Posted: 10:35 am Monday, July 25th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania –
Even as Democratic leaders preached unity a day after their national party chief was forced out of her post, tensions exploded Monday at several state delegation meetings, as supporters of Bernie Sanders expressed their outrage about leaked emails that showed Democratic Party leaders working against their candidate.
Just hours before the convention was set to begin, trouble began when Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) tried to address delegates from her home state, as she was loudly jeered by Sanders supporters.
“Shame!” shouted some of the Sanders delegates, who held up signs and repeatedly interrupted Wasserman Schultz at a meeting of the Florida delegation on Monday.
The chaotic reception for Wasserman Schultz – from her state’s delegation – raised questions as to whether or not she should appear on stage at the Democratic National Convention this week – since her reception might be similar, except this time on national television.
After several hours of uncertainty, Wasserman Schultz told the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel newspaper that she would not gavel in the convention.
There was also an uproar at the California delegation meeting this morning, as Sanders supporters there made clear their frustration at losing the nomination fight.
— Ramona (@RamonaWritesLA) July 25, 2016
Later, when Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) urged unity for Clinton, delegates erupted again.
Boos ring out in California delegation breakfast when Rep. Mike Honda mentions Tim Kaine's VA selection. #DNCinPHL
— Ben Geman (@Ben_Geman) July 25, 2016
Questions about the ouster of the DNC chief in the wake of leaked emails from inside the national Democratic Party were simmering at other delegation breakfast meetings as well.
“Debbie did the right thing if she thought that it was a distraction,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who is expected to take over many duties of Wasserman Schultz in chairing this week’s convention.
Fudge was besieged by reporters after speaking at a meeting of her home state delegation, as the Ohio Democrat was repeatedly asked if the email flap would have a negative impact on Democrats.
“I haven’t read any of them, so I don’t know what they showed,” Fudge said, arguing that Hillary Clinton won fair and square over Bernie Sanders.
Down the road at a meeting of the Democratic delegation from Georgia, the emails also caused some turmoil – they were brought up right away by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) – he called the episode “unfortunate” – and blamed Russian hackers for the leak.
But Johnson was interrupted at one point by a Sanders delegate from Georgia who shouted at the Congressman about the emails.
— Aaron Gould Sheinin (@asheinin) July 25, 2016
One question – will this anger in the state delegation meetings also make its way onto the floor this week.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.