|Bernie Sanders' Address to the DNC Convention on July 25, 2016|
Sanders spoke at the Democratic National Committee's 2016 Presidential Convention on Monday, July 25, 2016 at approximately 10:30 pm. Prior to his appearance, a modified version of his "America" campaign ad played with the ending modified to include Clinton.
He walked out on stage while "America" continued to play and was greeted with the evening's most energetic applause and cheers in the convention hall. His supporters refused to subside their cries and thunderous applause in a standing ovation that went on for well over three minutes after he took to the podium. Despite numerous attempts to begin his address, his supporters simply would not relent and continued cheering. At one point he looked a bit embarrassed at their brazenly open display of love and affection for the man who started a political revolution in the nation during one of the most confounding and contentious presidential campaign seasons in modern history.
He thanked the people of Vermont, who "sustained me as a mayor, Congressman, Senator, and presidential candidate" and then thanked his family and wife, Jane. Telling the crowd that he understood his supporter's disappointment with the results not only of the nominating process but in how it was conducted, Sanders said, "No one is disappointed more than I am" and then hoped his supporters would take "enormous pride" at the "historical accomplishments" they were able to achieve.
Continuing his speech, each phrase was interrupted with thunderous applause and cheering, as had been typical of his campaign events. He told his supporters and those gathered in the convention hall:
Never missing an opportunity to chastise the mainstream media that purposefully obfuscated his efforts to reach the American people, Sanders reminded his supporters of the election's purpose:
"Let me be as clear as I can be: this election is not about and has never been about Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates who sought the presidency. This election is not about political gossip, it's not about polls, it's not about campaign strategy, it's not about fundraising, it's not about all the things that the media spends so much time discussing. This election is about and must be about the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and our grandchildren, ending the 40-year decline of the middle class.."
Sanders delivered a shortened version of his stump speech that was approximately 25 minutes long, keeping the focus on the issues that he and his supporters have raised as they launched their political revolution. Every time Sanders attempted to garner support for Clinton, his supporters in the convention hall booed loudly, as they had been doing throughout the evening. His words moved many a Sanders supporter to tears, as often happens.
Most of Sanders' supporters have been vexed with the primary election, alleging that the DNC rigged things in Clinton's favor and actively worked against the Sanders campaign--allegations that appear to have been confirmed by the recent Wikileaks dump of over 20,000 emails from the DNC. They blame Clinton, whom they perceive as being complicit in the alleged election fraud and election rigging, especially as Clinton appointed DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has submitted her resignation effective with the close of the convention, as an honorary chair of her national campaign.
Despite a ban on custom-made or home-made signage, some Sanders supporters were able to get their message out, especially when Sanders vowed to ensure that the Trans Pacific Partnership, or the TPP, "never makes it to the floor of Congress." Both Clinton and Tim Kaine, Clinton's running mate and pick for Vice President, have supported the TPP in the past. Kaine recently stated that he doesn't support the TPP as it currently stands, indicating to many that he might support a future version of it.
Unrelenting, Sanders' supporters continued chanting, "Bernie! Bernie!", which one supporter described as a plea that he remain in the race, perhaps as a third-party candidate.
Watch his inspiring and energizing 25-minute speech in its entirety: