As Bernie continues to surge in the polls heading into the Iowa Presidential Caucus’ on February 3rd with almost a 4% lead on rival Joe Biden, one can’t help but wonder if 2020 will be a repeat of 2016 for the Sanders campaign.
After initial reports from DNC Chairman Tom Perez, confirmed that former Clinton operatives are being named to crucial committee posts that will oversee the rules and party platform at this summer’s presidential convention in Milwaukee. Wisconsin.
The announcement by Perez caught many Sanders’ supporters by surprise, and then quickly turned to anger after Perez announced the individuals picked to head the committees.
Former Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts along with John Podesta, both of whom were key players in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, in fact, Podesta served as Clinton’s campaign manager.
Sanders supporters are especially leery of a repeat performance by the DNC’s open hostility to the populist Democratic/Socialist’s radical agenda and are concerned that the DNC will once again purposely sabotage Sanders’ chances of winning the nomination, despite the fact that some polls have the independent Vermont senator leading the pack going into the crucial election cycle.
While the Sanders campaign didn’t directly respond to the appointment of former Clinton surrogates, Nina Turner, the national campaign co-chair for independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, called the move “a slap in the face,” adding, “If the DNC believes that it’s going to get away in 2020 with what it did in 2016, it has another thing coming.”
Yasmine Taeb, a DNC committee member and a supporter of the senator’s 2016 presidential campaign, acknowledged to The Hill, that “there’s a very small number of appointments of allies to Sen. Sanders.”
Adding, “The appointments also include individuals that are outright hostile to Bernie Sanders and his supporters,” she added. “It’s not the message the DNC should be sending to the grassroots right now when we’re all working aggressively to defeat the racist in the White House.”
DNC National Press Secretary Brandon Gassaway responded to the growing frustration among Sanders’s supporters stating through a press release that only a “small fraction” of those who would ultimately make up the full committees.
Adding, “The remaining appointments will be made based on each state’s election results. 2016 presidential preference was not considered for this convention’s appointments. We are grateful for these appointees’ commitment to the party and look forward to an energized convention where we will nominate the next president of the United States.”
Which sounds all well-and-good, if you ignore the treasure trove of leaked documents by WikiLeaks of 2016 emails and personal correspondence between then DNC honcho’s looking to subvert the Sanders campaign on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
In one series of emails dated May 21st, 2016, DNC Deputy Communications Director Mark Paustenbach writes to his counterpart DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda regarding how to construct an anti-“Bernie narrative” focusing on the fact that he “never ever had his act together.”
In another email dated May 5th, 2016, DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall attempted to position Sanders’ in a negative light focusing on Sanders supposed atheism.
Marshall, of course, is careful not to name Sanders by name in the email stating; “It might make no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in God? He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points of difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
In yet another email exchange dated May 19th, 2016, this one from the DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Miranda and Paustenbach, she writes, “The Israel stuff is disturbing,” in reference to a linked Washington Post article which states:
“Sanders plans an aggressive effort to extract platform concessions on key policies that could prompt divisive battles at a moment when front-runner Hillary Clinton will be trying to unify the party. Among other issues, he plans to push for a $15 national minimum wage and argue that the party needs a more balanced position regarding Israel and Palestinians, according to a Sanders campaign aide who requested anonymity to speak candidly.”
Fast forward to 2020, and you’ll hear from party watchers that Perez and his team had nothing to do with the disastrous 2016 convention regarding the outright bias by DNC leaders favoring Clinton over Sanders.
However, with Sanders rising in the polls and a bubbling Biden dealing with past corruption scandals, Sanders’s supporters are becoming increasingly uneasy.