August 26th, 2008 | Uncategorized

Clinton delegate to young people: ‘Heal all wounds’

delegate.jpg

Dan Schneider (left), a Clinton delegate from California, tried to convince other delegates to rally behind Senator Barack Obama.

By Thomas Kaplan

DENVER, 2:32 p.m. — With pundits bloviating about the so-called split in the Democratic Party, Dan Schneider was mad as hell, and he wasn’t going to take it anymore.

During a question-and-answer session during the Democratic National Committee’s youth caucus this afternoon, the 31-year-old schoolteacher from Pleasanton, Calif., took his turn at the microphone not to ask a question, but to make a plea.  To the young people in attendance, he had a simple request: Throw your support — and your vote — behind Obama.

And it wasn’t just empty talk: Schneider, a Clinton delegate himself, planned to do exactly that.

“I think we could bring the party together right now,” he said in an interview afterward.  “I think that would heal all wounds.”

In an impromptu discussion during an intermission of the caucus, Schneider and several other delegates — prodded on by a few college journalists in attendance — brainstormed the idea of all Clinton delegates taking it upon themselves to vote for Obama. But a few concerns quickly arose: In some states, one delegate pointed out, delegates are legally bound by their pledge.  And might some die-hard Clinton supporters feel insulted?

“The best way to get these people to stop being mad at Obama is to honor what Hillary Clinton did in this election cycle,” said Chad Conner, a 33-year-old anesthesiologist and Clinton delegate from Dallas

But they all agreed on one point: that the so-called divide in the Democratic Party isn’t as deep as it has been made out to be.  “We have a couple loud people creating this,” Conner said. “Everyone thinks this is what all the Hillary Clinton delegates think — and that’s not true.”

That, Schneider said, was his point all along.  “I don’t feel divided,” he said.