Bernie's Wife Revealed How They'll Keep the Revolution Alive

July 29th 2016

Lucy Tiven

It's no secret that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was a hard pill to swallow for some of his dedicated supporters. It also had a huge impact on his wife Jane, who advised him closely throughout his presidential bid.

In a Rolling Stone interview published Thursday, Jane opened up about where Bernie's revolution is headed now that the campaign is finished.

sanders couple

Though Jane Sanders tearfully acknowledged her husband's defeat, she also expressed gratitude and awe at the profound impact of the movement.

"We didn't change the world overnight, but that's never happened," she told Rolling Stone.


She referenced the recently approved Democratic platform, which has been hailed as one of the most progressive in history, thanks to Sanders' influence. (The platform committee did reject several proposals from the Sanders' camp, including opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal and to illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.)

"And the amount that we have changed already — we have changed the trajectory of this country and the Democratic Party," she said. "So, good work everybody!"

She also discussed her husband's painstaking decision to drop out of the race.

"We are focused on the issues, and we're winning momentum," the Brooklyn native said. "And I think some people might not understand that. He had no choice but to step down. His feeling was that Donald Trump is too dangerous to not defeat. So his choice was to endorse — but, at the same time, fight like hell to keep the revolution alive, and keep alive the issues that we all stand behind."

But the social worker and former Burlington College president also acknowledged the intense sadness and disappointment shared by many Sanders supporters, which she believes has been misrepresented in media.

She told Rolling Stone:

"People have been making it sound like they're mad, and they should just get over it. No they shouldn't! They shouldn't just get over it! What do you expect? How do you turn on a dime? We understand that. We understand that we earned their support and their trust. Now Hillary Clinton has to earn their support and their trust. And we will hold [the Clinton campaign] accountable because we are endorsing her. We are that much more committed to making sure [she follows through on her promises], instead of saying,Oh, it's politics as usual, people change. We're not going to let that happen. Not without a big fight, if anything. If the Democratic Party starts backing away from the platform, ever, we will fight like crazy to support the work that all of these millions of people did."

Jane Sanders also explained how they plan to keep Bernie's revolution alive.

The couple has opened two issues-driven organizations, she explained to Rolling Stone, "the Sanders Institute, which will convey the lessons we've learned as we've traveled this country and met with so many people. [And Our Revolution, which will help craft policies and elect new leadership.]"

Specifically, they plan to address environment issues and police enforcement of "the new Jim Crow laws" — referencing a term coined by Michelle Alexander in her seminal book on mass incarceration and systemic racism in the criminal justice system.

You can read the full interview on Rolling Stone.