TUESDAY WAS a kind of Decision Day at the convention. The roll-call vote of delegates, the survey Bernie Sanders had requested and — count on it — dreaded, would be held, the expected tallies would be registered and ... that would be that. But the expected perfunctories of the occasion would run up against the human factor, the power of emotions between two brothers and the nation they love.
With the feisty candidate in the audience, Larry Sanders, a delegate representing Democrats Abroad and Bernie’s sibling, cast the final vote of his delegation, for his younger brother in a heartfelt speech during the vote.
“I want to bring before this convention the names of our parents, Eli Sanders and Dorothy Glassberg Sanders. They did not have easy lives and they died young. They would be immensely proud of their son and his accomplishment,” an emotional Larry said.
“They loved the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt and would be especially proud that Bernard is renewing that vision. It is with enormous pride that I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders.”
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AND THE candidate who would not go quietly, the one whose relentless intensity animated the primary season in the best possible way, tried hard not to lose it:
If you were crazy enough to think for a moment that Bernie Sanders was phoning it in for the last six months ... you have your answer:
Paul Simon played “Bridge Over Troubled Water” on Monday. If luck and convention event timing had been better, he’d have been in the hall on Tuesday to play “The Boxer,” a song whose timeless lyric couldn’t have been more apropos:
In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade.
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
‘I am leaving, I am leaving
But the fighter still remains.’
Witnesses told TheWrap that nearly 100 Sanders supporters made their way into the media tent to conduct a silent protest, while other protesters cooled their heels outside.
Finally, on Tuesday evening, Hillary Clinton prevailed in the roll call of states, clinching the Democratic nomination and becoming the first woman to be a major party's candidate for president. Clinton had already passed the 2,382 votes needed to clinch the nomination when — how perfect was this? — Bernie Sanders, her fierce primary opponent, called for a suspension of the rules and Clinton was nominated by acclamation. It was the last act of a very big man in a transformative political campaign.
They say you go to war with the army you’ve got, not the one you wish for (that’s the military’s way of enlisting the perfect/good analogy). Now, with Clinton joining forces with Sanders, they’ve got options between now and November. More or less, the army they’ve got now is the one they wished for.
Over the next three months, we’ll see what they can do about the next army -- the one they hope to build. Together.