Skip To Content
Breaking News

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Will Skip Democratic Convention Amid Smear Scandal

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, just two hours before she was set to open the Democratic National Convention, opted to stay away from the stage

“I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention,” Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and a Florida congresswoman, told her hometown newspaper, the Broward County edition of the Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Wasserman Schultz announced over the weekend that she would step down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee by the end of this week because of leaked emails showing animus by her and her staff against Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator from Vermont who had mounted a surprisingly strong challenge against Hillary Clinton.

Clinton is now the nominee, but Sanders, the first Jewish candidate to win major nominating contests, has for months charged Wasserman Schultz, who is also Jewish, with tipping the scales against him.

There were proposals in the emails to undercut Sanders, but none of these were shown to be acted on. Still, the taint of bias meant Wasserman Schultz’s resignation was inevitable. She hoped to save face by retaining a speaking role at the convention, although both the Sanders and Clinton camps were wary of the prospect.

That seemed increasingly untenable after Wasserman Schultz’s homestate delegation met her at the daily delegates’ breakfast with a mixture of cheers and boos.

Clinton’s campaign has taken on Wasserman Schultz as a top surrogate.

“I stepped down the other day because I wanted to make sure that having brought us to this momentous day and to Philadelphia and planned the convention that is going to be the best one that we’ve ever had in our party’s history that this needs to be all about making sure that everyone knows that Hillary Clinton would make the best president,” she said.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.