Despite early burn, Sanders ignites the crowd at first night of DNC



Comedian Sarah Silverman may have called out Sanders supporters early in the evening, but ultimately it was the Vermont senator himself who had the last laugh.

Silverman, who’d been a staunch Sanders supporter for much of his campaign, made the comment while sharing the stage with comedian-turned-Senator Al Franken on the first night of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Arena.

The two acknowledged they were stalling during their prolonged introduction for singer-songwriter Paul Simon, and Silverman’s comment came after a short, silent moment on the stage.

“To the Bernie-or-bust people, you’re being ridiculous,” she said, barely cracking what seemed like a perpetual smile on her face.

The line earned her an immediate, loud round of boos from the pockets of Sanders supporters scattered throughout the arena. Her argument echoed many other speakers’ reasonings: HIllary Clinton is tough, qualified — perhaps “the only person overqualified to be President,” Silverman said — and if she’s the Democratic candidate, then she’s the one to unite behind to defeat Donald Trump.

The booing eventually subsided as Franken pulled together an observation that he, an early Clinton supporter, and Silverman were like a “bridge” between the two factions of the Democratic party, alluding to Simon’s impending performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

But that dissatisfaction didn’t dissipate. Nearly each speaker before and after, even the likes of Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren, endured a round of jeers when their speech pivoted from principles to promoting the Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate.

Those crowd-members also led the loudest cheers of the night, by far, when Bernie took the stage, making him the only person who had to wait for the crowd to die down before he could speak.  

Ironically, he got the most resounding cheers than anyone else when he declared his own support for Clinton. The crowd was even louder when he said he was looking forward to their presence at roll call the next day, alluding to the fact that delegates could still cast votes for him, despite Clinton being the presumptive nominee.

“Thank you for being here … I look forward to your votes during the roll call tomorrow night.” He said early on.

But if that call seemed to signal an opportunity to snatch the nomination from Clinton, the rest of his speech was pointed in its support for Clinton and the work they’d already done together.

The Democratic platform now includes many hallmarks of the Sanders campaign, including  breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street, passing a “21st-Century Glass-Steagall Act” and opposing “job-killing” trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

“There was a significant coming together between the two campaigns, and we produced by far the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party,” he said.

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