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Politics

DNC Day 2: Sanders delegate says 'This is a coronation, not a nomination'




Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) acknowledges the crowd before delivering remarks on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) acknowledges the crowd before delivering remarks on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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The deep rift in the party is on full display at the Democratic National Convention. Despite polls showing the majority of Bernie Sanders backers saying they'll vote for Hillary Clinton, there are still plenty of holdouts in Philadelphia.

Inclusion, civility and unity were stressed during the first day of the convention, but there was no way around the party's discord. Thousands of Sanders supporters took to the streets decrying the DNC's anti-Sanders emails.

Even progressive favorite Elizabeth Warren was subjected to booing by Sanders proponents during her speech. Other famous faces at the convention who were heckled included Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, who gaveled the meeting to order, and comedian Sarah Silverman.

Although Sanders urged his supporters to unite against Donald Trump in his primetime speech Monday night, not all were sold on Clinton’s message.

Brian Carolus is a Sanders delegate representing the 33rd Congressional District, which includes Santa Monica, Malibu and Beverly Hills. He spoke to AirTalk about why he joined in the jeers Monday night.

“It’s not about the speakers,” Carolus said. “It’s about the content of the message... basically, what we’re doing is we’re protesting the idea of this entire convention being a coronation — it’s not a nomination.”

Carolus: If you saw in every single one of those speeches, they sounded very similar to each other. 'Oh, we have to elect Hillary Clinton as president now, even though none of us have voted yet.' That was supposed to be Bernie Sanders’ night... Instead, every single speaker talked about how wonderful Hillary Clinton was, and how we need to be electing her. There was very little talk of Bernie Sanders except for maybe some passing references by a couple of the speakers. There was nobody there saying, ‘We should be voting for Bernie Sanders for president and here’s why.’ 

We all felt that it was very biased. It was extremely sided toward Hillary Clinton and her campaign. It is especially egregious to us after we saw from the Guccifer email leaks and the WikiLeaks email leaks that the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Clinton campaign were all working together to sabotage our candidate’s campaign and undermine his candidacy. 

Jackie Hawthorne, interim president of the Los Angeles African American Women’s Political Action Committee, is a delegate for Hillary Clinton. She represents the 37th Congressional District, which includes Culver City, as well as neighborhoods in the south and west parts of Los Angeles.

Hawthorne didn't boo Monday night. She said she understood the feelings of those who did, though she did not sympathize with them.  

Hawthorne: Well I was in the California delegation, sitting up kind of high in that section, and I was right behind a very loud [and] disruptive group of Sanders supporters... they were booing at the intervals of different speakers, which in my culture is very rude to do that, and then when we asked them politely if they would sit down because they were blocking our view of the screen... they told us they had a right to stand and voice their discontent.

Initially, it was very disruptive — very loud, blocking our view, holding up unapproved items, booing, and disrespecting us, which of course led to disrespect on our side also.

I understand how they are feeling... They are feeling like they have been abandoned, and they are reacting to that sense of abandonment. I got it! I got it! I don’t mind you expressing that, but please, please, allow me to enjoy the convention.

Carolus emphasized that delegates still had a job to do, and as of Tuesday morning, Clinton had still not officially become the Democratic Party’s nominee.

Carolus: 'Presumptive.' That term is important. It’s a presumption. [Even though] Bernie Sanders endorsed [Hillary Clinton], he has not given up on his campaign. He has not suspended his campaign. He has not released his delegates. All of his Bernie Sanders delegates are still pledged to Bernie Sanders, and that’s why we are here at the convention.

Hillary Clinton officially became the Democratic nominee after a roll-call vote Tuesday afternoon.

Guests:

Jane Junn, professor of political science at the University of Southern California

Sean T. Walsh, Republican political analyst and partner at Wilson Walsh Consulting in San Francisco; he’s a former adviser to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former staffer in the George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan White Houses

Jackie Hawthorne, interim president of the Los Angeles African American Women’s Political Action Committee; she is a Hillary Clinton delegate representing the 37th District

Brian Carolus, Bernie Sanders delegate representing the 33rd District, which includes the Westside of Los Angeles and the South Bay

This story has been updated.