Five hours into the first night of the Democratic National Convention, Sarah Silverman was over the boos and jeers echoing through the Wells Fargo Center. "To the Bernie or bust people, you’re being ridiculous," the comedienne— and vocal Sanders backer — said after her own call for party unity was panned. Silverman was one of a handful of prominent Sanders supporters to step up to the podium and say she'll "vote for Hillary with gusto" this fall. “Come on, she’s like the only person to be overqualified to be the president," Silverman told the crowd. But those words weren't enough to quell the discord on the first night of DNC. Calls to rally behind presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton ahead of the November election — including those coming from Sanders supporters and surrogates — were met with loud boos from Sanders fans throughout the evening. Party unity was both a major theme and a task at hand for Democrats Monday. While polls suggest a significant percentage of Sanders voters will back Clinton in November, some of the Vermont senator's most passionate supporters show no sign of giving up the fight and backing the presumptive nominee. The controversy and fallout following the release of a trove of private Democratic National Committee communications have made tensions even worse.
Monday's effort to smooth things over and bring the party together featured an all-star line-up of political and Hollywood heavy hitters who echoed calls to come together to defeat Republican nominee Donald Trump. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker and first lady Michelle Obama all delivered stirring remarks. Sanders himself took to the podium at the end of the night to address delegates — and reiterate his pitch for backing Clinton in the general election. After extended cheers and applause that greeted his entrance on the stage, Sanders thanked supporters and outlined the vision for a better country he championed on the campaign trail. The senator from Vermont called on everyone to continue that work.
Based on her ideas and leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the president of the United States.
Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator
"Election days come and go, but the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1%, a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial, and environmental justice, that struggle continues," he said. But Sanders also delivered a full-throated endorsement of Clinton's candidacy, saying she would make an "outstanding president." "Based on her ideas and leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the president of the United States," he said. He commended the former secretary of state's current positions on wages, the cost of college, and health care. And he said the high stakes surrounding the Supreme Court should keep people from sitting on the sidelines. "If you don’t believe this election is important, if you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country," he said. Clarissa Rodriguez, a pro-Sanders 17-year-old from Texas, was one of those voters who is disappointed with the outcome of the primary, including decisions by Sanders and Warren to endorse the presumptive nominee. While she said she's 90% sure she'll come around and vote for Clinton, she's not happy about it. "I can tell you for sure that I’ll be holding my nose for the election," she told us. Clinton is expected to formally secure the nomination in a roll call vote of the states Tuesday afternoon. She will address delegates on Thursday, the final night of the convention. Watch the remarks made by Sanders below: