Kicking off Day Two of the Democratic National Convention, the largest caucus of the week, the Women’s Caucus, featured guest speakers such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, interim Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile, and actress Eva Longoria at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Brazile was met with applause and a standing ovation as she took the stage.
She began by referring to Abigail Adams’ letter to her husband, John Adams, in 1776. Mrs. Adams urged her husband and the other members of the Continental Congress not to forget about the nation’s women when fighting for America’s independence.
“Abigail, we heard you. Abigail, we never forgot you,” Brazile said in reference to Hillary Clinton’s position as the nominee of the Democratic Party. She led the audience in a pledge: “I pledge to give it my all to help elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, so help me. Amen.”
Shortly after, for the second time in just as many days, Brazile apologized for the email scandal surrounding DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“Mistakes were made,” Brazile said. “But we’re unified ladies and gentlemen.”
Mistakes were made. But we’re unified ladies and gentlemen.
Donna Brazile, incoming chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee
Although unification has been touted as the main goal of this DNC, many delegates do not agree.
Victory Bell, a Clinton delegate from the 17th Congressional District of Illinois, said he believes the Sanders delegates are displaying a selfish attitude.
“Everything that the Hillary delegation is working on, (the Bernie delegates) are opposed to that. That’s not politics. Politics is compromise,” said Bell.
In response to the resignation of Schultz, Bell set his eyes on the future.
“Those things are of the past, and going forward, you move with the candidate,” Bell said.
Kenneth Franklin, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union in Chicago and a fervent Sanders delegate, agreed with Bell.
“There’s still strong Bernie love out there but, the Democratic train is going to have to move forward,” Franklin said.
With Clinton as the presumptive nominee, Franklin said he hopes she will integrate many of the progressive issues from Bernie’s campaign into the Democratic Party platform.
“She’s got to hammer home to where people believe her, believe that she is going to address TPP, she’s going to address fracking, she’s going to address education,” said Franklin. “She’s got to turn it up a notch in specific areas, and that’ll convince the Bernie followers to support her.”
Bell’s wife, Carol, commented on the behavior of some Sanders delegates Monday night on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center.
“Last night was horrible. It was horrible. They were so rude. You could not even hear the speakers,” she said.
Last night was horrible. It was horrible. They were so rude. You could not even hear the speakers.
Convention attendee Carol Bell of Illinois, on Sanders supporters
As Bell and Franklin expressed their optimism for the future of the Democratic Party, Bernie-or-Bust protestors could be heard from Thomas Paine Plaza outside of City Hall. Their anti-Clinton chants were the loudest noise in one of the busiest traffic sites in Philadelphia.
“Hey, hey, ho ho, HRC has got to go!” and “Hillary for Prison!” were shouted fervently.
Sanders urged his supporters to vote for Clinton throughout his many public appearances during the convention. Yet, as evidenced by their protests and vocal opposition, the Sanders delegates may not be following Sanders’ lead.
Bell said he is fearful of what the Bernie-or-Bust people will do after the convention ends.
“It’s a loose cannon, and it’s going to injure a lot of people. And Trump is going to use their behavior and play it right back into his campaign, which is going to make it difficult for Hillary to have the power to move forward,” he said. “It’s a shame.”
At the roll call on Tuesday evening, Illinois delegates cast 74 votes for Sanders and 98 votes for Clinton.
Editor’s note: Taylor Schwartz is a journalism student at Temple University. The Journalism Department at Temple is partnering with McClatchy newspapers, including the News-Democrat, to provide locally-tailored coverage of the Democratic National Convention.