THE head of the Democratic Party resigned on Sunday amid a furor over embarrassing leaked emails, hoping to head off a growing rebellion by Bernie Sanders supporters on the eve of the convention to nominate Hillary Clinton for the White House.
Lingering bitterness from their heated primary campaign erupted after more than 19,000 Democratic National Committee emails, leaked on Friday, seemed to confirm Sanders’ frequent charge that the party played favorites in the race.
In a statement, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the best way for the party to accomplish its goal of putting Clinton in the White House was for her to step down. Sanders had demanded earlier in the day that Wasserman Schultz resign.
The furor was a blow to a party keen on projecting stability in contrast to the volatility of Republican candidate Donald Trump, who was formally nominated at a raucous convention last week, and overshadowed preparations in Philadelphia for Clinton’s coronation as the nominee to face Trump in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.
The four-day Democratic convention will open on Monday. In some good news for Clinton, The New York Times reported that businessman and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will endorse her in a prime-time speech on Monday, saying she will be the best choice for moderate voters in 2016.
The cache of emails leaked on Friday by the WikiLeaks website revealed DNC officials explored ways to undermine Sanders’ insurgent presidential campaign, including raising questions about whether Sanders, who is Jewish, was really an atheist.
Sanders said Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Florida, had made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party. “The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race,” he said.