Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will speak on Monday at the Democratic convention to support his former rival, Hillary Clinton. This four-day celebration, which will ultimately crown Clinton as party nominee, arrives mere days after a massive Wikileaks dump showed how the DNC mocked Sanders. One particularly disturbing email suggested that the officials wanted to grill him over his faith, and the sender fretted over whether he was really Jewish or an atheist. The proposed questioning likely would have been used to “weaken him in the eyes of Southern voters.” Many of the rest of the 20,000 leaked emails showed a pro-Clinton slant.
Collectively, the leak proved what Sanders said for many months. He believed the DNC was dead set against him from the beginning and that officials conspired against his candidacy. Sanders also consistently railed against the party’s use of superdelegates to stack the deck in favor of Clinton. Likewise, DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz continued to insist how superdelegates were an honorable party tradition. Trevor Noah previously questioned why Dems were fine with a candidate being chosen beyond the will of the people, and she insisted that the party was not “cockblocking” Sanders, since he kept winning states. Primary season continued, Sanders faced the music, and he now endorses Clinton.
But this email leak is significant, so the DNC held a Saturday night meeting with drastic results. Wasserman Schultz will not preside over the convention’s events and will be replaced by Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who will gavel the sessions. Wasserman Schultz’s speech has been “scrapped,” and she has been “quarantined” from the entire event. CNN reveals that while she has not technically been relieved of the chair position, it may happen soon. (UPDATE: Wasserman Schultz has announced that she’ll step down after convention week.) While she had no plans to pursue a re-election to chair, Wasserman Schultz wanted to stick around through the general election. There’s no word on what this will do to her spot as a Florida congressperson.
This announcement dropped almost immediately after Sanders’ appearance on State of the Union with Jake Tapper. The Bern admitted how the leaked emails immensely bother him, and he spoke out against Wasserman Schultz: “I don’t think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC not only for these awful emails, which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people, and I don’t think her leadership style is doing that.”
But Sanders won’t be distracted by his main objective, which is to defeat Trump. He called for party unity to that end. Sanders is also thrilled that Clinton is working with him to put progressive points into the platform. But ultimately, this is about stopping ‘perhaps the worst Republican candidate in the history of this country,” Donald J. Trump.