Bernie Sanders of Vermont gained roars of approval from a friendly crowd Monday night as he called for a radical transformation of the Democratic Party.
Democrats, recently licked and all out of sorts at both a national and local level, would do well to explore why a 75-year-old senator from Vermont has caught on with so many young voters.
"One of the things the establishment does. they make you think you're a nice person but you're not really (qualified) to be on the school board or the state legislature", said Sanders. "Our job is to create a democratic Democratic party - a grassroots party - where decisions are made from the bottom on up, not from the top on down".
"It sounds to me like you guys are ready to make a political revolution".
This week, newly minted Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez will travel cross-country with Sen.
After Hillary Clinton's devastating loss almost six months ago, her most powerful Democratic allies feared losing control of the party.
Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from eastern OH, said the party needs to more aggressively organize its target audience working- and middle-class voters who turned to Trump and recruit from among them.
"If the Democratic Party is going to succeed - and I want to see it succeed - it's gonna have to open its door to Independents", he continued. And we need to have a 50-state-plus-all-the-territory strategy.
It's not the first hiccup on the tour.
On Sunday, Sanders called out the Democratic Party for not doing enough to help win that election.
They had competition. A group of rogue "Berniecrats" had brought clipboards of their own, with petitions encouraging the senator to run for president in 2020 as an independent.
Evidently, Perez is working hard to rally the base. It was activists, he said, who stopped the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This time, there were no boos; over 48 minutes, Sanders mentioned Perez's DNC only once.
Rally attendee Melinda Feldman said she supported Hillary Clinton in the primary race, but she was turning to Sanders for direction and ideas for moving forward. He's not a Democrat, and only identified as such to compete for the party's nomination in 2016.
The issue Stambaugh addressed is what Sanders is trying to change. Sanders has endorsed Perriello thereby encouraging this primary.
"There's been political energy in this room tonight", Cuba said, "and I've felt it ever since November". As the plane flew to Louisville, a Harvard-Harris poll was being released that found Sanders polling at 57 percent favorability with all voters. He said that same thing about the Democrats during an interview that he and I did this afternoon. After he finished his steak sandwich, a souvenir-seeker raced to his half-empty plate and picked up a french fry, waving it at a table of his friends like a trophy.
Earlier in the day, Sanders met with six Kentuckians at a Frankfort coffee shop.
Some Democrats say Sanders is headed in the right direction, but must do more. It has meant we have the biggest military in the world, justifying endless war for economic benefit, including interventions, overthrows and the manipulation of elections going back long before Vladimir Putin was even born. But GOP officials insist they're not anxious. He would urge support of all Democratic candidates in the next two election cycles 2017 and 2018 to take back control of the agenda in state government and Congress. On the way back to Louisville, Perez suggested that Democrats had countless opportunities to portray Trump as a phony populist; the challenge was in focusing, and getting anyone to listen. As introduced, the bill would have required a woman to look at the ultrasound image.
The contrast was apparent throughout the university's Baxter Arena, where supporters waved signs featuring the familiar image of Sanders' white hair and glasses alongside Mello's jet black hair and sunglasses.