PHILADELPHIA — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president Thursday with a speech promising steady leadership in the face of terrorism and but also an optimistic vision of the nation’s future.

"You want a leader who understands we are stronger when we work with our allies around the world and care for our veterans here at home," she told the partisan crowd here at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. "Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do it will be my highest priority."

The speech came after a series of high-profile endorsements this week from former military leaders and national security experts, and a week after Republican leaders used their convention to batter Clinton over a host of past scandals, portraying her as too untrustworthy to serve as commander in chief put in the White House.

Clinton, the first woman to earn a major party presidential nomination in American history, worked to reverse the Republican narrative those charges, touting her past work in the State Department and the U.S. Senate as a clear advantage over her reality-TV star opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

She repeated her attacks on what Clinton characterized as his inexperience and ignorance, calling Trump's his candidacy a danger to the country.

"He thinks that he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are 'a disaster,' " she said. "I know how wrong he is. Our military is a national treasure.

"Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be commander in chief? He can't even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign."

She previewed her foreign policy philosophy of diplomacy over aggression, saying America's strength "doesn't come from lashing out."

But Clinton promised as commander in chief to harshly pursue any threat against America, particularly the ones from Islamic State group, which has fighters who have inspired a series of deadly attacks in recent months.

"We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground," she said. "We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen. We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country.

"It won't be easy or quick, but make no mistake, we will prevail."

She also promised to stand by America's NATO allies countries, a reference to Trump’s recent comments that he would reconsider the necessity of the alliance if elected president.

"He wants to divide us, from the rest of the world, and from each other," she said. "He's betting that the perils of today's world will blind us to its unlimited promise.

"But we are not afraid. We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have. We will not build a wall. ... We will not ban a religion. We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight terrorism."

Clinton repeated that theme of unity for a host of non-security topics, promising to "be a president for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, for the struggling, the striving and the successful, for those who vote for me and those who don't."

The comments echoed the promises of her Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama, whose two terms in office were largely marked by increased partisan divide in the country.

But campaign officials worked through the week to present a more positive spin than the Republican convention a week earlier, and used speeches from Obama and other top party leaders to encourage voters to continue policy successes over the last eight years with a Clinton presidency.

In her vision for the next four years, Clinton promised to "create more opportunity and more good jobs" throughout the country.

"Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger," she said. "None of us can do it alone.

"I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we'll ever pull together again. But I'm here to tell you tonight, progress is possible."

Leo Shane III covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He can be reached at

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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