For months Clinton has led in the polls and the Democratic divide has been muted. The party’s dislike for Trump and his self-inflicted wounds covered over many of her flaws. Trump continued to go off script and short of anger at the world seemed to have little to unify the middle around. Well, that all changed at the GOP Convention.
Trump’s law and order speech was magnificent in describing to voters what he represents. Both change and stability in uncertain times. Somebody willing to blow up the political system and not afraid to take on entrenched interests. Welcome to Trump 2.0, who since last Thursday has not only taken the lead on Clinton in recent national polls, but also stayed on message.
Democrats were emphatic after the GOP Convention that not only would Trump not get a bounce (CNN killed that dream) but that their Convention would be one of unity and steadiness compared to the roller-coaster ride of the GOP Convention. That is not looking very likely today as the party’s Convention kicks off.
First, Clinton selected Tim Kaine as her running mate. He is an affable fellow with some progressive credentials, but he hardly helps alleviate her problems with voters. Secondly, and this is the big kahuna, WikiLeaks utterly derailed any hope of party unity in the run-up to November.
WikiLeaks unveiled over 20,000 emails from the DNC that were revealed by an anonymous hacker. Unsurprisingly, the emails have caused tumult in Democratic ranks. They reveal that Democrats did just about everything in their power to rig the system against Sanders, including using his Jewish heritage against him in West Virginia and Kentucky.
Of course, the emails reveal much more. You can see some of the juicy details here. For a party claiming the title of most unified, it is striking just how little unity there is among Democrats. This was the spark that has seemed to rip the party apart. Just yesterday, amid 61 speeches, dozens of speakers were booed and protesters outside the Convention Hall made their opinions known about the DNC.
Even Sanders seems incapable of bridging this divide. Not that he tried very hard. In his speech last night Sanders did not seem so much united around Clinton as he was against Trump. Indeed, the movement he spawned seems to have moved beyond him. They love and support Sanders but they do not need him leading the cause anymore. Now, millions of Sanders supporters find themselves being told to get behind a crony, corporate, and establishment shill in Hillary Clinton.
The DNC was supposed to be a time for Democrats to unite, but after a single day it appears all it has done is open up the party’s flaws and division for the nation to see.