The Democratic Party’s National Convention in Philadelphia could get off to a rocky start today following DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s decision to step down amid the release of thousands of leaked emails showing the party favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.
In a statement, Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, said she would step down after the convention. In the meantime, she said she will open and close the convention and “address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans.”
Already, Sanders supporters have been arriving in Philadelphia prepared to protest. Schultz’s leaked emails which show her disparaging Sanders’ campaign staff is likely to fuel the criticism that the Democratic Party establishment was unfair to Sanders and his supporters from the start. It also allows the Republican Party and its presidential nominee, Donald Trump, to point fingers at the Democratic Party for chaos.
“The Democrats are in a total meltdown but the biased media will say how great they are doing! E-mails say the rigged system is alive & well!” Trump tweeted.
In a separate tweet, Trump said, “The highly neurotic Debbie Wasserman Schultz is angry that, after stealing and cheating her way to a Crooked Hillary victory, she’s out!”
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who co-chaired the DNC’s platform committee, told Chris Hayes of MSNBC Sunday that he thinks Schultz made the right decision for the party and for herself.
“We want to be together. We don’t want to see a repeat of what we saw in Cleveland,” Malloy said, referring to last week’s Republican National Convention. “No Ted Cruz’s coming, giving extra long addresses and not endorsing. That’s not what we want in the Democratic Party.”
As for the emails between party staffers released by Wikileaks, Malloy said they include a lot of “private thoughts that never should have never been put in writing.” He said anyone has a right to have an idea, but most of them shouldn’t be shared.
Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee rejected Sanders’ attempt to remove Malloy, a Clinton supporter and surrogate, as co-chair of the platform committee. Malloy has criticized Sanders for his support of a 2005 law that protects the firearms industry from wrongful death lawsuits.
On Sunday, Malloy praised Sanders for his campaign.
“He brought the party in the right direction,” Malloy said. “He excited people. He had good policy positions which are actually built into the platform committee.”
Politico, citing an unnamed Sanders aide, reported that the feud between Sanders and Malloy is over based on Malloy’s “unbiased” management of the platform committee draft.
Malloy, who was drowned out by chants of “Bernie! Bernie!” while he was on the air for MSNBC on Sunday, said he thinks Sanders’ supporters had an extensive impact on the drafting of the party’s platform.
“By far it’s the most progressive platform the party has ever put forward,” Malloy said. “We’re doing things and having conversations that would not have otherwise taken place.”
Malloy is expected to speak Monday after U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts and before Building Trades President Sean McGarvey. He will be speaking before prime time.