Dems Who Backed Hillary Clinton in Primary Now Say Bernie Sanders ‘Changed America’
By Will Bredderman
A who’s who of New York’s leading liberal elected officials paraded across the stage at tonight’s Working Families Party gala, where Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders served as the marquee speaker. And each one ladled praise on the self-described democratic socialist’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, which the labor-backed third party supported in New York’s April 19 primary—but not one of the Empire State pols did.
“My homeboy, and dear friend, and fellow Madison High School graduate, who you will hear from soon, Bernie Sanders,” was how Schumer alluded to his fellow native Brooklynite-gone-to-Washington
“He has changed America, he has changed the Democratic Party and we’re all going to be better, we’re all going to be better, because Bernie is there and he will be, god willing I become majority leader, he will be one of the main people running our Senate,” continued Schumer, who is set to succeed Nevada Sen. Harry Reid as head of the Democratic conference.
The senior senator from New York was echoing comments DiNapoli made just a short while before. The state comptroller, a supporter of Clinton’s presidential ambitions since 2008, highlighted the historical resonance of the gala’s venue: Cooper Union’s Great Hall.
“Here we are, in the Great Hall of Cooper Union, where in 1860, Abraham Lincoln, running for president, changed American politics,” he said, recalling the Republican’s famed campaign speech at the arts institute. “In a few moments, we’re going to be hearing from Senator Bernie Sanders, who in 2016, again, changed American politics.”
DiNapoli spun the parallel into a fundraising pitch for the WFP, suggesting Lincoln would want them to donate to the left-leaning organization, which usually lends its ballot line and political consulting services to liberal Democrats like himself. Stringer, by contrast, used Sanders’ name to promote his own work locally.
“I just want to say, to the Working Families Party, to the Bernie Sanders movement—” Stringer began, the mention of the senator’s name provoking applause. “And to fellow progressives, we also have some good news to share about the future of this city.”