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Sunday, February 25, 2018

After Bernie Sanders announced on Wednesday that he would not yet suspend his campaign, many Democrats responded with concern, calling on him to step down so that the party could unite under Hillary Clinton.

“It will be almost impossible for Sen. Sanders to catch up. And he should do the math and draw his own conclusions,” Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski told Politico.

“Sanders should stop the intrigue and electoral gimmicks,” Froma Harrop wrote in her column yesterday.

But will Sanders’ continued campaign hurt the party — or its prospective nominee?

It’s likely that Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and a clean, cohesive electoral narrative would have benefited from a Sanders withdrawal on Tuesday after losses in California and New Jersey, which ended his mathematical shot at the nomination. But extending his campaign another week until the Washington, D.C. primary, or even another month until the convention in Philadelphia, may not hurt Democrats’ eventual party unity as badly as some suggest.

While getting some Sanders supporters to support Clinton will be a challenge — no matter what he does, now and a month from now — Sanders is not building the “Bernie or Bust” movement by following through on a promise to finish the campaign. It is worth looking at the final stages of the last Democratic presidential primary to understand what is happening now.

In 2008, the PUMA (“Party Unity My Ass”) movement drew similar attention, battling the party leadership and steadfastly backing Hillary Clinton despite her loss to Barack Obama.

Headlines warned of an enormous rift in the Democratic Party, including the prediction, based on exit polls, that “half of Clinton’s supporters won’t back Obama.”

Following the 2008 convention, however, those numbers changed. Nearly 20 percent more voters who initially backed Clinton said they were certain they would vote for Obama following the Denver gathering — where both Bill and Hillary Clinton delivered speeches strongly supporting him, and she halted the roll call vote to ask for his nomination by acclamation.

What a little more airtime for Sanders is more likely to do is bring attention to his agenda — and to neglected issues like the fight over D.C.’s budget autonomy — in a primary that he will probably lose badly to Clinton.


Photo: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (R) delivers a statement while his wife Jane (L) listens after departing the West Wing of the White House following the meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama (not pictured) in Washington, U.S. June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

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21 Responses to Will A Little Bit More Of The Sanders Campaign Hurt Democrats?

  1. Contrary to what so many fellow Democrats believe, I think the longer Sen. Sanders is on the spotlight, articulating issues such as raising the minimum wage, free college tuition, effective Wall Street regulation, campaign reform, and others, the better off we will be. It does not matter if most of his proposals are dead in the water, with a Republican controlled House likely to remain so for years to come. What is important is that his populist message resonates, and that he serves as a reminder of what the Democratic party stands for.
    I am convinced that he will eventually endorse Hillary, but we should let him do it on his own terms. What is important, in addition to the appeal of his message, is that he is as determined as Hillary to keep the biggest threat to our democracy and values away from the Oval Office.

    • I respect that sentiment.
      I only hope that he can relay your conclusion or a like conclusion to his followers.
      If they think their agenda won’t he heard under Clinton, do they think that under a Trump, it would be?
      Perhaps Clinton might have to make amends by having Sanders as her running mate. She has indicated that he is not off of her list. And he has indicated that he is warm to the idea.
      Who knows.
      But the main thing is to defeat Trump by whatever means necessary.

      • The best running mate choices for Hillary are Bernie and Elizabeth Warren. Both will energize and unite Democrats like nothing else will.

        • Doubtful. She is going to track hard to the right and make this closer than it should be. Forget the House and maybe the Senate. Huge missed opportunity. They are going to hang the server, the speech transcripts and the Clinton Foundation around her neck like a noose. We should have went with the candidate of the people not the elitist establishment.

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          • And sadly we spend so much time harping about the presidency that the House candadates go largely unnoticed. The Senators in individuals states get a little more focus, however nationwide the public should be as vocal about those people also.
            The presidency is the weakest branch of our government but it gets the most play and Americans don’t seem to know nor care about that.
            If you mean the candadite of people as in Sanders, then yes and no. It depends on which people you are talking bout.
            I do like Mr. Sanders proposals, his ideas. But just like when President Obama was talking about affordable health care during his campaign, my thoughts were ‘how you gonna pay for it with so many people actually thinking that affordable was only what people felt THEY could afford and not the reality of the cost of medicine.
            In many post people still complain about paying $200/$300 for a family of four.
            Yet, although it has now become law, people can be stuck with paying as much for car insurance. Translation, their car is more important to them than their own very lives.
            I get that Hillary Clinton is going to have everything thrown at her but the feces in the toilet bowl, and probably that also.
            But I think that she has learned how to handle herself.
            Like her or not, she knows how to fight and I think she has learned to fight as ugly as the stuff throwers who will be barking at her.
            I’m sure she has a dossier of some sort on each one of her distracters. I know I would.
            And don’t think for a minute that someone somewhere, someplace don’t have somthing that haven’t been brought up about Mr. Sanders. I’ve read that he is the least ‘vetted’ POL of all.

          • Hillary and the rest of the establishment are on the take. They are beholden to their donors not the people. Bernie takes no money from Superpacs corporations, or special interest groups. He is pure and the cleanest candidate we have ever seen. He may have lost the nomination but he won the future. He has exposed the machine. God Bless You and Bernie Sanders.

          • You mean you didn’t know about the doners situation as it relates to big doners before?.
            Seriously? Where have you been?
            Sadly this has been the situation for decades.
            I think the last pol to actually take the time to campaign by actually going out to meet the people was Jimmy Carter.
            Since then, it has TV ads, and now twittering, and web sites.
            That’s not to say that TV and radio Ads weren’t in existance, but the way things are now, big doner especially those who own or have an interest in a media outlet controls what folks hear.
            Donald Trump has expanded the ante because he is so outrageous, he is getting free exposture just because.
            I haven’t heard anything negative about Mr. Sanders because for all practical purposes he has remained under the radar.
            But let’s not forget, he is a POL and has been at it for a long time.
            I will admit, his speeches seem sincere, but heck most preachers have that same thing going for him.
            Right now, I’m just looking at the experience in overall matters. Of all the POLS who have campaigned this election season, she is the most ‘seasoned’ and like her or not, I know that even if she doesn’t seemingly indicating she will tackle ALL of our problems, she will get something done. But Clinton, just like all the rest, except for Carson and con artist Trump are all POLS. Trump to me is doing the same thing that all POLS do, but heaven help us if he becomes commander in chief. He might fake himself into a world war an alienate ‘allies’ against us.
            People seems to forget that he has shown who he is. I believe him.

          • Bernie has shown a politician can run a successful campaign without corporate and special interest money. He speaks the truth. We will take down the establishment sooner than you think. One person one vote.

          • Well Methusalah, and this is that cynical part of me ‘typing’, I hope you live long enough to see that happening.
            Not saying it won’t or can’t happen, but most people and the American public in particular want their candy yesterday and not after dinner.
            One person, one vote??, the amount of people who don’t even bother going to the poll to vote are probably enough to make your dream come true, but hey, they won’t vote.

        • True. It would be something else, something unheard of if two women were to head a ticket. And two women that knows how to give as good as they get….WOW.

  2. It’s fine for Bernie to wind down. He has to migrate his supporters over to Hillary and that takes time. Every election cycle it seems like the DNC is flying apart and every election cycle they make peace and soldier on. Nothing is new here.

    • We just told millions of new progressive and some life long democrats thanks but no thanks. We don’t need you and your wants and desires for the country are too much of a lift. I hope we do better than we did in 2014. The party already is in shambles. We have lost the house the Senate and 900 state seats since 2008. Is our message vote for us because we are not quite as bad as the other guy? What a missed opportunity. It is different this time.

      • Seems the problem is, Dems have that bleeding heart thingy working against them. Plus, they’re incapable of playing the insidious political game of using false narrative, disingenuous, divisive rhetoric, and fear mongering to stir their base, tactics Republicans have raised to an art form. (see “The Integration of Theory and Practice” by Weyrich & Heubeck).
        Nor have they mastered the damnable art of divide & conquer with both red meat catch phrases, and dog-whistle monikers to keep stupid people angry, paranoid, and duped into knee-jerk voting practices, as they vote in favor of their own demise.
        It it time to turn the tables! Every dime Republicans take from “multinational” corporations, Wall Steet, Big Oil, Big Banks, Hedge Fund Mgrs., etc. should be made THE issue! Every vote they cast in favor of moneyed interest, as well as votes for policies that further deteriorates the interest of “we the people” should be broadcast and politicized for all they’re worth.
        I believe once the hundreds of millions of working class people realize the $$$CORRUPTION $$$ that has been visited on them by their wolves-in-sheep’s-clothes Republican lackeys for moneyed interest, their wrath may yet be kindled. For “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” or an electorate that comes to the realization they’ve been used to cast their own demise…

  3. We just missed, possibly the last opportunity to wrest control of the country back from the thieves who now control it. The entire political and economic system is designed from the top down to make certain that people with integrity and allegiance to the working people of this country are crushed. The facts that a few have slipped through like Bernie and Elizabeth Warren is amazing. But it doesn’t happen often, because it takes big money to get elected and you don’t get that big money unless you dance to the tune of those with the big money. And Hillary is gonna dance us right in to more poverty and dead and wounded soldiers.

  4. Democrats are really dense, really stupid. They are fretting about the effects of a “little bit more” of Sanders when they should be scared s#itless over the looming prospects of a “whole lotta FBI” speeding down on their presumptive candidate under criminal investigation!

  5. I have been a democrat all my life but under no circumstances I will cast my vote for HRC. She represents everything that I believe is wrong with our country -greed and corruption ( Wall street speeches), bought and sold political system ( super PACs), hawkish foreign policy through regime changes ( Libya,Iraq) and BTW ( but this is on the bottom of my list) – not being a true feminist by choosing to stand by her husband who clearly abused his power by having affairs with his women subordinates ( names that just resurfaced- Paula Jones, Jennifer Flowers and, of course, the 20s old back then Monica Lewinsky). The only decent and true public servant in this race is Bernie. I hope he runs as independent, there are so many of us who would support him until he gets his nomination or whatever political status he needs to turn this country to the right track. . We have no other choice in this political climate.

  6. This has always been and continues to be about a set of ideals, NOT about supporting a team like it was a sport! Hillary is going to need to return all corporate donations, refuse all PAC support, and drastically change her foreign policy ideas to bring in the Bernie or Bust crowd. That’s not going to happen, especially while Jill Stein already has a platform very similar to Bernie’s.

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