Deep rift between Clinton and Sanders camps visible in Delaware delegation
Many Bernie Sanders supporters remain bitter as Hillary Clinton is poised to officially secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.
Sanders held an afternoon rally ahead of his Monday convention speech, but was met with a mix of cheers and boos from the crowd whenever he mentioned Hillary Clinton.
“As I was booing myself, some of it felt bad because it was Bernie who was speaking – that was really where the direction of the negativity was towards, but it still felt right,” said Jeff Day, a Delaware delegate pledged to Sanders. He says he’s part of the ‘Never Hillary’ movement, meaning he'll vote for a third party candidate rather than cast a vote for Clinton in November.
Day and others’ entrenched opposition to Clinton signals a tough repair job in the coming months if Democrats want to avoid a fissure deep enough to lose electoral votes.
Another delegate, Erik Raser-Schramm, was among Clinton’s backers in 2008 who had to get past Obama’s primary win.
He says an effort by top national committee officials to stymie Sanders’ run was unfortunate, but the possibility of Donald Trump taking the White House is something to fight against.
“Any Democrat who is pissed, regardless of what side you’re on, what you feel about what happened with the chairwoman, has to stop and give themself pause and see what a Trump presidency would mean and that it is time for us to unite and put the pettiness aside,” Raser-Schramm said.
Leaked emails among top Democratic National Committee leaders released last week showed a semi-coordinated effort to tamp down a grassroots primary challenge from Sanders.
Raser-Schramm notes that unity is essential, with that groundwork to be done in the coming weeks.
“So much of the work is after this convention – it’s not even here – and making sure that we engage people on those levels in Delaware that were involved [in politics] for the first time and not leave them with a bad taste that they don’t want to be involved with this party anymore," he said.
With the raw feelings on display here, it’s unclear how long it might take to mend those wounds.