The Vermont senator was met with applause for three minutes at Democratic convention, but many found his official endorsement of Clinton disappointing
For three minutes, Bernie Sanders stood at the podium and waved to the thousands of Democrats chanting and screaming his name above deafening applause.
A chorus of We want Bernie rang out from Californias raucous Sanders delegation in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. One woman wore a piece of tape over her mouth with the word silenced scrawled across her lips. Another held a sign that read: Not Hillary. Not Trump.
Standing on the stage to endorse his former rival Hillary Clinton, against whom he mounted an unexpectedly serious challenge, Sanders endured sporadic boos from his most ardent supporters when he asked for their support in putting the former secretary of state in the White House.
Theres a long way to go before November, said Cullen Tiernan, a Sanders delegate from California. Shell have to make some concrete commitments instead of the platitudes and fluff that weve been getting all day long.
Tiernan said he did not hold it against Sanders that the Vermont senator had now pledged his support to Clinton and would always be grateful to Sanders for breathing life into the progressive movement.
I want to run for public office because of Bernie, he said.
Several stadium seats away, Amy Erb and Luci Riley, members of the National Nurses United and California delegates for Sanders, watched the speech with pained expressions. At one point, Riley wiped tears from her eyes as she listened to Sanders applaud Clinton.
It was obviously disappointing, Erb said of Sanders speech, but this movement was beginning and brewing long before Bernie became a candidate, and it will continue after him.
Away from the hall, Sarah Hernandez, a 22-year-old marketing officer from Houston, Texas, live-streamed the speech from a campsite in New Jersey. A Sanders supporter, she had taken part in anti-Clinton demonstrations on Monday, which included an action outside Philadelphias city hall at which she and others chanted lock her up, a Republican chant aimed at Clinton.
Its not what a lot of us wanted to hear, she said of Sanders speech. We wanted to hear him lay down the law, saying: This election was rigged from the start, and how if you compare the polls of him versus Trump compared to Hillary against Trump, he wins.
Hernandez and four others from Texas had huddled around a cellphone to watch Sanders speak. It seemed the leftwing firebrands efforts to transfer his support to Clinton had fallen on deaf ears, with this group at least.
From the quick poll of the people Im with, he convinced none of us, she said.
Were all from a red state so the state is going to go for Trump anyway. So in order to make our voices heard we will be voting for Jill Stein, she said, referring to the Green party candidate.
Hernandez did concede that if she lived in a swing state I would vote for Hillary Clinton. But that would be hard.
I respect the decision to endorse Hillary Clinton, but I am definitely not any more for Hillary than I was before his speech, she said. Hernandez was unhappy with some of the measures Sanders had suggested Clinton would back.
Hillary has not supported a $15 minimum wage, so how can we trust her to implement this policy? she said.
Another example was the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal], and Hillary, who once called the TPP the gold standard of deals, did recently come out against it, she said, but she added that opposition to the trade deal had not made it into the Democratic platform.
Niko Klein, 33, had taken part on a march on the DNC on Monday. He has been a firm Sanders supporter but said the Vermont senator was bending reality in favor of what he feels is the most responsible course.
I think he is all about the right end, Klein said. But this is the moment in which he shows that hes willing to compromise his means and I think thats troubling.
Klein said that in endorsing Clinton, Sanders had shown he is essentially willing to accept corruption.
It doesnt mean we wont follow him in his other endeavors, Klein said.
But in this individual calculus around supporting Clinton and not agitating within the Democratic convention further, I think hes lost a lot of momentum.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/26/bernie-or-bust-democratic-convention-hillary-clinton