DATE IMPORTED: April 15, 2016 Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) listens to Senator Bernie Sanders speak during a Democratic debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
PHILADELPHIA – Divisions within the Democratic Party are being laid bare on its convention floor this week, but an effort to rally support behind Hillary Clinton, its presumptive presidential nominee, appears to be making headway.
Delegates loyal to Clinton’s chief primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, protested her nomination and choice of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine for running mate on Monday night – interrupting some of their chief advocates, including Sanders himself, with chants and jeers. Their suspicion that the outcome of the primary campaign was “rigged” by party leadership was fueled by a massive breach last week of the Democratic National Committee’s emails, which revealed favoritism toward Clinton at the very top of the party, which had promised it was neutral in the race for the nomination.
But Sanders closed his keynote speech urging his supporters to get in line.
“Based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.
The choice is not even close,” Sanders said. “I am proud to stand with her here tonight.”
Sanders – the first Jewish candidate to win a US primary contest, much less 22 states – was joined by comedienne Sarah Silverman, who told the raucous crowd to settle down and focus on the general election.
“You’re being ridiculous,” she said, having completed her speech through sustained jeers. Silverman had supported Sanders, but now says she will vote for Clinton “with gusto.”
Sanders made no mention of international relations in his speech, and was instead laser-focused on bringing his supporters into Clinton’s tent to ensure GOP nominee Donald Trump is defeated.
“I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party,” Sanders said. “Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.”
Foreign affairs has not been a major topic of discussion here, though it has been subtext in the party’s broader criticism of Trump, who throughout his campaign has proposed a dramatic departure from decades of bipartisan foreign policy norms.
“Hillary Clinton is absolutely rock-solid committed to our treaty alliances both in Europe and in Asia and our allies Israel and other important partners in the Middle East, and she will maintain those commitments the same way that Democratic and Republican presidents have for decades – on the basis of the premise that this is in America’s interest, it’s in the interest of our allies and it’s in the interest of global stability and prosperity,” Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s chief foreign policy adviser, told journalists in a briefing on Monday.