Brow Beat

Here Are All the Other Moments in Hillary’s DNC Speech Where She Could Have Quoted Hamilton

In her speech accepting her party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, Hillary Clinton threw a bone to the all-important Hamilfan constituency when she quoted Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical. Near the end of the speech, she said,

Though “we may not live to see the glory,” as the song from the musical Hamilton goes, “let us gladly join the fight.” Let our legacy be about “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

Clinton slightly misquoted “The Story of Tonight” (the actual line is “I may not live to see our glory”), but the moment was nonetheless thrilling to this Hamilton fan. And it made me wonder whether Clinton’s very strong, pragmatic speech would have been even better with more Hamilton references. So I found a few places in the full transcript of Clinton’s speech that would have been improved if Clinton had shown off her knowledge of the libretto. Here’s what Clinton’s speech would have sounded like if she hadn’t thrown away her shot at awing Hamilton fans:

“When representatives from 13 unruly colonies met just down the road from here, some wanted to stick with the king. Some wanted to stick it to the king, and go their own way, like Alexander in the musical Hamilton, who sings, ‘Essentially, they tax us relentlessly, then King George turns around, runs a spending spree, he ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free, so there will be a revolution in this century.’ The revolution hung in the balance.”

“I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out. Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together—and it’s the right thing to do. As the song from the musical Hamilton goes, ‘Immigrants: They get the job done.’ ”

“My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years. Because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did. He thought, as in the musical Hamilton, that if he laid a strong enough foundation, he’d pass it onto them, he’d give the world to them, and they’d blow us all away. And he was right.”

“My mother, Dorothy, was abandoned by her parents as a young girl. But, like Alexander in the musical Hamilton, she got a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter, by being a self-starter. At 14, ​she was​ working as a house maid. She was saved by the kindness of others.”

“But none of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot. As the song goes in the musical Hamilton, you will never be satisfied. I will never be satisfied.”

“I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should. To quote the musical Hamilton, ‘Corruption’s such an old song that we can sing along in harmony, and nowhere is it stronger than in Albany’—and in the other state capitals, and in D.C. That’s why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And we’ll pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!”

“And yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister, or daughter deserves equal pay, join us. Because we, like Alexander and Aaron Burr in the musical Hamilton, are reliable with the ladies!”

“Now, you didn’t hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention. He spoke for 70-odd minutes—and I do mean odd. And he offered zero solutions. But we already know he doesn’t believe these things. To paraphrase the musical Hamilton, Hillary has beliefs. Trump has none.”