Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane, made a campaign stop on behalf of her husband’s presidential bid Tuesday night at a Farmingdale sports bar, where hundreds of supporters cheered her promise that a vote for Sanders was a vote for democratic reform.
Jane Sanders, responding to the crowd of “Bernie!”-chanting supporters at the Main Event sports bar in Farmingdale, said voters in the April 19 primary “have a very clear choice: status quo establishment, or political revolution — let’s take our democracy back.”
A former college president and longtime community organizer, she recounted meeting Sanders during his successful run for mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1981. “He spoke at a mayoral debate, and I listened to him and I said this man embodies everything I ever believed in,” she said, adding, “35 years later that that original assessment was absolutely right on. He never let his fans down. That’s a lot to be saying for a wife, you know?” she said to laughter.
Jane Sanders’ appearance came at the launch of a major volunteer canvassing effort for the campaign.
Meryl Lipton, a dental hygienist from Sea Cliff, said she was moved to canvass in Dix Hills Tuesday for the campaign because she admired Sanders’ pledge to avoid donations from corporations. “The amount of money influencing media and politics is poisoning the way that the 99 percent — us — our voices are getting lost,” Lipton said.
Zohreh Aminian, an academic review director from Woodbury, came with her family to meet Jane Sanders. Aminian said she liked Bernie Sanders’ plan to make college more accessible, his economic politics and that “in general, he’s a very decent man.”
Jane Sanders emphasized one of her husband’s central campaign tenets of reclaiming government from corporate interests. “When we talked about him running for president, I was a little bit reticent because I don’t like politics today. I don’t like the negativity, all the money that you have to raise. It seems that big-money interests really rule,” she said. “He said, ‘You know, the power, the decisions — even the discussions that are taking place in Washington seem to be resting in the hands of fewer and fewer people every year. The lobbyists, the big donors, the corporate interests seem to be ruling the world.” So we thought, ‘OK, we can either give up or show up,’ and Bernie doesn’t give up.”
She added, “No president can just change things. But what can happen is if there are people outside the system and outside on the street talking about the issues and fighting for the issues, we will be able to transform this nation so it’s once again a government” — and the crowd chanted along with her — “of the people, by the people, for the people.”