Jane Sanders, wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and his closest adviser, spoke to CNN on Thursday to reflect on the 2016 presidential election and reassure disillusioned voters that the revolution will not end with Sanders' campaign.
"[Bernie Sanders] came very close to the presidency, and now the political revolution continues." —Jane Sanders"I didn't expect him to get the kind of following that he enjoys in Vermont nationwide. We built that up over two decades," Sanders said in a video interview. "People love him, they trust him. He doesn't look at it as 'they're supporting Bernie.' He looks at it as, and I look at it as, they're supporting the issues that he's run on. They're supporting the principled approach to address our principles and make our government 'of the people, by the people, and for the people' again."
Regarding voters who remain defiant in their support for the Vermont senator over nominee Hillary Clinton after leaked emails showed the Democratic National Committee (DNC) sabotaged his campaign, Sanders said, "Everybody can take some time to be sad. But the work is too important."
Many delegates are already gearing up to carry the message of the "political revolution" to new action. Isaiah Poole wrote Thursday for the Campaign for America's Future about a grassroots reception organized by the groups People's Action and Keystone Progressives at the Democratic National Convention:
Luz Sosa came to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia as a disappointed Bernie Sanders delegate. But she is leaving fired up to take on big political fights in her home town of Milwaukee.
"This election was never about Bernie Sanders. These elections were about issues the American people care about," such as "families struggling to put food on the table," said Sosa, who is Latino outreach organizer for Citizen Action Wisconsin and an economics professor at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
"Bernie Sanders has been the voice of the movement, but the movement has always been there," she said, and her advice to her fellow Bernie Sanders supporters "is to get involved in the organizations that are already working on the issues that Bernie had mentioned before."
In a separate interview with CNN, Sanders said, "one of the things that Bernie did right from the beginning was say [the campaign] was a two-pronged approach. One was a quest for the presidency, one was to begin a political revolution and transform this country. He came very close to the presidency, and now the political revolution continues."
At the convention, People's Action co-director George Goehl summed up the election and the future of progressive politics simply: "The soul of the Democratic Party is up for grabs."
Meanwhile, the Vermont senator spent the final day of the convention addressing a gathering of Michigan Democrats, where he said, "Real change in America never takes place just by electing a president. It takes place from the bottom up.... We are going to continue to fight for an economy that works for all of our people not just the one percent."
Sanders also spoke with MSNBC on Wednesday and discussed similar themes: