At the Florida delegation breakfast this morning, Wasserman Schultz gave a speech, or rather shouted in vain over chants of “Shame!” from an ornery crowd of Bernie Sanders supporters. They held signs reading “E-MAILS” and “Thanks for the ‘help’ Debbie!” And this was the reaction in Wasserman Schultz’s home state.
The crowd was initially fairly warm, giving Wasserman Schultz a standing ovation and chanting, “Debbie, Debbie!” She said, “I can see there’s a little interest in my being here.” But the Sanders stalwarts quickly rushed to the front of the podium, and boos and shouts rained down. Wasserman Schultz first tried to calm down the crowd, then invoked a shooting death last night in Fort Myers, Florida. But it was no use. When she mentioned that she spoke to Hillary Clinton last night, and that Clinton “thanked me for my service,” several people yelled, “Sure she did!”
The speech, such that it was, lasted only about eight minutes. Television cameras quickly fanned out to capture anyone in either a “Bernie for President” or “Debbie for Congress” T-shirt. “We were surprised she was here,” said one Bernie fan, as four cameras crowded around him. “But it should not go unnoticed.” Elaine, a Wasserman Schultz supporter, responded to another reporter: “The anger is coming from people who don’t know Debbie.”
Those eight minutes probably represented peak divisiveness in Philadelphia (although scattered “Bernie!” chants have broken out at the California breakfast as well). But if Wasserman Schultz is still thinking of gaveling open the convention—or Lord help us, trying to speak—that may have given her other ideas.