PHILADELPHIA — I thought Hillary Clinton had an advantage in the presidential race until President Barack Obama’s campaign manager said there was nothing to worry about.
As the Democratic National Convention kicked off in Philadelphia, there was significant unrest both within and outside the official activities.
Early on Monday, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was booed at the Florida delegation breakfast, which should have been a friendly, home-state event. She went from scaling back her presence to gaveling in and gaveling out the convention to deciding not to step on stage at all, all within a few hours.
Later in the afternoon, hundreds of Bernie Sanders’ supporters screamed at delegates and the media through two layers of thick metal fencing as they entered the Wells Fargo complex.
Inside the arena, a small contingent of the Vermont senator's supporters loudly booed and jeered every time Clinton’s name was mentioned from the podium. Even when comedian Sarah Silverman, a recovering Sanders’ supporter, called for the senator’s backers to vote for Clinton, she was booed by a segment of the audience.
But none of that phased David Plouffe, who managed Obama’s historic 2008 campaign.
“No bed-wetting. Dems will leave Philly after a great convention with mo[mentum] and Clinton will enter August with strong electoral college advantage,” he tweeted.
I immediately recognized the nocturnal reference.
In early 2010, Plouffe took to The Washington Post op-ed page to lecture Democrats on the Hill about “no bed-wetting” when it came to supporting a “meaningful health insurance reform package” and other big-ticket items. Plouffe also told fellow Democrats to “have the guts to govern.”
Later that year, dozens of vulnerable Democratic members put their political careers on the line and voted for the polarizing Affordable Care Act, only to later feel pushed off a plank without a life preserver.
Democrats lost 63 House seats and the House majority (they’ve been in the minority ever since), as well as six Senate seats.
Many congressional Democrats felt deserted by Obama and believed he should have hit the campaign trail to sell the legislation to the American people after it passed, instead of waiting until he was up for re-election.
Just because Plouffe misread the 2010 landscape doesn’t mean that Donald Trump will defeat Clinton in November. But it’s a reminder that bold proclamations, even from people who have had considerable success, should be taken with a grain of salt.
The Democratic Party is likely to unify against Trump between now and November. But the various demonstrations from Monday are a reminder that the wounds of the primary are still very raw and Clinton doesn’t automatically have the full backing of Democrats as the nominee.