Nuisance: Thurs 7/28: I’m quoted in the Burlington County Times (NJ): “I’m really not interested in her [Hillary Clinton’s] words, because her words don’t match her actions.”

“There’s nothing that she can say that will change anything that I’m feeling,” Sanders delegate Jeff Epstein, of Maple Shade, said Friday. “If I see her doing things to earn my vote, then that would be wonderful. I’m really not interested in her words, because her words don’t match her actions.”

Original link, behind a pay wall.

Full article text:

With the close of the conventions, the real race begins
By David Levinsky and Kristina Scala, staff writers Jul 31, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, bringing an end to a Democratic National Convention full of protests, parties, speeches and political intrigue, not to mention performances by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

With a little over three months to Election Day, Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, who closed his own convention in Cleveland on July 21, will now try to ride any momentum to a victory for the White House. Recent polls put the billionaire ahead but don’t take into account any post-convention bump Clinton may see. And while the candidates fight it out for the Oval Office, New Jersey politicians will continue to set their sights on Trenton and the 2017 governor’s race, with some early conflict playing out at the convention.

In a political year and a presidential race that have been anything but conventional, here are a few takeaways from the four days in Philadelphia:

Party unity was paramount

Uniting the party behind Clinton was a key theme for all four days, as Democratic leaders tried to bring supporters of Bernie Sanders into the fold following the surprisingly tight primary battle between the former secretary of state and the senator from Vermont. The task became all that more difficult at the convention’s start after leaked emails revealed that several top Democratic National Committee officials had been working against Sanders during the primary.

Sanders’ supporters were vocal and visible throughout the convention, staging several protests outside the Wells Fargo Center and other locations in the city, but Clinton received some high-profile support as the likes of President Barack Obama and vice presidential pick Tim Kaine told Democrats to “Feel the Bern!”during their addresses, while other key party members praised Sanders for spotlighting issues such as poverty, campaign finance reform and corporate greed, driving the party platform and Clinton’s own positions further left.

Clinton also reached out to Sanders’ supporters in her own speech, saying his campaign “inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people, who threw their hearts and souls into our primary. You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.”

“And to all of your supporters here and around the country, I want you to know, I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause,” she added.

The results appear to be mixed, with some Sanders delegates saying they were moved by his own endorsement of Clinton and the words of leaders like Obama and The First Lady. Others said they would support Clinton as the only realistic alternative to Trump.

“The No. 1 goal for everyone in the country right now should be to stop the narcissistic sociopath that is Donald Trump, and the only option to make that happen is Hillary Clinton. You’ve got to deal with reality,” said Jim Keady, a Sanders delegate and recent New Jersey congressional candidate.

Some Sanders followers said Clinton’s nice words didn’t sway them.

“There’s nothing that she can say that will change anything that I’m feeling,” Sanders delegate Jeff Epstein, of Maple Shade, said Friday. “If I see her doing things to earn my vote, then that would be wonderful. I’m really not interested in her words, because her words don’t match her actions.”

Making diversity an issue

Throughout the convention, the Democrats paraded minorities, women, young voters and transgenders onstage, with the goal of building the same diverse coalition that helped elect Obama to two terms and contrast some of the racially-charged rhetoric of Trump, who has called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration and building a wall across the United States’ southern border with Mexico to block illegal immigrants, as well as the GOP platform’s opposition to gay marriage and transgender access to bathrooms.

Celebrating diversity was a repeated theme at the convention, as Kaine sought to welcome Latino voters by speaking Spanish, Clinton referenced her status as the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major political party, and Booker celebrated New Jersey’s status as the first state to have two minority senators.

New Jersey Assemblyman Troy Singleton, of Palmyra, said the party’s diversity better reflected the country.

“I came over on a bus ride with our team and looking at the diversity of the different people who are associated with our delegation. And when I checked into the show last week with the Republican convention, you didn’t see that same level of diversity,” Singleton said. “Our party is often talked about as being more inclusive, but we’ve actually physically shown it.”

The governor’s race was in full swing

For most of America, the DNC was about electing Clinton to the White House. But for New Jersey’s delegates, a more distant election quickly became the main attraction: choosing the next governor.

While over a year away, the jockeying among potential Democratic candidates to replace Gov. Chris Christie was front and center during the convention, as several of the major contenders held breakfasts, receptions and other events designed to garner attention and favor from key party leaders, volunteers and power brokers.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney started things off Sunday evening when he hosted a mammoth DNC kickoff reception aboard the Battleship New Jersey, which was adorned with a huge “Sweeney 2017” banner, a not-so-subtle reminder of his unofficial intentions and status as the likely Democratic frontrunner should he enter the race.

“It says I’m running for something next year,” he said, when asked about the banner, a nod to his Senate seat, which is also up for re-election along with all 120 seats in the Legislature. ” ’17 is a big year.”

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who is considered Sweeney’s chief competition in a primary election for the party nomination, was also coy, telling reporters at a delegation breakfast meeting he sponsored that he held the event to highlight Jersey City’s successes and to promote veterans issues.

“I think anything I do, you guys say it’s for 2017,”Fulop said after the event. “I’m just trying to ultimately do a good job in Jersey City.”

The event also gave Fulop the chance to share his biography, air a video highlighting Jersey City’s aid to veterans. But it also attracted South Jersey political boss George Norcross, Sweeney’s longtime friend and ally, who told reporters that Fulop was a “politically correct politician” who “says what people what to hear.”

Asked if he meant that as a compliment or slight, Norcross was happy to clarify: “I mean it in a bad way,” he said. “He tells people what they want to hear, and he patronizes people.”

Fulop responded that Norcross was not an elected official, but a businessman “who has made a lot of money off the public sector.”

The exchange wasn’t the only example of early campaigning for governor at the convention.

Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and the only declared candidate for governor, also hosted one of the delegation breakfasts where former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell spoke and delivered an unofficial endorsement.

“I never approve of people from one state endorsing candidates of another state, and I won’t do that today,” Rendell said. “But I will tell you that I am impressed with Phil Murphy. His resume is extraordinary impressive.”

What’s next?

Hours after the convention’s end, Clinton and Kaine attended a campaign rally at Temple University to kick off a bus tour across Pennsylvania and Ohio, which are considered key battleground states in play for both campaigns.

Meanwhile, Trump attended his own rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he warned that he would pull no verbal punches in his battle against the new Democratic nominee.

“Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice Guy,” he said during the rally. And for the first time he encouraged his supporters’ anti-Clinton chants of “lock her up.”

“I’ve been saying let’s just beat her on Nov. 8,” Trump said, “but you know what? I’m starting to agree with you.”

The FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private internet server while secretary of state didn’t result in criminal charges, but it has raised questions in voters minds about her honesty and trustworthiness, that Trump and Republican surrogates will look to exploit.

During the Republicans’ convention New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie staged his own mock prosecution of Clinton, accusing her of awful judgement and lying about the email scandal.

“Lets face the facts, Hillary Clinton cared more about protecting her own secrets than she cared about protecting America’s secrets. And then she lied about it, over and over again,” Christie said, adding later, “We didn’t disqualify Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States; the facts of her life and career disqualify her.”

Clinton has fired her own broadsides back at Trump. In her convention speech, she accused him of stiffing contractors and small businesses in nearby Atlantic City, and of manufacturing his Trump-label products overseas.

“Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again — well, he could start by actually making things in America again,” she said.

Political watchers expect plenty more verbal slings and arrows will be fired by both candidates and their campaigns before voters head to the polls. In fact, in a political year punctuated by surprising twists and turns, the most certain prediction is that the upcoming campaign will be one of the nastiest in U.S. history.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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