Protesters take to the streets in Philadelphia amid news of an email leak that shows Democratic party leaders undermined the Bernie Sanders campaign in order to bolster Hillary Clinton’s White House hopes.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA UNITED STATES (JULY 24, 2016) (REUTERS) – The head of the Democratic Party resigned on Sunday (July 24) amid a furor over embarrassing leaked emails, hoping to head off a growing rebellion by Bernie Sanders supporters on the eve of the convention to nominate Hillary Clinton for the White House.
Lingering bitterness from their heated primary campaign erupted after more than 19,000 Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails, leaked on Friday, seemed to confirm Sanders’ frequent charge that the party played favorites in the race.
The cache of emails leaked by the WikiLeaks website revealed DNC officials explored ways to undermine Sanders’ insurgent presidential campaign, including raising questions about whether Sanders, who is Jewish, was really an atheist.
In a statement, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the best way for the party to accomplish its goal of putting Clinton in the White House was for her to step down. Sanders had demanded earlier in the day that Wasserman Schultz resign.
The furor was a blow to a party keen on projecting stability in contrast to the volatility of Republican candidate Donald Trump, who was formally nominated at a raucous convention last week, and overshadowed preparations in Philadelphia for Clinton’s coronation as the nominee to face Trump in the November 8, U.S. presidential election.
Sanders said Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Florida, had made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party. “The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race,” he said.
The emails angered many Sanders supporters who were already dismayed by Clinton’s choice on Friday of low-key U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her vice presidential running mate. Kaine, who could appeal to independents and moderates, has never been aligned with party liberals.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of downtown Philadelphia to voice their displeasure over the treatment Bernie Sanders received from the DNC and were happy to hear Wasserman Schultz had resigned from her post.
“I’m exited that Debbie Wasserman Shultz has resigned, I think there’s hope for Bernie, it’s not over yet,” Bruce Eichbauer told Reuters.
A Sanders campaign worker said Wasserman Shultz needs to apologize.
“I think that’s great. I think she needs to resign and apologize. I hope she’s apologized to Bernie and all of us who worked so hard for Bernie ” said Mattie.
Sanders, who has endorsed Clinton and will speak on her behalf to the convention on Monday, waged a heated months-long battle for the nomination. Branding himself a democratic socialist, Sanders galvanized young and liberal voters with his calls to rein in Wall Street and eradicate income inequality.
The four-day Democratic convention will open on Monday.