PHILADELPHIA — Cameras have trained their sights on Bernie Sanders delegates at the Democratic National Convention this week who booed and jeered at calls to unite behind Hillary Clinton. But as the formal vote to elect the party's nominee approaches on Tuesday night, many other Sanders have gone unnoticed: the quiet ones.
“On the booing, I think it is disrespectful when he has worked so hard,” said Jennifer Rode of Philadelphia, who supported Sanders but was unhappy when people booed him for asking his boosters to unite behind Clinton.
“They hoped he would win the nomination, and that is naive at this point," she said.
Rode plans to vote for Clinton “with gritted teeth” to avoid a Donald Trump presidency, she said during an interview outside the convention hall. “I voted for Ralph Nader and and watched George Bush win.”
Other Sanders delegates told BuzzFeed News said they accepted Clinton winning the nomination and were concerned their fellow delegates — who have protested in the streets and on the convention floor, and have not ruled out demonstrating against Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, during their acceptance speeches — were harming the party.
“I think the booing is funny,” said Lula Dualeh, a Sanders delegate from North Carolina. “But what’s not funny is that it looks like we’re disjointed to the rest of the world.”
Rather than heckle those making speeches in support of Clinton on stage, some voters who who still feel the Bern told BuzzFeed News they are hunting for something in this week’s speeches that give them reason to support Clinton.
“I’m hoping that when they tell her story, I will be moved,” said Jill Dunham, a member of the boisterous Michigan delegation. “Or that hearing Chelsea Clinton speak will give me compassion for her.”
“I will probably vote for Hillary,” Dunham continued, but she was frustrated by Clinton’s claim to be a progressive. “That is bullshit. She’s a centrist. I hope that by the end of the convention, I will be able to feel good about voting for her.”
In contrast, Cully Williams, 21, a Sanders delegate from South Dakota, said, “I’m not sure what she could say that would seem honest and make me like her," adding that he plans to vote for her nonetheless. "There is room for me to like her, but the only way I could vote for her harder is if she convinced me that Trump is even worse than I thought.”
Still, Williams dismissed the Bernie-or-bust crowd who believe they can still pull out a nomination for Sanders by convincing superdelegates to flip their votes. "I know basic math."
Mike Drey, 32, a delegate from Louisiana, said he was nearly ready to support Clinton but has wavered after an email controversy this week that appeared to show Democratic Party officials exploring ways to undermine Sanders. Clinton bringing the party's chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, onto the campaign as honorary chair after the brouhaha “was spitting in the face of progressives.”
Still, Drey added, “I’m not going to say I’m never going to vote for her."