Jul 27, 2016 12:49 PM
NH1 News Political Director
PHILADELPHIA – The morning after Hillary Clinton officially won the Democratic presidential nomination, her rival during the epic primary battle was among friends.
Sen. Bernie Sanders received a prolonged standing ovation and chants of “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie” as he arrived Wednesday morning at the breakfast for the New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine delegations to the Democratic National Convention.
The senator from Vermont crushed Clinton by 22 percentage points in the February 9 first-in-the-nation primary, and Sanders told the crowd “that victory made the country become aware that we were a serious campaign and that we were off and running.”
A few weeks later Sanders topped Clinton by 28 points in Maine’s caucus and won his home state by a landslide.
Speaking to the delegates, Sanders targeted GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying “what makes him unique and extremely dangerous is that he is a demagogue.”
Sanders told the crowd that “in the next several months all of us have got to do everything that we can to defeat Donald Trump and to elect Hillary Clinton president of the United States.”
But he added that “it is not good enough just to elect Hillary Clinton. It is to transform America and to make sure that we have a Democratic Senate, Democratic House and a Democratic president who will do that.”
Sanders spoke the morning after he moved during the presidential roll call Tuesday night to nominate Clinton by acclamation. The powerful gesture of unity also formally brought an end to his historic White House run.
NH1 News asked Sanders as he arrived “how tough a moment was that last night.”
But Sanders wasn’t taking questions from reporters.
Before leaving, Sanders did pose for a class photo with his top supporters from the Granite State. As pictures were taken, chants of “feel the Bern” were being shouted by some of the delegates.
One of those posing with the Vermont senator was state Rep. Renny Cushing of Hampton, a longtime Sanders supporter and surrogate. He told NH1 News that “you know it was kind of a celebration of family. I think everybody in northern New England is really proud of what Bernie Sanders has done. How he’s transformed the whole political debate in this country. In a way I felt that this was kind of a victory celebration for Bernie. The country’s never going to be same after this campaign.”
As Sanders arrived, he briefly chatted with Kurt Ehrenberg, who started up the senator’s campaign organization in the Granite State in the spring of 2015 and who served as political director in New Hampshire.
Asked what he was discussing with Sanders, Ehrenberg, who’s also a delegate, said “business as usual. Bernie’s working on putting the final touches on the next steps on the political revolution.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont talks with pledged delegate Kurt Ehrenberg, who served as the Sanders campaign political director in New Hampshire, on July 27, 2016
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