Speed Reads

Democratic National Convention

Lone Bernie Sanders backer in the Senate calls for Democratic Party unity

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) had the unenviable job of following singer Demi Lovato on stage at Monday's Democratic National Convention, but he was warmly received by the delegates — both those supporting Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Merkley, the only U.S. senator who endorsed Sanders, began by talking up his blue collar roots, saying that "where I come from, people like Donald Trump are not the solution, they are the problem." Then he offered some words of praise for Sanders. "We owe an enormous debt to Bernie Sanders — speaking of solutions," he said. "Bernie Sanders inspired us to reach for bold solutions," and as for the movement Sanders started, "we need it to continue long after November."

Then he started adding Clinton to the rhetorical mix, saying that Hillary and Bernie together created "the most progressive platform in our party's history," singling out some of Sanders' big themes, like free education and campaign finance reform. "We must say no to bad trade deals, and that includes the TPP," he said, and some delegates chanted against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (which Sanders and Clinton both now oppose). "Follow the vision of Bernie Sanders, and elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine," Merkley said. "Let's work together, as Bernie and Sanders have," and elect Clinton and Tim Kaine, he concluded.

If there was booing at Clinton's name mixed in with the cheers, it wasn't as audible as with previous speakers.