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“He who knows best knows how little he knows.”
BRIDGES OVER TROUBLED WATERS
Despite the “united together” theme, day one at the Democratic National Convention got off to a very rough start, but ended on high note as Democrats moved swiftly to head off dissention in their ranks before it subsumed their four-day brotherly lovefest. After much gloating and finger wagging at Republican disarray last week, Democrats began their convention with the news of a Trump bump in the polls, a Russian email scandal and the DNC Chair’s subsequent resignation.
Though the protests that have ushered in the week are larger and more vocal than those in Cleveland, they were more than offset by powerful speeches by First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator Cory Booker, progressive icon Elizabeth Warren - and Bernie Sanders doubling down on his endorsement of Hillary Clinton. We expect the healing process to continue with speeches by President Bill Clinton tonight and President Obama on Wednesday evening.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
Emails have been a recurring nightmare for Democrats all year long - this time with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a starring role resigning under pressure after thousands of internal emails revealing a coordinated effort to stop Bernie Sanders were uncovered and released by suspected Russian hackers, creating an uproar within the party and initiating an FBI probe to boot.
She’s been a scapegoat for Democrats on a number of fronts, even though her supporters point to the good she’s accomplished for the party – including raising record sums of money and working tirelessly in FL and across the country on behalf of Obama’s re-elect. Team Clinton has been swift and authoritative in trying to turn the page, but the outrage felt by Sander’s most fervent supporters won’t go away overnight and our friends in the media likely won’t let it.
Fissures in the Democratic ranks continued to show as Sanders supporters were welcomed to Philly by a new dumpster fire with the DNC email expose and revelations of manipulation by party officials, the selection of Senator Tim Kaine and residual unease with Clinton. Proving he’s no Ted Cruz, Sanders energized the delegates by delivering a barnburner of a speech on behalf of his ideals and Hillary Clinton.
But we think there’s more work to be done and expect Sanders to make more appearances this week and throughout the campaign this fall. Featuring progressive speakers like Sanders, Warren, and Michelle Obama was a prescient kickoff strategy and we think that it will quell most - but not all - of the anger that still burns on the far left.