Sanders Delegate From Missoula: 'Bernie Or Bust' Is Ridiculous
Comedian and Bernie Sanders supporter Sarah Silverman’s zinger at the Democratic National Convention Monday night brought the house down. It delighted Hillary Clinton’s supporters. The Bernie Sanders crowd – not so much.
Missoula delegate Anita Green was there and was not amused.
"To the ‘Bernie or Bust’ people, you’re being ridiculous," Silverman said to roars from the crowd.
"I was very upset," Green says. "But you know, I thought about it and Sarah Silverman was right. The Bernie or Bust people are being ridiculous. It’s over. We need to throw our support behind Hillary Clinton if we want to beat Donald Trump."
And that’s coming from a self-described “Bernie or Bust girl."
Green, Montana’s first openly transgendered delegate, says she was into Bernie Sanders long before it was cool.
"Bernie Sanders publicly supported the queer community in 1983. That was at a time when it was not popular to support gay marriage. That was at the height of the AIDS epidemic. That really meant a lot to me knowing there was somebody out there fighting for someone like me."
As a Democrat and at-large Sanders delegate, Green says the rancor and division on display during the convention’s opening day was tough to watch.
This audio from politico.com captures the moment when Sanders was booed by his own supporters after urging them to vote for Hillary Clinton:
Sanders: We have got to defeat Donald Trump and we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. [sustained boos].
"That was surprising. I mean, the Bernie Sanders delegates are his delegates, and we’re supposed to be following him and following his lead. I never booed anybody and I certainly would never, ever boo Bernie Sanders," Green said.
Carl Donovan is chair of the Cascade County Democrats. He’s in Philadelphia this week as a delegate for Hillary Clinton. Donovan says he’s not worried about long-term party unity.
"I think after our roll call tonight – and I believe Senator Sanders is going to nominate Hillary to be the president – I think that we will come together. The Sanders people need time to grieve just like I needed time to grieve for Hillary in 2008 when I went as a delegate to Denver."
Donavan says there’s no denying that Senator Sanders' bid energized young people.
"They’re not necessarily party people like myself, so they haven’t been involved in political processes. I think this will bring in the new fold and help to teach them the etiquette of being a good Democrat."
But 25-year-old Missoula delegate Anita Green is cautiously taking it one step at a time. She says her immediate priority is helping to elect Hillary Clinton.
Still, she’s bothered by the leaked emails revealing party officials tried to undermine Sanders' campaign.
"Half the time it really fuels my ‘Bernie or Bust’ feelings. But even if she [Clinton] did rig the primary election results, there’s nothing we can do about it now. It’s over. Bernie Sanders says we need to stay united and I’m going to follow Bernie Sanders’ lead."
Bernie Sanders won Montana’s June 7 primary. He beat Hillary Clinton 51 percent to 44 percent.
Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock, both party superdelegates, have endorsed Clinton.