Since the April 05 Wisconsin primary election, the war of words between Hillary Clinton, Democratic front-runner for nomination in the US presidential election, and Senator Bernie Sanders, Hillary's main contender, has become nasty for the first time.
If the exchange of acrimonious statements continues unabated, this is likely to drive a wedge between the two camps.
Sanders, who had so long refrained from criticising Hillary Clinton personally, burst out on November 06 by saying that Mrs. Clinton, who voted in 2002 to authorise the Iraq war and "made a deal with devil" by accepting big money donations from Wall Street, was "unqualified to be President".
This was possibly in response to Hillary Clinton's comments following her defeat in Wisconsin primary election that "Sanders is not a true Democrat and voted to protect gun manufacturers from liability and has made flimsy proposals to break up big banks".
In response Sanders thundered: "But if Secretary Clinton thinks just because I'm from the small state of Vermont and we're going to come here to New York and Pennsylvania and they're going to beat us up and they're going to go after us in some kind of really uncalled-for way, that we're not going to fight back, they can guess again because that's not the case.
This campaign will fight back, so when you have headlines like the Washington Post, quote, Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president, my response is, well, if you want to question my qualifications, let me suggest this: then maybe the American people might wonder about your qualifications, Madam Secretary."
Hillary Clinton's comment on Senator Bernie Sanders that he does not belong to Democratic camp, is a travesty of truth. Sanders has been continuing to make caucus with Democratic Party in the Senate Bernie since he won from Vermont as an independent candidate.
Any division in the Democratic Party will go in favour of the Republican Party in the presidential election despite division in the Republican Party. A report in the Washington Times on April 08 indicated that Sander's supporters would not come together for the sake of the party if Mrs. Clinton becomes the presidential nominee. The poll conducted by McCarthy-Marist found that 25 per cent of Sander's supporters said they would not back Mrs Clinton in the presidential election. According to national survey, Bernie Sanders edged out Mrs. Clinton by 49 per cent to 47 per cent.
Winning of nomination from Democratic Party depends on the 712 super delegates of the party. According to Associate Press, Mrs. Clinton has received support from 469 Super delegates while Senator Bernie Sanders has 31.
In spite of Hillary Clinton's still lead in delegates, but Bernie Sanders can claim the momentum of winning in six of seven states very recently. New York state holds 247 delegates where Bernie Sanders grew up but Hillary Clinton won election twice as Senator. Primary election in New York state takes place on April 19.
As of now there is a complaint that Senator Bernie Sanders did not get in touch with super delegates seeking their support.
There is an alarming news in the Washington Times of April 08 which says that a number of super delegates of the Democratic Party are receiving emails or abusive phone calls from Bernie Sanders' supporters.
That will damage his goodwill among the party delegates.
The election results from New York state, Pennsylvania and California will decide the presidential candidate from the Democratic Party.
These states hold a large number of delegates. According to Brandon Rottinghaus, Professor of Political Science at University of Houston, "the long-term ramifications could be disastrous for the party moving forward."
This writer thinks that if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination of the Democratic Party, she will face difficulty in the presidential election in November without support from Senator Bernie Sanders.
The Democratic Party needs to encourage the two camps to reach a compromise. The sooner it is done, the better for the party.
The writer is a retired diplomat. writes from Virginia