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Leonid Bershidsky

Democratic Party Is Pushing Away Its Future

At a party unity rally, a hockey game broke out.
Packed with establishment.

Packed with establishment.

Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The 2016 McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Celebration in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Friday night was a surreal event -- a cross between a fundraising dinner, a rally and a hockey game. Organized by the state's Democratic establishment, its goal was to demonstrate the party's unity despite a close contest between its two presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It succeeded to an extent, but showed that the party may be sacrificing its future in a pragmatic quest for immediate results.

The event, named after two democratic senators -- Thomas J. McIntyre, who served in the 1960s and 70s, and current office holder Jeanne Shaheen -- is the state Democratic party's biggest traditional fundraising gala. It started as a dinner event to support John F. Kennedy and has featured most major presidential candidates over the years. This year it was the biggest yet, with 6,000 people in attendance, according to state party chairman Raymond Buckley.