On Nov. 23, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders visited Atlanta’s historic Fox Theatre to rally his supporters. The building, which seats 4678, was over capacity- a testament to Sanders’ popularity on the campaign trail. Among the crowd were a wide range of potential voters from college students to union members to gay activists.
Before delivering his stump speech, Senator Sanders was introduced by the born-and-bred Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who is equally famed for his political views as he is for his rap group Run the Jewels. His impassioned introduction invoked historical figures such as MLK reminding the audience of his efforts to increase voting rights. Margaret Thatcher was mentioned as well as a parallel to Sanders’ opponent Hillary Clinton.
After Killer Mike finished his introduction, Sanders then arrived on stage among thunderous applause. His lengthy speech consisted of all of his important campaign issues with an added focus on financial and social inequality, relevant topics in Atlanta. There were numerous cheers for some of Sanders’ planned reforms and jeers for Wall Street aplenty. The speech went as planned save for a moment where an onstage supporter collapsed. He quickly recovered, however, and the speech continued.
Although Sanders is hard-pressed to win the Democratic nomination, he showed Atlanta that his campaign will be a hard one to defeat. His viability as a presidential candidate may be disputed, but his broad appeal has brought attention to many important issues. As Sanders said at the conclusion of his speech, “We have something that the other candidates don’t have: the people.”