Senator Bernie Sanders may hail from Vermont, but people in Massachusetts absolutely love him.
The progressive icon, long the symbol of Democratic Socialism, drew huge sellout crowds in New England during the primary season. Massachusetts is obviously the bluest of blue states, even with a moderate Republican Governor, Charlie Baker. And Massachusetts came out strong for Bernie.
Now that the election is over and the country is coming to grips with the grim reality of a Trump presidency, the fiery progressive Senator from Vermont has continued to rail against the power and corruption of corporate capitalism. He’s been on every news show, including the Sunday morning shows, as he continues to lead the progressive arm of the Democratic Party.
Today the Senator will be joining forces with his progressive counterpart in the Senate, the Bay State’s own Elizabeth Warren. The two of them will appear on Friday evening at Boston’s Orpheum Theater. The venue is completely sold out, showing the continuing support for progressive ideas in Massachusetts.
The event is being hosted by several progressive groups, including the group Our Revolution, which arose out of the Sanders campaign. Other sponsors include Raise Up Massachusetts and Jobs Not Jails. They plan to address a range of progressive issues, including fair wages, incarceration rates and income inequality.
Warren and Sanders have worked closely together in the Senate, especially since the election. Senator Warren faces a tough reelection campaign in 2018, with polls showing the state equally divided between those who support her reelection and those who prefer to have someone new in the seat. Sanders’ appearance with her is likely to give her a popularity boost.
Erin O’Brien, the chair of Political Science Department at UMass Boston, put it this way:
The guy, who is not even a Democrat, is being treated like a rock star in deep-blue Kennedy Massachusetts, and it’s because he is a rock star. It speaks to the vacuum that Hillary Clinton left. She never had the same kind of passionate support that Bernie Sanders had.”
Bernie, the man with seemingly endless energy, will attend two earlier events in the city today, too. He will be giving a speech and answering questions at the JFK Center for the Senate at 2pm. Then he’ll cross the river into Cambridge to attend a book signing.
All three events are sold out.
Yep. Good old Boston is still feelin’ the Bern.