It was a somber moment for former presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders as he took the stage at Philadelphia’s Democratic National Convention giving his long-awaited speech that formally succumbed to long-time Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
With a lasting standing ovation, Sanders took quite a few moments to take in the cheering and applauding crowd of supporters. He thanked his campaign staff, his supporters, and all those who donated the average $27, a popular talking point by the Sanders campaign promoting their grassroots movement.
Many Sanders supporters were emotional, some even taping over their mouths “#Silence”, a genuine disappointment, one can only assume, that comes from Sanders not being the nominee as well as the DNC’s recent email leaks that slandered Sanders and his campaign.
It wasn’t long before Sanders’ speech went into the theme of the night: coming together for Clinton in hopes to defeat Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
“Hillary Clinton understands that the president’s job is to worry about future generations…” he declared, trying to convince the vocal Sanders crowd to shift their support.
He also went on to point out amid loud applause and cheer, “This election is about overturning Citizens United. Citizens United is one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in the history of our country. That decision allows the wealthiest in our country…to spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections, and in the process, undermine American democracy.”
Citizens United was a controversial 2010 Supreme Court case that challenged the maximum amount corporations and organizations could donate to a campaign. The close 5-4 ruling was in favor of Citizens United, effectively diminishing spending cap for corporations and their contributions to political campaigns. Citizens United has been a talking point for much of the Democratic primaries, though Sanders’ platform was more vocal about condemning it than Clinton’s until recently.
Sanders’ speech was not without tackling the well-known butting-of-heads between Sanders and Clinton all throughout the primary season. “It is not a secret we disagree on a number of issues… But I’m happy to tell you that in the Democratic platform committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we have by far created the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic party.”
How Sanders’ supporters will see this declaration, that the two campaigns have come together to create a historical progressive platform, is yet to be seen until voting in November’s presidential election.
Certainly, skepticism will be rampant, as Clinton has often been accused of adopting issues, such as the Fight for $15, after Sanders pressed the issue during the primaries. Clinton’s stance on several issues has been criticized as changing, even during the nationally televised Democratic Primary debates.
In the last few moments of Sanders’ speech, he attempted to bring the split Democratic party together by declaring, once and for all, his support for Clinton. “Hillary Clinton understands that diversity is one of our greatest strengths… We become stronger…when all of us stand together.”
Even amid a strong showing of vocal Sanders supporters throughout the entire night, Sanders ultimately ended his speech with, “I am proud to stand with her tonight.”
Time will tell if Sanders supporters are convinced to stand with Hillary, as well. Watch the full video of the speech above.