The Hillary For America Twitter account celebrated the candidate's historic nomination with a tweet of a woman brushing away tears on the convention floor. The only problem: that woman wasn't a Hillary supporter but Nida Allam, a regional director for Bernie Sanders' former presidential campaign.
Less than two hours after the tweet went out, Allam responded with a photo of her posing with Senator Sanders with the hashtag, "#StillSanders"
Allam, a 22 year-old now working as a data analyst, told BuzzFeed News she was surprised the Clinton campaign didn't verify the photo before posting it. "I think they picked me for very strategic reasons, meaning my headscarf and ethnicity and the fact I'm a woman," she said.
While Allam is an ardent Sanders supporter, she said she will vote for the Democratic nominee in November — but she won't be happy while casting her ballot. She also cautioned the campaign to be more careful when courting Sanders supporters like herself.
"The fact they're trying to use my emotions for the hard work I've put in to this campaign to her advantage is disappointing," she said of the tweet. "Her staff needs to be more aware that there are a lot of 'Bernie or Bust' people and, in my opinion, the campaign should focus on the issues to win them over and not this level of pandering." Hillary For America didn't immediately return a request for comment.
Allam, who'd been with the Sanders campaign in some capacity since last July, told BuzzFeed News that the photograph captured a particularly emotional moment during delegate roll call. "I think it was taken the moment Senator Sanders was essentially conceding," she said. "I became emotional because it brought up memories of all the hard work and all the stories I've heard from voters over past months...Hearing their stories of people suffering and knowing they were banking on Senator Sanders, I was overcome.
Though she is no longer affiliated with a campaign, Allam said she planned to continue to do grassroots work to help progressive senators and congress members get elected. As for Allam, she, says she plans to run for an open state representative position two years from now in North Carolina and hopefully make a run at Congress after that.
"My friend, Yusor, lost her life in the Chapel Hill shooting in 2015 and that has pushed me to go into politics," she said. "The rhetoric that is being spread on the other side of the aisle is effecting my friends and family and I want to do something about it."