The convention activities grind on here in Philadelphia and for those of us battling between the sweltering 107 degree heat index at 100% humidity mixed with the sudden thunderstorms and localized flood warnings, it’s been an enlightening experience. As I mentioned on Ed Morrissey’s show earlier, yesterday I had a chance to talk to some protesters, but this afternoon I grabbed a few moments of time with some delegates inside the convention hall. It was instructive to say the least.
I spoke with one delegate from Illinois who didn’t wish to be named, but had plenty to say. She and some of her friends were obviously Bernie Sanders supporters and they were up to date on all the breaking news regarding the resignation of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as well as her decision not to gavel the convention into and out of order. I asked her if she planned on doing any cat calling and in no uncertain terms was told that if the departing DNC chairwoman showed up she would indeed be booed. Further, anyone who mentioned Hillary Rodham Clinton would be booed. And she suggested that Hillary herself might be on the receiving end of some boos as well.
A friend of hers chimed in and said she’d heard a rumor that Wasserman-Schultz was still in the building, adding, “I’d better not see her.”
I experienced an odd moment of realization when I spoke with a bystander who was obviously a Clinton supporter a few moments later. He was decked out in some of the typical pro-Hillary uniform and regalia and expressed dismay at the young women who were so vocally opposed to the DNC at the moment.
Don’t they realize that the alternative to Hillary Clinton is… DONALD TRUMP!
That’s when it hit me. There is a serious #NeverHillary contingent at the DNC this year but they are one half of a war which seems to mirror the same internecine battles being wages among Republicans. The members of this contingent who I met are most assuredly dyed in the wool liberals and they have no love for Donald Trump or any other politician with an “R” after their name. But they don’t seem to care at the moment. All they know is that Hillary is wrong for them and Bernie Sanders was unfairly shut out of a shot at the nomination. On the opposite side are the party regulars who may or may not be enthusiastic about Clinton, but she’s the nominee and they are focused on the common enemy. Even if you don’t love Hillary, you must at all costs find a way to drag the upstarts back into the tent to avoid a Trump presidency.
You can take that entire scenario, reverse the names, switch out Sanders for Cruz, Rubio or whoever else you liked from the original field of 17and you have the exact same story. There are rank and file Democrats who want more than anything else to prevent a Trump presidency just as fervently as so many of us want to ensure that Hillary Clinton never gets anywhere near the Oval Office. The key difference you’ll want to watch for this week is the media coverage. While much of the press seemed to revel in the lack of unity and internal fighting at the RNC, they seem stumped as to how to explain the same thing going on in Philadelphia.
For the conservative media in the audience, however… it’s just time to break out the popcorn.