“And now let me tell you something that no other candidate for president will tell you. And that is no matter who is elected to be president, that person will not be able to address the enormous problems facing the working families of our country. They will not be able to succeed because the power of corporate America, the power of Wall Street, the power of campaign donors, is so great that no president alone can stand up to them. That is the truth. People may be uncomfortable about hearing it, but that is the reality.”
— Bernie Sanders, Friday, Aug. 14, Clear Lake, Iowa
Judging by the low murmurs and restless bodies witnessed in the seconds before the senator from Vermont reached his next applause line, this sentiment did indeed leave the patrons of the Wing Ding Dinner a bit unsettled. The Iowa Democrats inside the Surf Ballroom—a sweaty music hall where ceiling fans spun to no effect at the top of a barrel roof, and where Buddy Holly played his final show before he chartered the private plane that killed him in 1959—had just finished cheering their heads off for Hillary Clinton’s platitudes, and now regarded the man onstage with a mixture of confusion and annoyance.