by Lanny Davis – 7/26/16
This is the second installment in a daily series chronicling contributor Lanny Davis’s experience at the Democratic National Convention as a Maryland delegation member of the Convention Credentials Committee. Read the first installment here.
Sorry, Donald Trump, and all the hyped-up talking heads on cable media: The “controversy” and “division” among Democrats and former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) you predicted and talked about all weekend and most of Monday just didn’t happen last night.
To the contrary.
Here is a more apt word as to what happened: pffft.
That is the sucking sound of the air escaping from the over-hype balloon of “controversy” that led to the piling-on storyline all day on Monday on all the cable channels and in major print media: That the Democrats are deeply divided and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) email controversy would continue to embitter Sanders supporters throughout the convention.
Not to say the email controversy wasn’t worth some coverage.
It probably took a day or two longer than it should have to cut to the chase and end the controversy through the resignation of the DNC chair, Rep. Deborah Wasserman Schultz (Fla.). But by mid-afternoon on Monday, Wasserman Schultz bravely took responsibility and resigned — and I only have the greatest respect for her past public service and her decision to put this controversy behind her and all of us, as hard as that must have been for her to do.
But we must all note the singular indisputable facts: Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with these emails, did not approve them and took the lead in getting the issue behind us and an apology issued to Sanders.
And then came last night.
First, we had the remarkable and landmark speech of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker proclaiming “we will rise.” It was a speech whose greatness, inspiration and audience effect could be favorably compared to the three most memorable Democratic convention speeches of the last 30 years: Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (Mass.) “The dream shall never die” speech in 1980; Gov. Mario Cuomo’s (N.Y.) “Tale of two cities” in 1984; and then-State Sen. Barack Obama’s (Ill.) keynote speech in 2004, the one that led to a direct path to the presidency in 2008.
And then there was Michelle Obama. The first lady gave the most inspiring and best-delivered speech endorsing Clinton of any I have heard in a long time — and that is a long time, since I go back over 46 years with Hillary, whose last name when I first met her at Yale Law School was then Rodham. Thank you, Michelle.
And then the liberal firebrand, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, set forth the Democratic Party’s progressive agenda and provided, as usual, a devastating takedown of the dangerous and reckless Trump.
And what happened to all the hyped-up controversy by Trump and the media all through the day about the DNC emails?
So, at the end of Day One, there was joy among Democrats in unity and purpose — no boos to speak of, no insulting each other as Trump couldn’t resist doing with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — even the day after his nomination.
Now, just wait for tonight, when former President Bill Clinton, the master of all masters at bringing people together and convincing even Republicans that we have more in common as a nation than we do that divides us, speaks.
No matter how hard Trump and the media try to drum up controversy, it won’t happen with Bill Clinton as the star attraction. Unity has returned to the Democratic Party, and Bill Clinton will only reinforce it. That is his way.
Of that, you can be certain at the end of Day Two.
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Lanny Davis is co-founder of the Washington law firm Davis Goldberg Galper PLLC, and Trident DMG, a strategic media firm specializing in crisis management. He served as special counsel to President Clinton from 1996 to 1998 and is a regular columnist for The Hill newspaper. He has been a friend of Hillary Clinton since they were students at Yale Law School together in 1969-70.
To read the column on The Hill, click here.