The Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia on Monday, promising a “United Together” theme even as leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee forced the party’s chairwoman to resign.
The leaked emails threaten to undermine unity.
If there was one thing Hillary Clinton didn’t need as she prepares to accept her party’s presidential nomination this week, it was another email scandal.
But the release of about 20,000 leaked emails, which suggested the party had worked to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign and forced Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party’s chairwoman, to announce her resignation on Sunday, is likely to continue fueling resentment among many of Mr. Sanders’s delegates at the convention.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign had hoped that the convention would showcase unity in the party after a bruising and divisive nomination contest that left many young and liberal Democrats less than satisfied with the outcome. Instead, the emails could amplify the frustration felt by his delegates about what they consider a rigged process.
Sanders will get his last chance to push his agenda on the big stage.
His supporters may not like it, but Mr. Sanders has acknowledged defeat and endorsed Mrs. Clinton. Even so, he has made it clear that he will use his speech on Monday to continue pressing for an ideological revolution that advances party priorities like a higher minimum wage, government health care, breaking up big banks and rebuilding infrastructure.
And though Mr. Sanders, who called for a broad overhaul of the party’s nominating process, was Mrs. Clinton’s chief rival during the primaries, his appearance at the convention is unlikely to produce controversy like that of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas at the Republican convention last week in Cleveland. Mr. Sanders has already been clear that he hopes Mrs. Clinton will win in November.
One last time: Michelle Obama begins the handoff from the Obama era.
Mrs. Obama’s speech will serve partly to begin the transition of the Democratic Party from her husband to Mrs. Clinton.
Mrs. Obama, who remains among the most popular figures in the party, may be one of the most effective advocates for Mrs. Clinton when it comes to the Obama coalition: young people, African-Americans and Latinos. Her convention speech will be an opportunity to argue that her husband’s constituency should be Mrs. Clinton’s as well.
She will probably get a rousing response from the conventiongoers, for many of whom the speech is likely to be the last time they see her in person.