Charisma Caucus

Here's What to Look for in Philadelphia

DNC Video Board
(Reuters photo)

The 2016 Democratic National Convention has been gaveled into session—by someone other than former DNC Chairwoman U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (as of this writing, it's not clear who that will be)—in what is sure to be a very confusing and chaotic event.

Wasserman Schultz has given up her leadership duties in the wake of WikiLeaks' release of nearly 20,000 DNC emails that have proven to be a disaster for the party's election efforts. But, the complete fallout from the new scandal is still being measured.

With former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presumed nomination based on the support of an overwhelming majority of "super delegates" who are allowed to vote for whomever they wish, the uncertainty only adds to the chaos that is sure to ensue. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), who was Clinton's leading rival for the presidential nomination, was put in a position to have much to say about the tone of the convention right off the bat.

He was given a prime-time speaking slot Monday.

In an email to supporters—who were clearly quite angry—Sanders thanked them for their support and previewed his speech. He said his campaign has always been a grassroots movement that says, "Enough is enough."

"Tonight I'm going to speak to the Democratic National Convention about all that we did together in our campaign, about the future of our country, and about the need for our grassroots movement to continue the struggle," he wrote. "It will be a very important address that will talk about not just why we must defeat Donald Trump, the worst presidential candidate in the modern history of our country, but how we will work together beyond this election to continue our political revolution."

His message seems to imply he hasn't reconsidered his endorsement of Clinton in light of the way her campaign worked with the DNC to rig the nomination process. But when he spoke directly to delegates who support him Monday afternoon, he discovered he doesn't exactly have control over his revolution any longer.

The Washington Post reported on the encounter.

Other headlining speakers scheduled for Monday were: First Lady Michelle Obama, immigration reform activist Astrid Silva, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), another figure who is immensely popular with the socialist-progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Other speakers for the rest of the week include:

  • Tuesday—President Bill Clinton and a group of mothers of several Americans who were killed in police shootings, including Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.
  • Wednesday—President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee.
  • Thursday—Gen. John Allen, Chelsea Clinton, and Hillary Clinton.

The Roll Call of States and votes for the presidential and vice presidential nominees will take place Tuesday afternoon. It's doubtful the superdelegates will change their mind between now and then, but if they do, chaos could quickly ensue.

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