December 22, 2010
MSNBC - "we'll take you back to the senate floor where we're watching Bernie Sanders. He's been talking nearly nonstop since this morning, 10:30 a.m., challenging the tax deal."
CNN - "Senator Bernie Sanders is still going, like the Eveready bunny"
Fox News - "today's mini-marathon by Bernie Sanders went viral. It got so many hits, it actually crashed the Senate servers."
NBC Nightly News - Political director Chuck Todd said, "For most of the day today, the tax debate had been dominated by Vermont's independent, self described socialist senator who has been speaking on the floor of the United States Senate by himself continuously since about 10:30 this morning. Well, about 4 o'clock clearly the White House had had enough so instead of briefing reporters about President Obama's private meeting with President Clinton, President Obama decided to trot out President Clinton himself to brief reporters." Watch here.
ABC Evening News - Anchor Diane Sawyer threw to live video of Sen. Sanders speaking on the Senate floor. She said, "we should note that even as President Clinton was weighing in with support, there was an old fashioned filibuster under way from the opposition on Capitol Hill. Take a look at this. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont has been speaking virtually nonstop, just one break, since 10:25 this morning, reading passages from books and articles."
CNN's John King - "As he spoke and spoke and spoke, the liberal blogosphere lit up and 69-year-old Bernie Sanders that's Senator Sanders became a trending topic and became more bad news for the White House. So team Obama decided to make a meeting that was supposed to be private, extraordinarily public. The calculation, both risky and simple. I'll see your Bernie Sanders and raise you a Bill Clinton."
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow - Sanders speech was "a super-human display of endurance and strength of conviction against the tax deal."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann - "Today, we saw history on the floor of the Senate. It started at 10:25 in the morning and kept going until 6:29 p.m. -- 81/2 hours and change. Reportedly, the number of people watching it crashing the computer servers of the United States Senate -- a filibuster historic both because of the cause for which it was waged -- and in our fifth story -- because it was not technically a filibuster, but something new and unique, a Bernie- buster." Watch here.
Politico - "The left's been looking for a new hero. Tonight they latched onto one: Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Vermont independent took progressive fury over President Obama's tax-cut deal with Republicans to the floor of the Senate Friday, bringing the chamber to a standstill for eight hours with a filibuster-style speech that set the liberal Twitterverse ablaze."
Associated Press - "Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has ended his marathon 8 1/2-hour Senate speech railing against President Barack Obama's proposed tax cut compromise. The 69-year-old said ‘tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires who don't need it'' were unconscionable and worsen the national debt.' ... As he wrapped up his speech after nightfall, Sanders conceded, ‘It has been a long day.'"
National Public Radio - "The whole world was watching Bernie Sanders today."
Next Day Coverage
CBS Evening News - "(The filibuster has) become a rallying point for liberals and progressive who are very angry with the white house, not just angry with the tax cut deal the president put together with the Republicans but the way it was handled, leaving out the Democrats in congress," said John Dickerson.
The New York Times - "...unlike Senate Republicans who have made a strategy of throwing obstacles in the way and then heading back to their offices or just going home, allowing the Senate clock to tick its way toward the inevitable, Mr. Sanders on Friday decided to use the floor time available to him to make a full-throated display of his opposition to the bill."
Burlington Free Press - "'They're taking from the middle class and working families and we're giving it to the wealthiest people in this country,' the Vermont independent said. Sanders took the floor at 10:24 a.m. and maintained a steady sense of outrage throughout the day, with brief assists from Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. He ended his filibuster-like address at 7 p.m. Sanders had to keep speaking -and remain standing - in order to hold the floor. He couldn't eat but sipped occasionally from a glass of water. Throughout his speech, he never left the floor, even to go to the bathroom." Read more.
The Washington Post - "At 10:24 Friday morning, Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont took to the floor of the Senate to share a few thoughts about the tax-cut plan brokered by President Obama and Republican leaders. Well after the sun had set and most of his colleagues had flown home, Sanders was still sharing - about taxes, bad trade deals and ‘the crooks on Wall Street,' among many other topics. ‘China, China, CHINA!' he yelled at one point, stressing that the $14 trillion national debt was largely being financed by the Chinese government's decision to continue buying U.S. bonds. By early evening Sanders took to reading letters from constituents who had been hit hard by the Great Recession." Read more.
Los Angeles Times - "As an attention-grabber, the effort has been successful. A live stream of the speech on Sanders' Senate website drew 12,000 views as of Friday afternoon, crashing the page at one point. His office has been flooded by phone calls as well. ‘Bernie Sanders' was a trending topic nationally on Twitter as well. The White House, anxious that it was losing the message war, deployed President Obama and former President Clinton to the briefing room to tout the compromise."
Bennington Banner - In an editorial entitled "Bravo Bernie," they wrote, "Senator Sanders explained to the nation --- if the nation would listen --- that endless borrowing without raising enough taxes to pay for the spending and a dramatic shift in the percentage of total income toward the wealthy are trends the United States cannot sustain ... [T]he entire Vermont congressional delegation deserves praise for doing this --- especially Senator Sanders." Read more.
The Long View
MSNBC's Ed Schultz - "Thank you for the fight. You said on this program last week that you were going to do everything in your power. You did, and you're true to your word," the host told the senator in his first broadcast interview after the speech.
National Public Radio - Asked who might be the Democrats' "Rookie of the Year", NPR political editor Ken Rudin said, "Bernie Sanders is no rookie but he ended the year as the hope of the progressives."
The Washington Post - Chris Cilliza listed winners and losers during the lame-duck session of Congress. Among the winners was the junior senator from Vermont. "Sanders' talk-a-thon to protest the tax compromise legislation was one of the lasting images of the lame duck session. While it ultimately didn't amount to much, Sanders' stand symbolized the anger and resentment liberals felt about the deal and turned the Vermont Senator into a progressive hero."
The New York Times - Calling Sanders a "Twitter Sensation", the Times said, "Mr. Sanders's monologue, a marathon riff against the Obama administration's plan to continue the tax policies of George W. Bush, stirred Twitter users to a roar over the course of eight-plus hours, putting his name atop the social network's "trending topics" by Friday night." Read more.
Mother Jones "Beyond the obvious outrage over giving tax breaks to the rich during a budget crisis, the twitterverse's fascination with Sanders' speech might have something to do with mashing up two vastly different types of media. There's something delightfully jarring about promoting the definition of long-form oration, the filibuster, on a platform constrained to 140 characters. One of Friday's most popular tweets attempted to sum up the entire address: ‘@SenatorSanders spoke for 8.5 hours in defense of 98% of Americans.'"
Rolling Stone - Matt Taibbi wrote, "It's sad but true, but in 99.9 percent of all cases, you wouldn't think of looking up to an elected official as a moral role model. Which is why Bernie Sanders is such a rarity, and people should appreciate what he's doing not just for his home state of Vermont, but for the reputation of all politicians in general." Read more.
Barre-Montpelier Times Argus (editorial) - "Bernie Sanders is on his way to folk hero status around the nation because of his ardent opposition to tax breaks for the wealthy. His eight-and-a-half-hour speech last Friday was the sort of dramatic gesture that captures the imagination. He spoke words that many Democrats were hoping to hear from President Obama." Read more
PolitiFact - Sen. Sanders sent a Twitter message on Dec. 13, 2010, saying that under a tax plan before Congress "99.7 percent of American families will not pay one nickel in an estate tax. This is not a tax on the rich. This is a tax on the very, very, very rich." Fact checkers at PolitiFact looked into Sanders' claim and concluded it is true. Read more
Burlington Free Press - During the speech, Sanders mentioned books including "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas Stanley and William Danko, "Third World American" by Arianna Huffington, "Rebooting the American Dream" by Tom Hartman, and "Richistan" by Robert Frank. After speaking, the senator returned to Vermont and welcomed home troops from Afghanistan the next morning.
The Nation - The magazine's editor Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote, "On Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders galvanized the attention of millions of Americans with an 8 ½ hour filibuster against a backroom deal that will give huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires in America. The good Senator from Vermont spoke for millions of struggling working and middle class people who feel their voices aren't being heard in a system dominated by well-funded lobbyists and corporate insiders. For Bernie, 69 years old, it was just another full workday serving the people and indeed "documenting" what is happening to them." The magazine also named Sanders their Senator of the Year. Read more.
Letters to the Editor(s) - Phyllis Bergquist wrote to the Sheboygan (Wisc.) Press that Sen. Sanders "called Republicans on their hypocrisy". Dan Donnelly of Williston, Vt., wrote to The New York Times. "As Sen. Sanders pointed out in his filibuster on Dec. 10, the middle class is under attack from the very rich and the corporations. Therefore, we see lower wages, and a drop to the underclass ... If we don't get a government that truly supports a middle class ... we are in trouble. India will have a middle class, and we won't." A letter writer to the Lincoln, Neb. Journal-Star said of Sanders: "What a brilliant oration Friday on the Senate floor."
Sanders' Op-Ed - Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote to Vermont newspapers that, "These are very tough economic times for our country. The middle class is shrinking, poverty is increasing and workers throughout the country are finding it hard to locate decent paying jobs. Difficult choices are going to have to be made. They should not include huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country and driving up the deficit."