Sanders Flexes Muscles As Clinton Claims Historic Victory
Surrounded by energized supporters, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday claimed victory in reaching a milestone of becoming the first woman to head a major U.S. political party ticket after a sluggish year-long primary battle.
“It may be hard to see tonight, but we are all standing under a glass ceiling right now. But don’t worry, we’re not smashing this one,” Clinton told her supporters gathered in the Brooklyn Navy Yard after winning a majority of pledged delegates. “Thanks to you, we’ve reached a milestone – the first time in our nation’s history that a woman will be a major party’s nominee for president of the United States.”
Clinton suggested that her nomination will “send a signal around the world.”
“I was thrilled to witness history tonight and proud that Jewish communities across America came together to support Secretary Clinton,” NYC Councilman David Greenfield told Jewish Insider at Clinton’s election night party.
American Jewish Congress President and a friend of the Clintons, Jack Rosen called Clinton’s achievement a “historic milestone for this country” and a “great moment in our nation’s history.”
In her victory speech, Clinton also extended an olive branch to her rival Bernie Sanders and his fervent supporters. “I know it never feels good to put your heart into a cause or a candidate you believe in – and to come up short. I know that feeling well. But as we look ahead to the battle that awaits, let’s remember all that unites us,” she said.
But the Vermont Senator promised to keep up the fight going into the convention next month. “I am pretty good at arithmetic, and I know that the fight in front of us is a very, very steep fight, but we will continue to fight for every vote and every delegate we can get,” Sanders told thousands of supporters after midnight. “Our fight is to transform our country and to understand that we are in this together. To understand that all of what we believe is what the majority of the American people believe. And to understand that the struggle continues.”
The crowd cheered. But Sanders’ refusal to step down or acknowledge the significance of his rival’s historic achievement indicated that the Jewish senator is not buying into Clinton’s call for unity.
“In what is likely to be one of his last opportunities on the national stage, Bernie is letting a lifetime of political resentment and frustration overwhelm the positive and creative messages that have transformed the 2016 presidential race,” Professor Alan Abbey, director of internet and media at Shalom Hartman Institute, who covered Sanders in the 1980′s for the Burlington Free Press, told Jewish Insider Wednesday morning. “It would be deeply unfortunate if this bitterness is what is remembered from Bernie’s campaign.”
Sanders is expected to return to Washington D.C. on Thursday to meet with President Barack Obama – as Sanders’ request – and hold a campaign rally ahead of next week’s primary.
The president called Sanders after polls closed and thanked him “for energizing millions of Americans with his commitment to issues like fighting economic inequality and special interests’ influence on our politics,” according to a statement by Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “The President looks forward to continuing the conversation with Senator Sanders about how to build on the extraordinary work he has done to engage millions of Democratic voters, and to build on that enthusiasm in the weeks and months ahead.”