DemCon 2016: Policy, Policy, Policy, and Bernie

Sanders Supporters Dominate Convention Emotion Monday

Susan Rose

Delegate Breakfast. The heat is still horrific in Philadelphia, which hosted the first full day of the Democratic convention yesterday.

Each of the four days begins at 8 a.m. with a delegates breakfast, at which we are given our credentials for the day. Security is so tight that we have to register each day for our badges. Every morning has a different list of speakers. Monday’s group included Nancy Pelosi, John Chiang, Barbara Lee, Alex Padilla, and Betty Yee. It was a raucous meeting, with Bernie supporters booing many of the speakers. It did not bode well for a peaceful convention.

Day One. The majority of Monday was spent at the Wells Fargo Convention Center. A long series of political and celebrity speakers took the stage and talked about immigration, health, education, and disabilities. The emotional level in the arena was heightened because of the continuing intensity of Bernie supporters. Halfway through the evening, Bernie supporters quieted down. Rumor went through the arena that Bernie himself had sent an email requesting his supporters tone it down.

The highlights of the evening were speeches from First Lady Michelle Obama and Bernie himself. Michelle Obama talked about the importance of this election to her daughters and all children. Translation: the election of Hillary would be a role model for all young girls and women. She scored and brought the house down.

But the focal point of the evening was Senator Sanders and the message he was sending to his troops. He brought it home by emphasizing the issues that drove his campaign and the need to elect someone who could carry forth on the agenda of their revolution. He gave strong support to Hillary by saying, “I am proud to stand with her.” Will this bring Bernie’s supporters to Hillary’s camp? Too early to tell.

One important point for this evening.

The Democratic convention was about issues and policies. Most often, all speakers discussed issues and the need for policy change. This was a clear difference from the Republican convention last week, which was loaded with vitriol and personal attacks. The arena was full of signs tonight — my favorite was “Love Trumps Hate.”

Susan Rose, a former Santa Barbara County supervisor, attended her first Democratic National Convention in 1960 as a college student. She’ll be writing about the 2016 convention this week at The Santa Barbara Independent.


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