Sanders Gets on Board with Clinton
Senator Bernie Sanders made a personal request at the Democratic Convention Tuesday night to suspend the rules and accept Hillary Clinton’s nomination by acclamation, removing the requirement for a final delegate vote count and, instead, accepting a voice vote from the floor.
The move was a final surrender by Sanders and a clear message to his supporters that he would not seek a floor fight for the Democratic nomination. Although Sanders had already publicly endorsed Clinton before the start of the Convention here in Philadelphia, his supporters were still looking for ways to swing the nomination to him.
During his prime time speech on Monday night, Sanders delivered his unqualified endorsement of Clinton and tried to pursuance his supporters to follow suit.
““Any objective observer will conclude that — based on her ideas and her leadership — Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States,” Sanders said Tuesday night.
Sanders supporters had already held rallies around Philadelphia in a show of loyalty to the political revolution Sanders’s campaign championed. In the convention hall, supports held Sanders signs, wore shirts, and chanted “Bernie, Bernie” during every speech of the night.
“I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process,” Sanders said. “I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am.”
Then Sanders made it clear to his supporters that this election was too important to remain in the sidelines given the alternative to Clinton.
“If you don’t believe this election is important, if you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country,” he said.
One of the most powerful moments of the night was delivered by comedian and actress Sarah Silverman, who campaigned for Sanders during the campaign, but has now endorsed Clinton. Silverman spoke earlier in the night alongside Minnesota Senator Al Frankenstein, a former comedian himself.
“Hillary heard the passion of the people, the people behind Bernie, and brought those passions into the party’s platform, and that, that is the process of democracy at it’s very best,” she said. “Hillary is our Democratic nominee and I will proudly vote for her,” Silverman declared.
Silverman’s comments were greeted with thunderous applause from most of the delegates, but undeterred Sanders supporters booed. That’s when Silverman appeared to react with a mix of seriousness and comedy in an attempt to calm the turmoil.
“To the Bernie or Bust crowd,” she said with only a slight smile, “you’re being ridiculous.”
That comment may have helped start the transition for many Sanders supporter coming to grips with the reality of the loss of their champion in Sanders.
“I am still with Bernie, but now that he’s officially out and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, I will vote for her,” said Manuel Gomez, a Sanders supporter from New Jersey. “I could not live with myself if I didn’t vote and Trump won by one vote,” Gomez added.
After the nomination was official, several hundred Sanders supporters left the convention floor and flooded the media tent outside of the building. They staged a sit-in to protest what they feel was a bias against Sanders by Party leaders, including DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
A recent release of emails by WikiLeaks revealed negative comments about Sanders by Party staffers but no evidence has surfaced that any actions were taken that adversely affected Sanders’ campaign.
“Hillary Clinton received more votes that Bernie Sanders, and she won enough delegates to claim the nomination,” said Christina Lopez, a Clinton supporter from Philadelphia that attended a pro-Clinton rally outside the convention. “This is the definition of Democracy at work, and, if Sanders and his supporters really believe in the process, they should now join us to defeat Donald Trump,” she added.