AMHERST, MA – Sen. Bernie Sanders drew thousands of supporters in a Monday night rally at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in anticipation of the upcoming battle for delegates one week away on Super Tuesday.
Getting right to work addressing middle class and blue-collar worker issues, Sanders fired up a mixed crowd of students and non-millenials with a message of diversity and inclusion, reaching out to a base tired of what their candidate termed establishment economics and politics.
“This campaign is based upon a very simple principle and it’s a principle that has existed throughout our American history,” Sanders said. “And that is real change never comes from the top on down. It always comes from the bottom on up.”
Putting forth a message for the working class, Sanders spoke of the evolution and growth of a middle class America who fought for their rights through the formation of the collective bargaining process and establishment of the nation’s unions. He heralded those who opposed discrimination and championed the growth of the Civil Rights Movement.
Rattling off statistics and numbers to support his campaign’s “political revolution” Sanders didn’t shy away from the proverbial elephant in the room — the need to cement his take of the delegate pool. Noting the camp’s surge in the polls and numbers in the 9 months since his announcement, Sanders decried pundit’s predictions of a sure win for Clinton.
“At this point and to everyone’s surprise, after 3 state elections, we are tied with Secretary Clinton in delegates gained, 51 to 51,” he said to a resounding round of cheers and applause.
The long-standing senator from Vermont said the campaign’s success was based on the commitment to middle class issues including a poverty level minimum wage, unsustainable social security and healthcare benefits, forgotten veterans and crushing student loan debt.
“We are listening to young people and people not so young who say, “What crime did I commit to have to be paying back student debt of $50 – $100,000 for decades?”
Waiting on Warren
Perhaps one of the most galvanizing moments in the evening came when the Vermont senator mentioned his Commonwealth counterpart and fellow labor supporter Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“What our campaign has been talking about is the fact that we have a corrupt campaign system, the fact that we have a rigged economy, something that your senator Elizabeth Warren has talked about a lot. Thank you all for sending Elizabeth to the Senate.”
Aligned on middle class issues and determined to break the Wall Street stronghold on the American dream, a Sanders –Warren ticket has been floated by the Progressive Left as a surefire boon for the middle class.
“Our campaign has taken on the financial establishment and Wall Street is getting nervous.” ~ Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for President 2016
Warren has not endorsed either Sanders or Clinton, remaining quiet on her intentions. A Sanders endorsement prior to Super Tuesday could prove to be a virtual game-changer in the delegate race, with the DNC Superdelegate count arming Clinton.
From income inequality to collective bargaining, from criminal justice reform to immigration and the repeal of Citizens United, the two New England senators are simpatico.
Women in the audience were raucous when Sander’s spoke of income inequality, drawing a big smile and chuckle from their candidate.
Drawing on poll data showing his favorability over Clinton, Sanders closed his speech with a nod to integrity in campaigning.
“The reason our campaign is doing so well and has so much momentum is that we are doing something fairly radical. We are telling the truth.”
Sanders and Clinton have a busy schedule between now and Super Tuesday on March 1. The Sanders camp is planning on spending Super Tuesday in Vermont.
This article originally appeared on Examiner.com on February 24, 2016.