Chaotic Opening for Democratic Convention in Philadelphia

By Steven Klett, Epoch Times

The Democratic National Convention got off to a rocky start on Monday afternoon, starting from the very minute the convention was gaveled in by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Rawlings-Blake replaced the embattled chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to gavel in the convention.

Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation on Sunday after emails were leaked via Wikileaks showing her bias against Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary. She will be permanently replaced by Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, while Vice Chair Donna Brazile will act as interim chair.

Women walk down a Philadelphia street with a Chuck Close portrait of Hillary Clinton on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Women walk down a Philadelphia street with a Chuck Close portrait of Hillary Clinton on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Brazile issued a formal statement and apologized to Bernie Sanders and his supporters shortly after the convention began.

“On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email,” the statement said.

“These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates. Individual staffers have also rightfully apologized for their comments, and the DNC is taking appropriate action to ensure it never happens again,” the statement continued. 

Following the Wikileaks scandal, angry supporters of Bernie Sanders descended on Philadelphia, and began disrupting the speakers at the convention shouting “Bernie!” which was met with a competing “Hillary!” chant.

It got so boisterous on the convention floor that Bernie Sanders sent out a text to all of his delegate supporters to try and quell the anger. 

“I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor. It’s of utmost important you explain this to your delegates,” the text read.

On top of that, Sanders’s press secretary Simone D. Sanders has also been sending out messages on Twitter contending that the election was stolen by the Clinton campaign.

“Now the contents of the leaked emails show individuals were definitely biased, but 7 folks on an email didn’t “steal” the election,” she wrote. 

The contentious atmosphere continued as delegates brought out signs that called for the rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The controversial trade deal was signed in February by President Obama, and was a contended issue in the primary season between Sanders and Clinton.

Hillary Clinton was one of the architects if the trade deal when she was a Secretary of State, but, after being pressured by Bernie Sanders, came out against TPP.

Similarly, Clinton’s vice president pick, Tim Kaine, who has been criticized by Sanders supporters for being too conservative, came out against the TPP only days after praising it.

While Kaine, Clinton, and Sanders all opposed the TPP, the party platform chose to oppose the trade deal because of Obama’s support. The party platform passed by a vocal vote.  

Delegates hold up signs that read "Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)" as U.S. Rep Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduces convention officials on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)
Delegates hold up signs that read “Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)” as U.S. Rep Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduces convention officials on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)
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