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Hillary Clinton’s best argument for herself, in one paragraph

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

Partway through Hillary Clinton’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president, she launched into a discussion of her reputation for caring about policy details. That may sound boring.

But it wasn’t. In a section that might be some of Clinton’s best oratory ever, she managed to summarize the core of the case for her over Trump in one compelling, short paragraph.

Here’s what she said:

It is true. I sweat the details of policy, whether we're talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs. Because it's not just a detail if it's your kid, if it's your family. It's a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.

She’s right: Nearly every policy decision a president makes has tremendous consequences for American lives. The president is an awesomely powerful office, possessing — on issues both domestic and foreign — the ability to decide who lives and who dies.

Clinton’s question to America, then, is simple. When it’s your life on the line, who do you want making the decisions: a woman with a reputation for maybe caring too much about the details, or a man who famously can’t be bothered with them?

It’s the most compelling elevator pitch for her candidacy she’s ever made.

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