July 26, 2016


How Paul Simon Conquered the Bernie Bros at the DNC

Paul Morigi/WireImage
Paul Morigi/WireImage

Paul Simon: Bernie Bro–whisperer?

Maybe not, but the 74-year-old made a real difference at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night, calming the mood in Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center when tensions were running high. Who knew a performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” could unite Sanders supporters and Clinton diehards so effectively?

Simon happened to take the stage at a crucial moment in Monday night’s programming: Prior to his arrival, a small but extremely vocal group of Bernie Sanders supporters had heckled nearly every speaker in the arena, with little to no recognition. A nod did come when comedian Sarah Silverman (herself a former Bernie supporter) appeared with Sen. Al Franken, however, and addressed the Bernie Bros with, “Can I just say to the 'Bernie or Bust' people: You’re being ridiculous.”

That set off a chorus of boos that persisted well beyond the cheers from the pro-Hillary faction in the arena, and Franken and Silverman stumbled over their introduction to Simon. With the Bernie fans riled up after finally being acknowledged, a deep sense of worry pervaded the arena.

Yet Simon’s arrival effortlessly smoothed things over. First of all: Who doesn’t like Paul Simon, or “Bridge over Troubled Water”? This wasn’t an LMFAO performance—this was tasteful, classic and universally approved.

More importantly, however, the full band drowned out the pissed-off Bernie Bros in the arena and served as an exhalation following the outburst. After Simon, the night rolled on with speeches from Cory Booker and Michelle Obama, which every attendee could support. When Sanders capped off the evening himself and threw his support behind Clinton, there was no more vitriol from even the smallest faction of dissenters. It was all chill.

Thanks for vanquishing the Bern being felt, Mr. Simon. And keep it locked to Fuse.tv for more coverage of the DNC from Philadelphia.