Posted: 11:28 pm Monday, July 25th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania –
On a day that featured public discord among Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont called on delegates at the Democratic National Convention to join behind Hillary Clinton in November, even as hundreds of his supporters routinely booed and jeered speakers who advocated her election.
“Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding President,” Sanders said in the final speech of the convention’s first night.
“Hillary Clinton must become the next President of the United States,” Sanders said, as he pressed his supporters to rally behind the Democratic nominee.
While there were strong cheers for Sanders, earlier in the day, Sanders had been booed when he urged his supporters to back Clinton – and some of them still resisted during his convention address.
The Sanders speech came after an opening day of the Democratic National Convention that at times sounded more like a football game, as supporters of Sanders and Clinton tried to outshout and out yell each other.
For the first 90 minutes of the convention, the mere mention of Clinton’s name would send Sanders supporters into action, as they not only booed Clinton, but interrupted the opening prayer and left several speakers stammering up on the podium.
“We are hear to nominate Hillary Clinton, because of her,” – but that was all that Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) could say, as the boos swelled all around him.
“Excuse me,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) in a frustrated tone, as she tried to give an opening speech.
At one point, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) was giving a speech, and from up high in my media seats, it sounded like dozens of people were yelling, screaming, booing, jeering and more.
Sen Merkley, Bernie's sole Senate backer, exits to mix of applause and boos after calling for unity
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) July 26, 2016
Sanders delegates even booed Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), who were the first two supporters of Sanders in the Congress – their offense is that they are on board with Hillary Clinton now.
But as the evening wore on, the boos subsided, as even Sanders supporter comedian Sarah Silverman poked fun at the Bernie backers.
“Can I just say – to the Bernie or bust people you’re being ridiculous,” Silverman said, getting a nod of agreement from Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).
And by the time First Lady Michelle Obama hit the stage, there were loud cheers for her endorsement of Clinton.
“I want a President who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters,” Mrs. Obama said, as she weaved implicit criticism of Donald Trump into her speech.
I'm saying this as a partisan who takes the other side seriously; this speech is a grand slam for Dems. Over the back wall, ball in orbit.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) July 26, 2016
“I trust Hillary to lead this country,” the First Lady added.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.