The DNC Summer Meeting gives candidates a chance to address DNC members and state party chairs who will have voting spots at next year’s Democratic National Convention.
Here's what CNN had reported yesterday about the speeches from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. (Senator Bernie Sanders had not yet spoken at the time — and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb did not attended the DNC meeting).
Hillary Clinton acknowledged the importance super delegates, party activists, leaders and elected officials whose support counts to the eventual delegate that decides the party's nominee. The campaign is already hyper-focused on the number of super delegates, and Clinton's top aides receive daily briefings that tally their super delegates — and they feel very confident in their super delegate strength.
Lincoln Chafee spoke before Clinton, delivering a far more subdued speech that was not that well received. Chafee noted during his speech that in 30 years of public life, he "has had no scandals." Many of the DNC members took that at a shot at Clinton, who has been dogged by controversies and scandals for much of her career. There were audible boos from the audience. (Chafee told reporters after the speech that the line was not aimed at Clinton.)
Martin O'Malley charged the Democratic party with "circling the wagons" around Clinton. "Until we start having debates, our party's going to be defined and branded by questions like: What did Secretary Clinton know, when did she know it, and when will the FBI conclude its investigation?" DNC officials say it is highly unlikely that the party will sanction any more debates, even with O'Malley's complaints. It is also unlikely, they say, that the party will lower their strict rules about participating in unsanctioned DNC debates.
Not speaking at the event was Senator Jim Webb. His spokesman, Craig Crawford, said: "We saw no plan offered by DNC officials for meaningful interaction with their members. Time-limited 10 minute speeches and a hospitality room? Direct mail vendors probably get more exposure." Candidates like Webb and O'Malley have openly complained about the DNC's ties to the Clinton campaign. Those complaints grew louder on Thursday when the DNC and Clinton's team signed a joint fundraising agreement, allowing the current Democratic frontrunner [Hillary] to raise money for the party.
VP Joe Biden also didn't attend the DNC Summer Meeting. The National Review's headline reads: Biden Buzz Fizzles at DNC Summer Meeting.
Bernie Sanders was the last to speak. Embedded below is a short edited version of Bernie Sanders' speech — followed by a short edited version of Hillary Clinton's speech.
After listening to both Bernie and Hillary speak, I had asked myself two questions:
- What did Bernie say that the vast majority of the American people wouldn't also agree with?
- Was there anything at all that Bernie had said that any supporter of Hillary Clinton (or any of the other attendees at the DNC ) would have disagreed with? In other words (and despite the "baggage" Hillary carries, and ignoring her and her husband's past and current controversies), would any of the DNC attendees prefer Hillary over Bernie simply because she is a woman? (Personally, if Bernie hadn't ran and Warren did, I would have supported Warren.)
I also noticed that the mainstream media was mostly reporting about Hillary's speech, and particularly about her comments on Donald Trump. But then again, that's the mainstream media for you — always sensationalism over issues.
Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey criticized Clinton and the other Democrats in town for their summer meeting: “This is a disaster scenario unfolding for the Democrats. Hillary Clinton is crumbling; they know the concept of a Joe Biden candidacy is far better than its reality, and the only one generating enthusiasm is the [democratic] socialist, Bernie Sanders.”
Below are the C-SPAN links for all the candidates full speeches:
The HuffPost pollster is currently tracking 120 polls from 22 pollsters for the 2016 National Democratic Primary (updated August 27, 2015):
Bernie Sanders Fiery Speech Amps Up Crowd at DNC
2016 Presidential Candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), addressed the Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 28, 2015. He covered everything — from corporate America to mass incarceration to immigration reform — while delivering a blistering speech hammering income inequality in America and stating that the Democrats will not hold the White House if they continue to deliver “establishment politics and establishment economics.”
“What we need is a political movement which is prepared to take on the billionaire class and create a government which works for all of us and not just corporate America and a handful of the wealthiest people in this country,” Sanders said.
Hushing the crowd as they began chanting, “Bernie! Bernie!” Sanders continued, “In other words, we need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one that is part of that establishment.”
“We will end the obscenity of living in a country where the top one tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent,” he stated. “That is not the kind of economy that we want. We need a movement that tells Wall Street that when a bank is too big to fail, that bank is too big to exist and we’re gonna break ’em up!”
Sanders also called for defeating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying: “Corporate America has got to start investing in our country, not just countries all over the world,” before adding, “We need a movement in this country that says every worker deserves a living wage that understands that the current minimum wage of $7.25 is a starvation wage and that we are going to raise that wage — over a period of a few years — to 15 bucks an hour.”