Democratic officials are saying Bernie Sanders’ calling for the resignation of Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is one of the major story lines as the Democratic Party kicks off their week-long convention in Philadelphia to nominate Hillary Clinton in the General Election.
“Bernie had the hiccup with Debbie and she’s stepping down, so I think that was his last Christmas wish other than the platform issues he had inserted in there,” Scioto County Democratic Party Chairman Randy Basham said. “I think his speech (Monday) will tell us where he’s going with his supporters.”
Basham said he plans on paying attention to Sanders’ speech.
“The tone of Bernie’s voice, when he speaks is going to be the major factor,” Basham said. “Everything else is in line, ready to go.”
The ‘oust Wasserman Schultz’ movement kicked into full gear over the weekend, following the publication late last week of leaked emails, which seemed to show a plot by DNC officials to damage Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary.
The information cast a cloud over the party and specifically the convention, which inevitably led to her resignation on Sunday.
“I think the platform issues have been resolved with Bernie,” Basham said. “Then again, since he was holding out even on the newscast before she stepped down, that was one of his last demands that she go, now that that report came out under her watch, it was kind of hard for her not to step down, so she has taken that responsibility and stepped down.”
Sanders, one of several headliners, will obviously grab a bit of the spotlight with his 1,900 delegates showing their approval. In addition, First Lady Michelle Obama, immigration reform activist, Astrid Silva and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren were also scheduled to speak Monday night.
Scioto County resident and Second Congressional District Delegate Alan G. Barlow, a Clinton pledge, also plans on keeping his eye on Sanders.
“Yes, I do,” Barlow said. “He’s pretty much turned to go and help out Hillary and I want to see exactly what he does. He sounds good, but seeing is believing.”
Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge has been selected to serve as chair of the Democratic National Convention. Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Donna Brazile will serve as Interim Chair through the election.
“She’s (Brazille) the number two person anyway, and she’s going to be very well respected and trusted,” Basham said.
Barlow insists he is taking a wait and see approach, hoping for change.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what they all want to talk about as far as something new,” Barlow said. “That was old stuff that they had done before. I want to see a new plan that they’re talking about doing for the citizens. This old thing they had last time, it worked for a while and then people forgot about it. I want to know what they have on their plate that we can look forward too. I met Hillary before and I want to make sure that what she’s saying is doable. Everybody comes and preaches a lot and say there’s things they want to do, but I want to see something that will actually help us here in Ohio.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.