PHILADELPHIA -– The Bernie or Bust movement appears to have been busted by Bernie.
After Sanders and Elizabeth Warren each gave Hillary Clinton full-throated endorsements at the DNC Monday night, Sanders delegates’ desire to disrupt the convention seems to be losing steam after roiling the opening day. But all eyes will be on a potentially contentious roll call vote that with formally nominate Clinton Tuesday evening.
As if making up for lost time, Sanders crisscrossed a sprawling hotel and convention center complex downtown to take the message from his speech directly to individual state delegations.
From New York to Wisconsin to Iowa to California to Florida to Montana to Alaska, his message to the delegates was the same: The only way for his supporters to continue what they started is to elect Clinton and stop Donald Trump.
The delegation from California, which has been the source of the most vocal protests, jeered, but Sanders fired back without hesitation.
“It’s easy to boo. But it is harder to look your kids in the face who will be living under a Donald Trump presidency,” Sanders said told his supporters.
But perhaps even more notable was how little pushback Sanders got from the other delegations.
His endorsement of Clinton passed without so much as a cough at the Wisconsin delegation’s breakfast.
“They had a night to sleep on it,” said Dorothy Krause, a Sanders delegate from the state. “The Bernie people are beginning to gain a greater understanding that the platform they helped create will carry in to Hillary’s platform. That the work they did maters.”
Democrats are taking solace in the fact that most of the opposition to Clinton among the delegates has come from states that won’t be in play in November.
Wisconsin Rep. Mike Pocan said his state’s experience as a battleground and its Republican governor have made the Democratic Party more unified. “There are no wings,” Pocan said, “there’s just like one big missile when it comes to Scott Walker.”
Officials from Sanders' and Clinton’s campaigns were in talks Tuesday to have Vermont, Sanders' home state where he controls all the delegates, to vote last and move to nominate Clinton by acclimation. The move would have the effect of both giving all of Sanders' supporters a chance to vote for him while also officially nominating Clinton unanimously.
“Obviously, there’s going to be a boisterous response, but I’m not worried because of what you saw last night,” said Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Clinton supporter who plans to jointly announce her state’s vote with Rep. Keith Ellison, a Sanders backer.
Meanwhile, Sanders warned his supporters against supporting third parties in November.
"They're focusing on very, very important issues,” Sanders said when asked about Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, at a breakfast sponsored by Bloomberg Politics. “But I think right now -- what is it, three, four months before an election -- you're going to end up having a choice. Either Hillary Clinton is going to become president, or Donald Trump."
And the group that has created the most robust infrastructure to support protests on the convention floor seemed to be floundering after Sanders’ speech backing Clinton.
The Bernie Delegate Network had wanted to fight the nomination of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine for vice president, but struggled to find a candidate willing to be considered for the job.
At a press conference Tuesday, they announced they found a candidate. The only problem: They refused to reveal the name because, they claimed, the Democratic National Committee had conspired to prevent them from acquiring the forms needed to nominate the person.
“I think it won't be revealed to history for many years,” said Norman Solomon, the California delegate who founded the network, who later said he would try to get the person to reveal themselves later in the day.
“Yes, there’s a real person,” he insisted, revealing only that it was not an elected official.
And he acknowledged that a survey of Sanders delegates showing major interest in protesting Kaine’s nomination speech is not necessarily representative of Sanders’ nearly 1,900 delegates, since responses were voluntary.
They would not survey delegates on whether Sanders’ should be heeded, he added.