PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — At the very end of a turbulent first day of the Democratic National Convention, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took his final bow of the 2016 Democratic primary.
“Together my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution — our revolution —continues,” he bellowed with his patented pointed index finger.
The rambunctious Sanders delegates went wild as their candidate delivered another version of his stump speech. Some teared up while others shook their “Bernie” signs with all their might.
Even supporters of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton politely applauded.
It was not until just before 11 p.m. ET when Sanders took the stage following an impassioned personal speech by first lady Michelle Obama and one from Senator Elizabeth Warren in full Donald Trump attack mode, that his supporters found a reason to cheer.
At the start of the day, several of Sanders’ Florida delegates booed and jeered at the Democratic National Committee’s chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz after leaked emails showed the party organization had favored the candidacy of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Wasserman Schultz, who had already announced her resignation over the issue, also stepped aside from any role at the convention.
When Sanders later offered his own endorsement on Clinton at an afternoon meeting solely with his own delegates, he was greeted with boos and yelling from his most loyal supporters from across the country.
Then for the first few hours after the convention opened, Sanders delegates interrupted a number of speeches by heckling Clinton’s name and chanting their opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership for example.
Leading into primetime of night one of the convention, the Wells Fargo Arena appeared anything but united.
But Sanders opened with a different tactic Monday, attempting to alleviate his supporters’ anger while giving his strongest endorsement of Clinton yet.
“I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process,” Sanders said towards the top of his speech.
“I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am, “ he added.
“But to all of our supporters … I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved,” proclaimed the insurgent candidate to an eruption of cheers.
Sanders listed a number of accomplishments of his campaign and noted how he had worked together with the Clinton campaign on issues such as higher education.
Sanders also lauded the new Democratic Platform drafting process as a “significant coming together between the two campaigns” producing “by far the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party."
And while scattered boos came as Sanders praised Clinton more towards the second half of his speech, the Vermont senator pressed on demanding (compared to Republican nominee Trump) “Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.”
Sanders said he was looking forward to receiving the votes of his delegates in the roll call which will take place Tuesday night. The candidate had long admitted he nor many others believed the Burlington based campaign would get this far.
Yet while his supporters appear not yet to be fully sold on Clinton, in the end he offered his strongest praise for the presumptive nominee to date.
“Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding President and I am proud to stand with her tonight,” Sanders concluded as his final words of the Democratic primary.