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Experts: Clinton Must Rise Above Past Perceptions

Hillary Rodham Clinton makes her case to the nation tonight as to why she should replace President Obama in the White House. (whitehouse.gov)
Hillary Rodham Clinton makes her case to the nation tonight as to why she should replace President Obama in the White House. (whitehouse.gov)
July 28, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton takes the stage tonight to make her case to voters. The former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady is tasked with reintroducing herself to the country as the person best suited to be president.

University of Dayton Professor Randy Sparks, a political speech researcher, said Clinton has a tough job ahead of her from a branding standpoint. With some Bernie Sanders supporters still not on board and a fairly high unfavorable rating, he said, Clinton has to project confidence and inspire the respect that's needed to be elected.

"She has the higher task of trying to win back trust,” Sparks said. "She really has to present herself in a way that is, to some degree, kind of personal, but at the same time she has to do so in a way that doesn't make her appear to be weak, that doesn't make her appear to be defensive."

In the latest Gallup poll, Clinton’s unfavorable rating among voters was at 57 percent.

Clinton made history on Tuesday by becoming the first woman to secure the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. Clinton will be introduced on Thursday evening by her daughter, Chelsea.

According to Sparks, Clinton will need to draw a sharp contrast with her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, who is using an angry tone to fire up supporters with the notion that he's an outsider to a broken political system.

"Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, is an insider,” Sparks said. "She has been part of the political system for a long time, and as a result, she has to adopt a tone that is more reassuring of the current situation - that, truly our country has problems, but it is not on the brink of collapse."

The Democratic National Convention has featured speeches from a wide range of celebrities, activists and political hard-hitters including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and former president Bill Clinton.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MD