PHILADELPHIA – The Democrats did their best to project party unity last night behind the tear-streaked faces of Bernie Sanders backers, their more animated resistance perhaps dampened by a hailstorm, with hail the size of golf balls helping to drive indoors anyone who might have been inclined to take to the streets to protest Hillary Clinton outside the convention hall.
It’s not a word that perhaps comes easy to those leery of organization, including those who belong to this particular political outfit gathered in Philadelphia. In the words of Will Rogers, “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
But that’s not the way Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) uber-organizer Nick Sacco sees it. The North Bergen Mayor and 32nd District senator has long been an emblem of old school Hudson County political alliance-building, wherein mayors form a united blockade of political strength.
So Sacco, who’s not here, but didn’t mind responding to PolitickerNJ, acknowledged that Democrats at the national level, however hurtful, however painful, will have to come together.
“You have to compromise if you’re going to go out to win,” the veteran Democrat said. “You can make the opposition win by not compromising within your own party. That’s the biggest threat right now. You have to put aside your personal egos to elect the candidates in your party. That should be the cardinal rule. In the beginning there are negative feelings, sure. But you need to put those aside.”
Sacco watched television coverage of last night’s convention.
“I thought they had a good night.,” he said. “Bernie Sanders did a really good job. He has to get his followers in line, because the biggest threat is on the other side of the line. He’s working out compromises within his party, and it will be a lot easier once the platform is clear and his people see Bernie Sanders’s involvement. Of course, the emails have not made life easy. But this party must now say, ‘whatever took place is unfortunate, but we have to win the election.”
Sacco sees a possible parallel, if his party doesn’t get the message fast – to the 1968 Democratic Primary. Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy supporters sat on their hands in the general election and threw victory to Republican R9ichard Nixon over Democrat Hubert Humphrey.
“People who should be Democrats should not waste their votes,” the senator said. “This election is about getting unity, and I think Democrats will be unified.”
Sacco once said, “I don’t like negative ads, but they’re effective,” and in anticipation of what many consider will be a brutal general election season, he noted, “I think there’s a place for negative ads. It’s unfortunate but people respond to it. But also remember, it’s not negative if if’s factual. If it’s personal, that’s a problem, as opposed to negative but factual.”