Part one: Four Bernie delegates in the hotel lobby saying hi and their hopes for the week.
Part two: A great conversation on the hotel-shuttle bus with NJ Bernie delegate Fran Ehrlet about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
We missed most of the conference, but arrived in time for the private speech from Bernie to his full delegation.
Special guests Killer Mike, Ben Jealous, and Rosario Dawson.
(Specific highlights from this video are below.)
Here is the room at the end of the previous (TPP) conference in the same room. The room was emptied and refilled with delegates only.
Here is a full photo album from this event.
I was going to live stream this event, but I met Jordan Chariton outside of the room, who said no press was allowed in. So I took his phone and had the honor of being a guest correspondent for TYT Politics. Although I got a great interview with Killer Mike, due to bad cell service, I did not capture any of the speeches.
Correspondent is Melissa Demyan (Twitter @melissademyan) a district delegate from California’s 26th congressional district representing Ventura County and Bernie Sanders! Melissa is only halfway to her fundraising goal. Please donate.
Highlights from this video
0:40: Hotels are taking advantage of Bernie delegates
Me: “I live 25 minutes away but I’m still required to stay in a $469 per night hotel.”
Melissa: “That’s crazy, but California delegates have to pay $720 a night.”
These prices are dramatically higher than is normal for Philadelphia.
5:40-8:30: Stress and controversy
Confusion about Bernie Sanders speaking to his delegation. Fear that going to cause delegates to miss the opening gavel, and therefore being taken advantage of in the same fashion as happened at the Nevada state Democratic convention.
8:30-11:30: What is Bernie going to say? Killer Mike!
How will his delegates react? Killer Mike lurks within the background, and eventually interrupts us.
Melissa: “I’m not a fan of booing. I think if are going to win, we’re going to do it with positivity.”
Jeff: “this campaign is about lifting up without bringing anyone else down. We don’t compare, we don’t say that Bernie is better than anyone, just ‘Bernie is good’. This campaign is about truth, lifting up only, and bringing light into the shadows.”
Killer mike interrupts!
Melissa: “if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know I just met three of the CNN anchors, and that might have been more exciting.”
22:00-26:30: Killer Mike
“About a year ago I fell in love with an old crazy haired white guy.”
26:30-29:30: Ben Jealous
29:30-35:30: Rosario Dawson
37:00-1:01:03: Bernie Sanders speaks to the delegation. One of the most emotional moments of the week
- 43:30: “We won over 1800 pledge delegates. Welcome to Philadelphia!”
- 45:25: “8 million donations averaging…” Delegates: “$27!”
54:00-59:30: “We have got to defeat Donald Trump and we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.”
One of the most emotional moments of the week. This is the first time during the campaign that his supporters have ever confronted, disagreed, and stood up to Bernie Sanders.
“We want Bernie!” (chant)
Bernie: “Trump does not respect the constitution of the United States or civil liberties.”
Delegate, screaming: “Neither does Hillary!”
Bernie: “Trump is a danger for the country.”
Delegate: “So is Hillary!”
Delegate: “We love you Bernie! You can beat Hillary Clinton! Don’t give up! Run independent!”
“Take it to the floor!” (chant)
“Bernie or bust!” (chant)
Jeff and Melissa react to “we must elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine”:
We are the future. We are the revolution. Us.
1:01:10: “Thank you Bernie” (chant)
1:02:45-1:09:30: Delegates Jeff, Melissa, and Dinea reflect on what just happened.
1:03:30: An emotional reaction to Bernie Sanders’ speech, from Dinea Evans, a Washington state delegate.
Crying: “I was elected to support Bernie in this movement.” She chokes up.
I wasn’t coming here expecting that Bernie was going to tell me to vote for Hillary Clinton. I never thought I would hear Bernie tell me to do that.
But it hurts, and it stings to hear our man, Bernie Sanders, say that we need to help Hillary get elected.
Bernie gave me a nice hug and a nice kiss, and I feel a little better… I just love Bernie so much.
I’ve only been doing this for three months. Before this, [I wasn’t involved at all].
Bernie did not say “vote for Hillary”, but it is implied.
1:09:30-1:10:10 interruption by speaker
1:10:10-13:30: Final thoughts. Three delegates predict the future of the Political Revolution.
Jeff: “This is not fun. It’s a job.”
I was going to live stream Bernie Sanders’ private speech to his full delegation, but I met Jordan Chariton outside of the room, who said no press was allowed in. So I took his phone and had the honor of being a guest correspondent for TYT Politics. Although I got a great interview with Killer Mik, due to bad cell service, I did not capture any of the speeches.
This whole conversation is great.
Highlights from this video
0-7:30: Conversation between four delegates about fundraising, and the outrageous hotel costs imposed onto all Bernie delegates.
7-30-9:30: One delegate who also attended the 2012 convention comparison with 2016 so far.
11:30-14:40: “It’s never been about Bernie.”
Debating the difference between “we must get Hillary Clinton elected” and “you must vote for Hillary Clinton.” (Part one of two)
14:40: The future of the revolution
“I would rather see people just shrug that part off this off and be like, ‘Yeah, OK, Hillary Clinton is being nominated here,’ than to be spending all this opportunity, having thousands and thousands of these great progressive here, to talk about what comes next, building political power in our base, building power in our communities. And instead people are spending all this energy doing every time Hillary Clinton’s name is mentioned.”
18:05-20:45: Debating the difference between “we must get Hillary Clinton elected” and “you must vote for Hillary Clinton” (part two of two)
We agree to disagree
Paraphrasing comment from Hispanic delegate: “If you are not voting for ‘the Democratic nominee’ then you are voting from a position of privilege, as someone who will not suffer at the hands of Donald Trump’s racism and bigotry and misogyny.”
This person is not voting for “Hillary Clinton”. They are voting for “the Democratic nominee”.
Part one: Interview with Political Junkie Ken Rudin, formerly of NPR
I’m a big fan.
Follow his new (non-NPR) podcast at
4:00: Debra Wasserman Schultz quitting the DNC and getting an honorary chair position on Hillary’s campaign in the same day is “extraordinarily politically tone deaf.”
5:45: “Debra Wasserman Schultz got overwhelmingly booed by the Florida delegation.”
Part 2: Walking the halls, interview with Josh Fox, opening gavel drops
0-5:20: Walking through the halls and into the main “bowl” area.
Just giving a feel for the place.
3:30: “The name is Sanders. Hi.”
A volunteer in the bowl.
“The name is Sanders. Hi.”
“I voted for you.” Laughs.
5:20-10:20: Interview with Josh Fox in the upper hallway.
Josh is the director of a fracking documentary, and a member of the platform committee, which helped write the platform. He talks about its environmental aspects.
Jeff: “Regardless of the progress made in the platform, do you see the TPP as sabotaging all of that, or are you still happy despite?”.
Josh: “That the Democrats have handed Donald Trump this issue [by not opposing the TPP], just handed it to him in a silver platter, is insane.”
“85% of those under 45 years old voted for Bernie…”
Jeff: “…and Hillary does not seem to be fighting for their vote.”
9:15: “Hillary: wake up!”
10:10: Josh abruptly walks away, practically in mid-sentence.
10:25-13:15: Walking through the hallways again.
11-15: Interview with volunteers checking credentials of those trying to enter the bowl.
Reggie Creed from Westhampton New Jersey. Two years retired. Excited for this opportunity to volunteer at this first convention.
Jeff: “Do you support one or the other?”
Jeff: “Don’t want to say?”
Reggie: “Have to remain neutral.”
Jeff: “If you didn’t have to remain neutral, who would you say?”
“No? I didn’t trick you?” Laughs. “OK thanks for volunteering.”
13:15: Entering the main “bowl” area while the ceremonies begin. Gospel choir is on stage singing “Glory Glory Hallelujah”.
17:00-22:45: “I hereby call the 47th Quadrennial Democratic National Convention to order.”
Finding my seats, the opening gavel drops.
I’m on the floor near the main stage, focused roughly on the performing gospel choir.
19:45: I find the New Jersey section. The opening gavel drops.
“I hereby call the 47th Quadrennial Democratic National Convention to order.”
20:45: My hotel roommate, Richard, introduces Peter Jacob, the only Berniecrat running in the general in New Jersey this year.
22:45: Bertin Lefkovic, New Jersey delegate and my whip: “Hillary’s putting me to sleep.” Laughs.
Two disingenuous speeches by Barney Frank and Latisha Van De Butte, and one genuinely appreciated speech by Diane Russell
Highlights from this video
1:30-3:15: Barney Frank: It was “a fully open debate, in every aspect”
Barney Frank speaks to the DNC.
“On Saturday… The rules committee… Spent seven hours in a fully open debate, in every aspect…”
This is in direct contradiction to our live stream from Saturday, and with the fact that only five Bernie people and 10 Hillary people are on the platform committee.
3:15-4:00: Voice vote. It feels like the “nos” are being ignored.
5:30-7:45: Platitude-filled speech by Latisha Van De Butte: “We are going to open up our democratic process so that the grassroots always has a seat at the table! (original emphasis)”
Speech by Latisha Van De Butte. Platitudes about inclusiveness and how the party is committed to listening to all. Ideas that have not thus far come to fruition.
“We must do everything to ensure that our party carries on a vision that makes us stronger as a country. So, we are proposing the creation of the Unity Reform Commission. This commission has overwhelming support from all members of the rules committee. And together, we’re going to see what’s working, we’re going to see what’s not working, and we’re going to work together to build a stronger Democratic Party, for our children… And the commission will make recommendations regarding unpledged delegates, to be sure that our process reflects our true democratic values, and our unwavering goal at a representative democracy.
And we’re going to open up our democratic process so that the grassroots always has a seat at the table! (original emphasis) We are going to ensure that our party hears every voice and it hours every person with the chance to contribute. And so to all the activists, to the organizers, to the officials and the volunteers and the las familias, and community leaders out there: we hear you. We respect you. And this Unity Commission will work for you to build a lively, growing Democratic Party, today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.”
7:45-10:25: delegates reactions to the speech.
- “Bullshit bullshit bullshit”
- “A whole lot of hot air, whole lot of platitudes. Hillary people need to understand we are not going away.”
- “But Barney Frank said it was totally open and democratic process.” … “HA!”
14:50-27:30: Diane Russell from Maine. Bernie peep!
A rare DNC speaker genuinely enjoyed and appreciated by Bernie delegates.
Email sent Monday afternoon to all delegates from Bernie Sanders about protests.
From: Bernie Sanders <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: July 25, 2016 at 16:48:40 EDT
Subject: Message to delegates
Reply-To: Bernie Sanders <email@example.com>
Dear Bernie 2016 Delegate,
Thank you so much for your efforts on the campaign and your hard work to advance the political revolution. We have accomplished much. Much more needs to be done.
The political revolution is not about one election or one candidate. It is about transforming America and continuing the fight for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. We have to continue to work together to advance the progressive future we all support.
During this convention you represent not just the 13.3 million who voted for our campaign. You also represent the future of our movement.
I am asking all of us to bear that in mind while we are on the floor of the convention. Our credibility as a movement will be damaged by booing, turning of backs, walking out or other similar displays. That’s what the corporate media wants. That’s what Donald Trump wants. But that’s not what will expand the progressive movement in this country.
I know everyone is frustrated, especially by the recent DNC email disclosures. But, as a result of this disclosure Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign. This is a very positive sign.
We have made great progress in the last year. Let’s continue going forward.
I would ask you as a personal courtesy to me, please do not engage in any kind of protest or demonstration on the convention floor.
Paid for by Bernie 2016
(not the billionaires)
PO Box 905 – Burlington VT 05402 United States – (855) 4-BERNIE
This email was sent to …. If you need to update or change your information or email address, click here to update your info. Email is one of the most important tools we have to reach supporters like you, but you can let us know if you’d like to receive fewer emails. We’d hate to see you go, but if you need to do so, click here to unsubscribe.
Liz Maratea, New Jersey Bernie Sanders delegate, on the bus back to the hotel:
Highlights from this video
0-1:20: “Long, torturous, condescending, patronizing, cruel, and unusual”
1:30-2:50: “I will be voting for Bernie tomorrow [in roll call], absofrickinglutely”
Some delegates will be flipping both ways in tomorrow’s roll call vote.
According to Liz, some Bernie delegates will be voting for Hillary, some Hillary delegates will be voting for Bernie.
2:50-5:00: “There was no unity here.”
There was no unity here. It was all a show. They took out entire forests for these signs, to make it seem like we were unified. They took our signs away. Told us we couldn’t hold them up. Told us if we booed, if we stood up and turned our backs…
They took almost all of California’s anti-TPP signs away. And then they shoved California, which is one of the biggest Bernie states, in the corner of the convention like a child.
I wandered. I left New Jersey and I visited Cali and I made some friends. I hung out down in Florida for a while. Because after Sarah Sarah Silverman basically said fuck you to all of the Bernie supporters, I couldn’t just sit there and watch anymore. I had to go for a walk. So I walked around and visited some people. Some really cool people and some assholes. Some really awful people, who were clapping in my face.
They say that ‘Bernie Bros’ are aggressive and they say that we are childish and petty and nasty. I have never met more petulant, childish, just…better people than Hillary supporters at this convention. They were so nasty. The longer he went on and the more people that viewed the same toxic bullshit over and over, ‘Hillary’s awesome, Trump sucks. Hillary’s awesome, Trump sucks’…the more aggressive they got.
And this was all about Trump. It was all about Trump. I am so sick of hearing his fricking name. They were giving him so much free press… But the only thing they’ve got is ‘oh, if you don’t vote for Hillary, you’ll get Trump.’ But nothing about the issues. No issues were spoken about, until Elizabeth Warren got up…
5:20: Reactions to Bernie’s DNC speech, and again on the distinction between “Hillary must win” and “you must vote for her”.
I and other delegates thought that Bernie Sanders said:
“I look forward to all of you [my delegates] voting your conscience in tomorrow’s roll call.”
According to others who said they listened to the tape, it was:
“I look forward to your vote in tomorrow’s roll call.”
Vermont delegate Noah Detzer.
“Bernie is kind of walking a fine line. He has to make some kind of the concessions that he is making in the speeches, otherwise I don’t think they would let him speak. But he’s trying to make sure that his supporters feel heard, and don’t feel marginalized from the start.
9:26: Shyla Nelson speaks highly of me 🙂
Me to Noah: “how did my name came up [with Shyla]?”
“She just mentioned that you’re someone I should get in contact with. She speaks very highly of you.”
Shyla Nelson is someone who I have worked with throughout the campaign. An important figure.
10:20: “I’ll suffer with you again tomorrow.”
Liz’s family is at the hotel, including her husband and breast-feeding two-year-old. She is relieved to be seeing them again.
“Good night Liz. Thank you for suffering with me.”
“I’ll suffer with you again tomorrow.”