“Bernie Sanders supporters’ powerful resistance to Hillary Clinton appeared to surpass that of dissident delegates at the RNC. A three-hour protest along with direct shouting at Bernie Sanders by his followers when he urged them not to protest from the floor suggest there is significant anger about Hillary Clinton. The sharpest edges of that anger and resistance are fueled by WikiLeaks information that shows emails indicating much deeper plotting against Bernie Sanders by the DNC than originally expected. It’s not clear whether the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Shultz appeased Sanders delegates. The Clinton campaign decision to make Shultz an honorary chairwoman seemed a slap in the face of accountability for the grievances felt by Sanders delegates.
“By having families of immigrants speak emotionally about the risks of deportation, the DNC focused rhetorical energy on the Hispanic community of America. But the ongoing DNC rhetoric against Trump’s famous wall was an ironic contrast to the wall surrounding the entire DNC Philadelphia site. At four miles long and eight feet high, it is designed to minimize the risk of large protest disruptions at the DNC.
“It appears Trump is using Twitter to drive a wedge between Sanders supporters and Clinton. He bemoans the betrayal of Sanders supporters by the DNC and asks that they look to him for fair consideration of workers. Some Sanders supporters say they are considering this.
“Michelle Obama’s speech earned a standing ovation – an impressive feat given the mood of chaotic anger that dominated the day. The first lady spoke in glowing terms about America and was a sharp rejoinder to her 2008 concerns that she was proud of her country for the first time. The speech offered a positive vision with only indirect negative implications about the DNC rival, Trump.
“Sanders’ pleas for unity and support for Clinton do not seem to satisfy his followers thus far. It seems he has less ability to control his followers than the DNC had hoped.”
Voth, SMU’s director of debate and an associate professor of corporate communications and public affairs, can discuss:
- debate prep, strategy and effectiveness
- comparisons between this debate season and the 2012 election’s debate season