Bernie Sanders Draws Overflow Crowd in Minneapolis

A roving Dakota Free Press correspondent caught the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign event in Minneapolis yesterday.

The Sanders campaign advertised coffee and bagels at 9:30 a.m. with a town hall meeting starting at 10:00. Our correspondent arrived at the Minneapolis American Indian Center at 8:30 a.m. and found a line of forty people. “By the time the gate opened the crowd was huge. I overheard someone with a name tag say that they planned on 1,800, but 3,000+ had signed up plus those that just showed up.” The Minneapolis Star-Tribune also estimates the crowd exceeded 3,000; The Uptake says over 3,700.

The enthusiastic crowd gave Sanders several standing ovations for the policy positions he staked out. Our correspondent says Sanders focused his speech on his major issue, “income inequality and the power of the oligarchs.” Sanders addressed climate change, universal pre-K, and free post-secondary education. Sanders also mentioned his support for single payer health care, increasing Social Security benefits, abolishing big money in politics and returning power to the people as well as pay equity.

Sanders spoke for a bit over 40 minutes but had to leave before taking audience or press questions due to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s failed last-minute Sunday vote call on the Patriot Act. Here’s his full speech, as recorded from stage right by The Uptake:

Sanders apologized for not having enough food for all attendees. Other than bagel depletion, our correspondent said the ran smoothly: “The event started on time and most of the work was done by well trained volunteers.” Take that organizational skill on ten days’ notice as a sign that Sanders can mount a credible campaign.

And South Dakota Democrats, take note: Sanders can draw a crowd with a call to populist “revolution” that resonates very much with the strongest message of your 2014 Senate nominee, Rick Weiland. South Dakota Democrats, if you want to fill seats, make news, and get out the message of taking the country back from the “Koch Brothers and Wall Street and Exxon Mobil,” you should invite Sanders to the county fair circuit this summer.

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The Uptake‘s Bill Sorem also recorded some comments from folks who came to listen to Sanders in Minneapolis yesterday:

Update 10:10 CDT: Salon‘s Sean McElwee writes that America has “fallen into neo-feudalism” with the middle-class mostly falling into assetless servitude. I think that’s what Bernie’s saying.

5 Responses to Bernie Sanders Draws Overflow Crowd in Minneapolis

  1. There is good press coming from MinnPost and the Minneapolis StarTribune regarding Bernie Sanders visit. Sanders is gaining momentum nationally as an alternative to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination.

  2. ABB, ABC: anybody but Bush; anybody but Clinton.

    Sanders is viable alternative who should appeal to us socialist leaning SD Scandinavians.

  3. Deb Geelsdottir

    What Lynn and John said.

    National press is surprised by the attention and support Sanders is receiving, but they continue to say he doesn’t have a chance of doing anything but pushing Hilary a little to the left.

    I think Sanders has a chance to win the nomination and then the general. Really.

  4. tara volesky

    To bad the Democrat party doesn’t endorse him. Brenden Johnson followers will support Hillary Clinton because he is supporting Hillary. Think for yourself.

  5. “Bernie-mentum” is sweeping Iowa! A couple good articles regarding Senator Sanders as he is gaining support.

    The Democratic Party is fortunate to have good candidates going for the 2016 Presidential nomination.

    My 1st choice would be Bernie Sanders

    2nd although a long shot would be former Secretary of the Navy, former US Senator and Marine Vietnam Vet Jim Webb and

    3rd Hillary Clinton