Inside Bernie Sanders' Epic 8.5-Hour Speech

Senator was 'nervous,' feared nature would call
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2010 7:27 AM CST

Sen. Bernie Sanders was “a little bit nervous” before his over-the-top 8 1/2-hour speech against President Obama's tax deal on Friday. “I was afraid that after two or three hours I’d have nothing more to say or I’d be tired or have to go to the bathroom,” he tells the New York Times, adding that he was powered by oatmeal and a solitary cup of coffee he'd had in the morning. No need to worry: His legs may have cramped and his voice got hoarse, but afterward he was “pleased,” despite “virtually no preparation.”

The Vermont independent knew people might only be listening for short periods, so he hammered home his main points. Again. And again. And again. “Could I have made it shorter if I knew everybody was watching at one time?” he asked. “I could have.” Sanders isn't usually so verbose, says his wife: “We have to draw him out." (More Bernie Sanders stories.)

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