U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation from her post as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee is proof that the GOP isn’t the only party with a harmony challenge on the eve of the national convention.
Where prominent Republicans took a pass on endorsing nominee Donald Trump, WikiLeaks’ release of hacked and embarrassing email exchanges proved that the Bernie Sanders’ camp was right: The DNC was playing favorites, with Hillary Clinton the anointed one.
Ms. Wasserman Schultz announced her decision just as the convention gets underway in Philadelphia.
It is a shame for the long-time politician from Broward County, known for her fervent support of the party, but it needed to happen. Ms. Wasserman Schultz had become a distraction and a liability.
She will step down at the end of the convention. She issued an upbeat news release on Sunday. Insiders said she was not pressured to resign, and it had been her own decision to step down. But did Ms. Wasserman Schultz really have any choice?
“I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future,” she said in a statement.
“I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory.” Ms. Wasserman Schultz now faces a tough re-election bid in her district.
Call it the revenge of the Sanders supporters, who felt, and it appears rightly so, that Ms. Wasserman Schultz plotted against Mr. Sanders’ presidential aspirations, even taking part in trying to set him up with questions about his religious beliefs.
This is a violation of party rules, and her claims of neutrality now sound hollow.
The chairman’s emails were made public as part of the leak of 20,000 DNC emails over the weekend. In several, Ms. Wasserman Schultz snapped at Mr. Sanders’ campaign leaders and seemed to be forever irritated by them.
More hacked DNC emails are expected to be released by WikiLeaks, officials said, which means more embarrassing exchanges may be revealed.
On Sunday, Mr. Sanders said she should have remained impartial during the primary season and didn’t, creating an illusion of a “rigged system.”
Obviously, the timing of the release of the hacked emails is no accident. Her enemies could not have picked a more vulnerable time for Ms. Wasserman Schultz. This is the week to anoint her buddy, to allow Ms. Clinton to finally drop “presumptive” from the title “Democratic nominee.”
She could not be allowed to steal the spotlight away from Ms. Clinton.
But as if to give Mr. Sanders’ supporters, whom Ms. Clinton sorely needs to back her, a pass, the Clinton campaign floated the idea that the DNC email leak was a political ploy carried out by the Russian government to help Mr. Trump get elected.
Far-fetched, yes, but unity is all important this week.
Now, with Ms. Wasserman Schultz out of the way, Mr. Sanders supporters should put aside their grudges and commit to being integral participants to the Clinton campaign.
They can back the official Democratic candidate, just as many disgruntled Republicans have with Mr. Trump.
And Mr. Sanders can be true to his word that Mr. Trump is the real boogyman and lead the way to unity.