PHILADELPHIA, July 26 (UPI) -- Striking a deeply personal tone, former President Bill Clinton presented his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, as a lifelong force for positive change for family, friends and ordinary Americans.
Speaking to what was frequently a rapt audience on Night Two of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Bill Clinton called Hillary Clinton "the best damn change-maker I have met in my entire life."
Implicit in that description is the pushback against a Republican convention one week ago -- and characterizations by some supporters of her primary opponent Bernie Sanders -- where she was cast as the staid agent of a corrupt Washington power structure in dire need of change.
In contrast, Bill Clinton said she has demonstrated in her public service and her private life an intense desire to affect changes that improve people's lives.
"If you were sitting where I'm sitting ... at every dinner conversation, every lunch conversation, on every long walk, this woman is never satisfied with the status quo," the former president said.
After his speech, Hillary Clinton briefly addressed the convention by satellite from their home in upstate New York, thanking delegates for formally giving her the nomination.
"I can't believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet. This is really your victory, this is really your night," she said. "If there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, I could become the first woman president, but one of you is next."
During his speech, Bill Clinton recalled work Hillary Clinton did while first lady of Arkansas in the 1980s to increase healthcare in rural parts of the state by pushing a controversial proposal to rely more on nurse practitioners where doctors were not available, an uncommon idea at the time.
He recalled her push, in the wake of failing to pass a national healthcare program, to get the Children's Health Insurance Program passed into law.
He recalled her drive as a young law school student to study and reduce child abuse and expose discriminatory housing and education practices in the South.
Clinton told numerous anecdotes of their time as young students in love and parents to daughter Chelsea. He spoke to Hillary Clinton's work to help improve children's lives in the early years of their relationship, before either entered public life. In particular, he recounted work she did as a Yale law student, conducting field research on why so many more children were counted in the census than were enrolled in schools.
He also lauded his wife for her willingness to work with political opponents despite their differences. He recalled a piece of legislation Hillary Clinton spearheaded with former House Majority Whip Tom DeLay -- a bitter enemy of the Clinton White House in the 1990s -- to increase adoptions for children in foster care.
Bill Clinton said his wife singled out DeLay as a partner despite their differences because she knew he was an adoptive parent who cared deeply about the issue. The result was a bill signed into law that helped increase the number of children adopted out of foster care and put in permanent homes.
"It made life better," Clinton said.
He also praised her time as secretary of state, saying she faced down foreign adversaries, brokered a cease-fire in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas and helped fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.
On the last issue, Bill Clinton credited his wife with increasing the number of people receiving life-saving treatment for HIV by 3.4 million without increasing government spending by making it more cost-efficient and advocating for the purchase of cheaper generic drugs. The result, Bill Clinton said, is millions of people on another continent whose lives were saved.
"You don't know any of those 3.4 million people but I guarantee they know you," Clinton told voters. "They know you because they see you as making their lives matter. That's one reason why the approval rate of the Unites States was 20 points higher when she left office as secretary of state than when she took it."
Closing his roughly 50-minute prime time speech, Bill Clinton returned to a central theme of his first presidential campaign in 1992, pledging Hillary is focused on "tomorrow."
"Those of us who have more yesterdays than tomorrows tend to care more about our children and grandchildren. The reason you should elect her is because in America we've always been more about tomorrow. Your children and grandchildren will bless you forever if you do."