Raucous, intense, inspirational. This describes day one of the DNC.
The New Jersey delegation started the day with a breakfast hosted by Ambassador Phil Murphy. Former Pa Governor Ed Rendell gave a passionate speech about the direction of the party and the importance of unifying the party under Secretary Clinton.
The tension between Clinton delegates and Sanders delegates was palpable. The Wells Fargo Arena was intense with chants of "Bernie, Bernie, Bernie" often erupting, only to be shouted down by chants of "Hillary, Hillary, Hillary". There was some tension with Bernie delegates from California and Oklahoma leading some of the chants and interrupting speakers such as Senator Al Franken and First Lady Michelle Obama. During one particularly loud interruption, comedian Sarah Silverman called the protestors ridiculous.
The speeches, however, built to a crescendo with a cap by Senator Sanders that, seemingly, satisfied many of his supporters. Of particular note was a speech given by Anastasia Samoza, a young woman diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age. It was her speech that seemed to turned to tide and lifted some of the tension in the room. She was an outstanding speaker and an incredible advocate for the rights of the disabled. Her speech as most of the others were focused on the policies introduced by Secretary Clinton rather than tearing down of political opponents. This speech and the speeches of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Michelle Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren cleared the air and provided hope and not rancor. These speeches were the antithesis of the hatred and divisive rhetoric heard from most of the speakers at the Republican Convention. In short, day one was had a single message "LOVE TRUMPS HATE".
Senator Sanders' words gave a new hope for a new, more enlightened party. Following the vote on the convention rules and platform, Senator Sanders' camp accomplished much of what it sought out to accomplish during the "revolution". The platform now includes a $15 minimum wage demand, it calls for additional financial reforms and, most importantly, a compromise on the selection and role of super delegates was reached. Short of winning the nomination, Sanders got to most of his goals. This should help to bring the party together. Of course, there will undoubtedly be those outliers who will refuse to vote for Secretary Clinton but it was unlikely they would have done so even if Senator Sanders was not in the race.
PHOTO: Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (l) with Eric Brophy.
Among the NJ delegation was Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ State Democratic Chairman John Currie, Senators Loretta Weinberg and Steve Sweeney, Former Ambassador Phil Murphy, Senator Ray Lesniak, Assemblyman John Wisnewski, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter and a host of other New Jersey politicos.
With a roll call vote and keynote speaker President William J. Clinton scheduled to appear on day 2 it is expected that the party will unite.
Eric Brophy delegate from New Jerrsey. He is an attorney and President of the Wall Township Board of Education.