For Two Young Sanders Delegates, All Politics Is New - Even Voting For President
PHILADELPHIA – For many of the older delegates at the Democratic National Convention, the ones with many conventions under their belts, the discord between the Hillary Clinton camp and the Bernie Sanders camp is old hat.
Been there, done that.
But for two 19-year-old Sanders delegates from Warren County – Nick Froehlich of Lebanon and Kelly Schroeder of Loveland – it is all new.
And very exciting.
"It's an amazing thing, just to be here and be part of this," said Froehlich, a student at Miami University. "I mean, I've never even voted in a presidential election. And now I am a delegate at a national convention. It's pretty cool."
Schroeder, a student at Ohio State University, agreed.
She said she and Froehlich are both involved in the Warren County Young Democrats, an organization with about 30 members in a heavily Republican County.
"I've been a supporter of Bernie from the start; I'm just very pleased to be the one chosen to represent him here," she said.
While she is a fervent supporter of Sanders, Schroeder said she has "made my peace with the idea of supporting Hillary for president."
Recently, Wikileaks published hacked emails from a handful of Democratic National Committee accounts. The thousands of e-mails made it clear that the party – despite its claim of neutrality – was working to help Clinton in the primaries.
That, and the fact that many of the e-mails were disparaging of Sanders, caused a huge uproar and, on Sunday, forced the resignation of Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the eve of the convention
"I have a lot to think about with the Wikileaks thing," Schroeder said. "I don't know where I stand. I will vote for Hillary Clinton, but I can't say I will go out and work hard for her. I just don't know what I will do yet."
Froehlich – who has become somewhat well-known in the delegation for his harmonica-playing – said that he was a natural supporter of Sanders from early on.
"As a Democrat in Warren County, I kind of stick out like a sore thumb, which I suppose is something Bernie and I have in common," Froehlich said. "Where I come from, people don't talk a lot about politics because it is assumed that you are a Republican."
He credited his advanced placement government teacher at Kings High School, Lisa King, for "teaching me that you don't just go along with the crowd. You study the issues and you draw your own conclusions."
Froehlich said he is "comfortable" with supporting Clinton in the fall, "even though it has been kind of tough since those leaks came out.
"It's just something that doesn't make you feel good," Froehlich said. "But what are you going to do? After all, it's Donald Trump we are talking about."