A week before the start of the Democratic National Convention, its chairwoman, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, strolled into the arena — of the opposing party’s presidential convention.
Heads turned. What’s she doing here, mouthed incredulous Republicans at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
But Wasserman Schultz, persona non grata at the GOP, wasn’t engaging in covert political ops. She was being escorted into one of CNN’s makeshift studios to do what she does best: aggressively deliver the Democratic Party line.
“We should never let Donald Trump anywhere near the White House,” she said in another CNN appearance later in the week.
Consider it a warm-up for the Democratic convention, which begins Monday in Philadelphia and which will mark the culmination of more than a year’s work for the Weston congresswoman.
For Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee, the convention will feel like a coronation. For Wasserman Schultz, the target of devotees of Clinton rival Bernie Sanders, it will probably feel much different. The woman tasked with holding the national party together is one of the reasons some of them feel divided.
On Friday, the WikiLeaks website published a trove of more than 19,000 Democratic National Committee emails that detail the party’s rancorous relationship with Sanders’ campaign. Last month, Wasserman Schultz acknowledged a “serious” email breach, that people knowledgeable about the incident blamed on Russian hackers.
UPDATE: CNN reports Wasserman Schultz won't deliver a convention speech -- unlike her Republican counterpart Reince Priebus last week -- "to keep the peace" among delegates in the wake of the email leak.