call.

As part of the ongoing push to bring Democrats together following repeated shows of dissent from disenchanted Sanders supporters, Sanders addressed the convention and moved for Clinton to be acclaimed the party nominee.

"I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States," he said.

Clinton's nomination came on the second day of the Democratic National Convention, where leaders sought to move past the drama of divisions between Clinton and Sanders supporters. Nancy Pelosi, a history maker in her own right after becoming the highest ranking woman in the history of the US government when she was elected House speaker in 2007, was overcome with emotion as she contemplated Clinton's achievement.

"It's beyond thrilling. It's very exciting and to see at the end she's the nominee. It's going to be spectacular," Pelosi told CNN's Dana Bash.

"It's pretty exciting ... she's the best."

Former President Bill Clinton embraced his role Tuesday as a political spouse by regaling the audience at the Democratic National Convention with stories of his courtship with Hillary Clinton.

He spoke of her strength and self-possession, which he found "magnetic."

Clinton said he and Hillary have been together in "good times and bad, through joy and heartbreak."

"We've built up a lifetime of memories," he said.

'Barriers still ahead'

Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland emphasized the historic nature of the moment in nominating Clinton Tuesday afternoon.

"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.

Sanders' move at the end recalled Clinton's similar gesture at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, after her own divisive primary duel against then-Sen. Barack Obama.

The self-proclaimed democratic socialist won nearly 2,000 delegates during his insurgent campaign, but told his supporters on Monday night in that they had no choice but to unite around Clinton to ensure the defeat of GOP nominee Donald Trump.

As soon as the Clinton nomination was made official, a group of Sanders supporters staged a walk out from the convention hall "chanting "this is what democracy looks like" before heading for the press tent.

Elsewhere in the hall, a Sanders delegate from Nevada was escorted out of the hall, yelling "Nevada was rigged."

Emotion from delegates in the hall

The political drama with Sanders and controversy over Democratic National Committee emails that show staffers seemingly working against him has done little to dampen the excitement among Clinton allies.

Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee told CNN on the floor of the convention that this is a moment in American history that "we should not take lightly or take for granted."

"As a father of a daughter and a grandfather of a granddaughter, knowing that my daughter and my granddaughter will grow up in a country where that barrier has been broken is something that's not just history for our nation but it's personal," Kildee said. "And I'll remember it that way."

New Hampshire state Sen. Donna Soucy, a Clinton delegate, is holding a handmade sign tonight that refers to Clinton as first lady, senator, secretary of state and president.

"It means a lot for me personally," Soucy told CNN. "Tonight is the night when Hillary Clinton will break the glass ceiling for every woman and girl in this country."

Sheryl Abschire, a 65-year-old Clinton delegate from Louisiana, said she was a Clinton delegate in 2008 and was not sure she would live to see a woman nominated or elected president.

Abschire was crying after she and other Louisiana delegates cast their votes Tuesday.

"This is a very emotional day for me," she said. "It's a generational thing for me. My grandmother told me about how her grandmother could not vote. So for me to be here to support the first woman nominee and what I believe will be the first woman president means everything to me."

Coming up on Wednesday

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will both be on hand to make their case for Clinton -- potentially overshadowing the rest of the evening's roster.

But also introducing himself to the nation Wednesday night will be Kaine, just days after being tapped by Clinton as her running mate. He's a former Richmond mayor, Virginia governor and senator, and Democratic National Committee chairman, but he's never run nationally before.

Clinton will get a shot of independent credibility from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will denounce Trump and make his case for Clinton. Bloomberg aligns with Democrats on issues like gun control and immigration, but his coziness with Wall Street could make some liberal activists uneasy.