Hillary Clinton Declares She's The Democratic Nominee — And The Election Race Is On!

On Tuesday night, following primary contests in the final six states in the nation, the Democratic primary race finally witnessed its first self-declared victor ― Hillary Clinton finally described herself as the Democratic nominee, claiming the role of her party's standard-bearer on the same night she finally put away Vermont senator Bernie Sanders' hopes of winning a pledged delegate lead for good. Clinton walked out to Sara Bareilles' "Brave," and struggled with the mic for a few seconds before beginning her victory speech.

"We are all standing under a glass ceiling right now... But don't worry, we're not smashing this one," Clinton joked. "Thanks to you, we’ve reached a milestone tonight ... The first time in our nation's history that a woman will be a major party's nominee for president."

"We owe so much to those who came before," she explained, "and tonight belongs to all of you."

"Tonight, we can say with pride that, in America, there is no barrier too great and no ceiling too high to break," Clinton wrote on Twitter shortly before taking the stage in Brooklyn, New York. "Tonight's only possible because millions of organizers, volunteers, and donors fought for this campaign. Thank you." She also changed an avatar to a photograph of Clinton with her head held high, alongside the words "History Made," and tweeted a photograph of herself examining her notes, entitled, "Ready."

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While Sanders' candidacy pushed Clinton closer to the brink than anyone could have anticipated, Tuesday night was undoubtedly Clinton's big night, the culmination of a months-long campaign. In a speech to a hyped-up assembled crowd of her supporters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard ― underneath a literal glass ceiling, incidentally ― the former Secretary of State finally said the words they'd been longing to hear.

It may be hard to see tonight, but we are all standing under a glass ceiling tonight. But don't worry, we're not smashing this one. Thanks to you, we've reached a milestone. The first time in our nation's history that a woman will be a major party's nominee. Tonight's victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible.

Regardless of your political persuasion, Clinton's cinching of the nomination — assuming the superdelegates support her, and as the clear victor of the primary process there's no historical precedent for them not to — is a huge moment in American history. She's now the first woman ever to win the presidential nomination of a major political party, and she's now one step closer to, as she's often put it, shattering the highest, hardest glass ceiling in the country.

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If you want to see Clinton's full speech, it was carried in full by C-SPAN. And it'd make sense if you would ― if only for one night, even if you're not a Clinton supporter, do yourself a favor and savor this historic moment. You only get so many of these in a lifetime, although obviously, Clinton's hoping that the real towering achievement is still ahead of her: the general election in November.