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Where Does Sanders Stand In His Adopted Party?

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Where Does Sanders Stand In His Adopted Party?

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders arrive for a meeting with Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a hotel in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

All that stands between Hillary Clinton and the Democratic nomination are a few days in Philadelphia.

Washington, D.C. cast the last primary ballots Tuesday, giving Clinton a wide victory over Bernie Sanders. The two met for 90 minutes after the district’s vote became clear, a coming together ostensibly focused on the party platform, and certainly also focused on contrasting Democratic Party unity with the GOP’s slow, public identity crisis.

Clinton clinched the delegates necessary to win the nomination last week.

Sanders isn’t going to the White House next year, except to visit. He’ll be nearby on the Senate floor, bobbing with the millennial campaign trail energy that turned his message into a contentious movement. Democrats have a good chance of retaking the Senate in November; Republicans should be worried — according to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, over 75 percent of Democrats say Sanders, the guy who legitimized socialism in America, should have a “major role” in shaping the party’s positions.

And it seems the people will get what they want.

On Tuesday, USA Today reported on a closed-door meeting between Sanders and other Democratic senators, Sanders said he plans to play an active role in shaping a new platform for the party. Sen. Tom Carper said Sanders “mentioned he has every intention of being involved in the platform process and making sure his 2,000 delegates have the opportunity to have their voices heard.”

Sanders, who Carper said was greeted with a “warm welcome, a friendly welcome” and standing ovations, also discussed the necessity for job training and making it easier for people to vote and participate in Democratic Party activities, as well as ensuring that young people feel welcomed by the party.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said the meeting was “terrific.”

“Sen. Sanders took time to talk to us about his experiences. It was really very, very moving,” he said.

Also on Tuesday, during a press conference, Sanders told reporters, “We need a person at the leadership of the DNC who is vigorously supporting and out working to bring people into the political process,” adding that he knows “political parties need money, but it is more important that we have energy.”

Laying out a list of reform plans for the Democratic Party, Sanders discussed electoral reform, calling for the elimination of superdelegates and the need for more open primaries, which allow independent voters to participate.

“We need an electoral process that is worthy of the Democratic Party,” he said.

Sanders’ comments came as polls were closing for the D.C. primary, the final nominating contest of the Democratic presidential campaign. The Vermont senator met with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton later in the evening.

Throughout the primary, Sanders has stood firmly to Clinton’s left on policies like raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and providing universal health care and tuition-free college.

Although Clinton, who last week was endorsed by President Obama, Vice President Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, had already secured the delegates needed to claim the Democratic nomination, Sanders followed through with his pledge to compete in the D.C. primary.

Spokesman Michael Briggs stills says he expects Sanders “will be a candidate through the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.” Briggs said Sanders will speak via live video Thursday night, “directly to grassroots supporters from Burlington (Vt.) about how the revolution continues.”

“Sanders’ strength in the primaries had a significant impact on shaping the party platform,” said Brad Bannon, Democratic strategist.

In an interview with The National Memo, Bannon said Sanders used his campaign as a leveraging tool to move Hillary Clinton further to the left.

“When Bernie got in the race, I don’t think he thought about winning the nomination,” Bannon said. “I think he got in to use the primary process to make the Democratic Party more progressive.”

Given Sanders’ successful candidacy, the senator from Vermont will likely return to Washington not as a ranking member, but a committee chairman, and the same could be said for Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and a prominent progressive voice from the sidelines during the primary, especially against Donald Trump.

“Sanders helped jumpstart a generational change in politics,” Bannon said. “He activated a young generation of activists who aren’t going away,” who “will have a significant impact on local, state, and eventually national politics.”

Robert Shrum, who was a senior advisor to Sen. Edward Kennedy during the 1980 presidential election, told The National Memo that an insurgent campaign like Sanders’ will incorporate new voices into the process.

Shrum noted that George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign “brought in Bill and Hillary Clinton, and they stayed around for a long time.”

“These ripples keep going for a long time.”

Photo: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders arrive for a meeting with Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a hotel in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2016.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts



  1. Dominick Vila June 15, 2016

    Where is Sanders ideologically? He is solidly on the left. Sen. Sanders supports ending the influence of money in American politics, He supports strong and enforceable regulation to stop Wall Street abuses. He supports the expansion of MEDICARE to make affordable healthcare available to all Americans. He supports raising the minimum wage to ensure all American workers earn enough to support themselves and get out of poverty. He believes that those working full time, and those that hold two jobs, should not live in poverty. He believes our judicial system is broken, and that the number of Americans in prison is an embarrassment for the USA. He supports investment in infrastructure and alternative energy sources to create good paying jobs in the USA, that cannot be outsourced, while at the same time strengthening our competitiveness and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. He supports legislation and investment to, at least, mitigate the effects of global warming on our coastal cities and towns, agriculture, and the environment. These are some of the issues addressed, repeatedly, by Sen. Sanders. Issues that until not so long were the centerpiece of the Democratic party political platform and agenda.

    1. A_Real_Einstein June 15, 2016

      To think what we could have had. What a shame.

      1. Karen June 15, 2016

        Do not despair. Think instead of where Sanders has taken the Democratic party and he will continue in his efforts. The direction of the party is changing to reflect once again a party of the people. I think Hillary Clinton has heard our voices, thanks in part to Bernie, and will heed them. Let’s all look to a brighter future for us all. A revolution at a measured pace!

        1. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

          Did the Democratic Party need “taking” by Sanders? But thanks for showing us what a tyrant Sanders is and has always been. HIS WAY or the Highway…how is that different from Bush and Cheney?

          1. Karen June 15, 2016

            Eleanore, I think you are smarter than that. I in no way would consider Sanders in a league with either Bush or Cheney. He is a man of conviction who perhaps at times was over zealous in expressing them.
            But he did bring many important issues to the forefront.

          2. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

            Sorry Karen but you are correct. I AM smarter than that. I know for a fact that Sanders is better and more skillful at hiding what he doesn’t want his supporters to know.

            Proof? First, he only provide a tax record from 2014 because he knew it would prove he didn’t lie about his being the “poorest” Senator. So do you want to tell us how in a state like VT he can afford 3 homes on a poor Senator’s salary?

            He is going to have to be far more forthright for me to fall for his line of BS.

            And, let’s stop the Sanders rah rah. If Sanders brought many issues to the forefront, he waited 44 years to do it and some of those could have been avoided by HIM since he has such a long term record in the Senate.

            But, after the president is neatly tucked into office, Sanders better keep that “movement” going or people like you are going to see his “schtick” was just a crock.

          3. Karen June 15, 2016

            I’ve always believed Hillary was the right candidate at this time given her intelligence, expertise and temperament. But it is still my desire that Bernie’s ideas be given the justification they deserve. It isn’t just Bernie that will make them happen. It will be the voters getting to the polls and seeing to a change in the makeup of congress that will effect the needed change in our government

          4. Amelia Earhart June 15, 2016

            ” Bernie’s ideas”…that alway irks me…people act like no one else is or has ever championed these ideas before…in fact the campaigns dissing of people like John Lewis the real heroes here is one of my biggest complaints…anyone who did not support Bernie was labeled the “establishment” they were fighting against…even PP…someone in another site said of Bernie…”he moved the conversation to the left but not Hillary or the party because are already there”…that is the one thing I will grant him credit for….

          5. elw June 15, 2016

            While it is true that none of those are Bernie original ideas, he is the first candidate to have been out spoken about them in decades. Sorry Amelia, Hillary’s political record and rhetoric in this election has not been as far left as they became when Bernie entered the race. The Clintons (both) have a very long record of being moderates leaning to the right and are part of the establishment; not that that makes them bad people, it just does not change the fact that Hillary did move further to the Left when Bernie became a threatening opponent for the nomination.

          6. Amelia Earhart June 16, 2016

            While Hilary might not be as progressive on somethings as Bernie, she is more progressive on other things like gun control…tonight as the Democratic Senators stand together where is Bernie?…at home preparing his “victory speech?…Hillary may not be an “in your face” progressive like Bernie but she is a progressive who agrees with most of what Bernie says he stands for…it’s just that she and the majority of Democrats don’t believe we need to tear everything down and start over…that’s a receipt for disaster in my book…but really this all a moot point now…Clinton is the nominee and god willing the next President…

          7. elw June 16, 2016

            You are right it is a mute point, but that did not stop you from spreading more lies about Bernie Sanders. Bernie never called for anything to be torn down – that is Campaign Hillary rhetoric – which cannot be proven. If you are such a winner why the need to tear down the person you think is the loser?

          8. MVH1 June 16, 2016

            A mute point? How about moot.

          9. Amelia Earhart June 16, 2016

            and what lies are that?…Bernie said he wanted a “revolution” which is about tearing things down to replace them with something totally different…started over from scratch…he just doesn’t want to effect change he wants to replace…and I don’t believe telling the truth about people is tearing them down…while I like the ideas he pushed in the beginning he has shown me nothing in the recent past other then he’s a sore looser with an inflated sense of himself…everything he has done recently just emphasize the temperamental flaws that make him unfit to be President…the best thing I can say about his campaign is that he has moved the conversation left but not Hillary as she was already there…

          10. elw June 16, 2016

            Except, you are not telling the truth. Show one quote from Bernie where his said he was going to start over from scratch. Just one to prove that you are not making things up.

          11. RED June 15, 2016

            Hey can we call Hillary an old woman? Or is that offensive? Is that only applicable to calling men old men? I already know your answer.

          12. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

            When I refer to Sanders as a geezer or old, I am not talking about his physical status. I am talking about his mental stream of consciousness. Hillary doesn’t have an “old woman’s” brain.

            Sorry but Hillary is a Boomer women. We are not allowed to ever be sick, tired and heaven help you and your middle aged breed of kid dumpers if we get “too old” to tend to your parenting duties and that of our frail, elderly parents.

            Don’t you have something more productive to do with your life? By the time you roll out of bed, I’m already finishing two hours of online content writing.

          13. RED June 15, 2016

            First, how fascinating that you believe typing comments on a computer is something productive and those of us who can’t be glued to the comment section aren’t being productive, really quite amazing. Plus it apparently seems to escape your mind that there are four time zones in the continental US, and I don’t live in yours. And as far as your rude and prejudicial comments of calling Sanders an “old man,” I’m from the South so I’m quite familiar with the standard dodge that prejudicial people like yourself use all the time to justify their prejudices. So the old, “I didn’t mean it like that,” or “it doesn’t apply to you,” routine is old hat to me, I’ve seen it a millions times.

          14. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

            Hey shitforbrains…Did you ever hear of content sites that buy articles on plumbing, electrical, construction? No? Figures a lazy lump of turd like you wouldn’t.

            Apparently, you sit and post on National Memo all day. I already ghost wrote 5 articles while you were sitting there HATER BOY…I get paid to write technical article. You don’t even get paid to post the BS you post.

            I’ve seen men like you so many times. You need your heads ALL bashed in with hammers to find out if you have ANY brains.

          15. RED June 15, 2016

            Absolutelya a it’s perfectC on copy, only Democratic flavor!! Amazing!! From the nobody is as smart or works as hard as Eleanor to the we must be lazy if we aren’t in the businesso f publishing technical articlesl ike her all the way to the “men should be assaulted!” It’s exactly like an ignorant Con!

          16. RED June 15, 2016

            Trying to pry Eleanore off her conspiracy theories is exactly like trying to get an ignorant Con off theirs. I’ve come to realize that sometime the Con sickness comes in a left wing flavor or at least a Democratic flavor. Eleanore has no reality except that Bernie is a man and therefore guilty and Hillary is a woman and therefore innocent of all crimes. Even as Hillary spoke at AIPAC pledging he fealty to Israel and continuing military support of an illegal occupation while Bernie said we must consider the Palestinians, something no candidate has ever done, well even then Eleanore is able to find some secret Jewish conspiracy that Bernie is involved in. Take time to read even jusy the briefest of Eleanore comments and you will discover a clear pattern, men equal guilty, women equal perfect and totally innocent of anything and everything. I promise it’s not that hard to see, she has put it right there in black & white.

          17. CrankyToo June 15, 2016

            Precisely. Our friend Eleanore is the antithesis to the male chauvinist pig – the female virago sow.

          18. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

            And you are a male bully whose balls are the size of peanuts. What the hell makes you hicks and rednecks think you can just ride herd over all women in this country?

            So Hater BOY…go don those cammos, pump those fists, bellow like banshees and you are still dipshits lazy as it gets. What the hell are YOU doing on a computer in the middle of the day?

          19. CrankyToo June 15, 2016

            Your reply is (predictably) rabid and (obviously) grounded in another of your bizarre fantasies. Thank you for perfectly illustrating my point.

          20. elw June 15, 2016

            Too funny 🙂

          21. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

            only to hicks and rednecks who can’t put sentences together like you. The rest of us know how to read, write, spell, form sentences, get published and make a living from writing that pays the taxes that keep you slugs of the Mutton Chops and Corn Pone lazy ass brigade on welfare.

        2. A_Real_Einstein June 15, 2016

          We do not have time for incremental change. I expect very little from Hillary. She is owned by Wall Street and the fossil fuel indusrty. She won’t even stand up to fracking. She is the status quo. What a missed opportunity.

    2. plc97477 June 15, 2016

      He is solidly a socialist. His biggest problem is his inability to compromise when needed. He, like trump, thought the president was given a magic wand to do anything he wants to with out having to make concessions or listening to anyone else’s needs.

  2. yabbed June 15, 2016

    This is silly fantasy. BitterBernie has already registered for his reelection to the Senate as an Independent. He’s never been a Democrat and should not have been on our Party’s ticket. He’s been destructive to our party and our nominee. His entire contribution has been to enrich himself on campaign contributions with his wife pocketing 20% of campaign donations while the two of them lived the billionaire’s life of private jets, limos, bodyguards, and being so, so important. He has accrued over 800 FEC violations he has to account for including taking foreign contributions and spending over $1 mil on a chartered 747 to fly 10 family members (on a plane that holds 400) to Italy to stalk the Pope and over $600,000 to charter a private jet serving lobster sliders to his failed attempt to get a vote in Puerto Rico. Goofballs both to them, laughing inappropriately, screaming the same platitudes over and over with absolutely no policies that could be implemented without a massive tax increase. All Bernie wants now is for HRC and the DNC to pay his campaign debts and his FEC fines. BS is a total fraud.

  3. I of John June 15, 2016

    And this is the way the party system is supposed to work. Exchanging ideas and points if view while putting aside petty differences. This puts the needs of fhe whole ahead of the individual.

  4. FT66 June 15, 2016

    The dust has settled and now it is the time to bind together, Sanders supporters and Hillary supporters and beat the devil Trump. Am optimistic we will reach our goals. Remember we have a lot in common. Our main goal is to defeat Trump first and thereafter sort out what to tackle.

  5. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

    As I listened to Sanders Monday, June 14th speech, it is clear where Sanders stands. He wants the Democratic Party to RUN HIS WAY. How Bush and Cheney does he want to get?

    Didn’t we have enough of the MY WAY or the Highway BS with Bush and Cheney? Do we now need a 1960’s relic to do the same?

    Sanders is showing he lacks the integrity to be a man and admit he has lost. Hillary now has 200 delegates more than she needs to be declared the winner.

    But Sanders? Oh no! Mr. Bully is going to “show” her! He will stay in this race even if he is the lint at the end of the hem of the campaign.

    I’d bet my bottom dollar that the minute the RNC finds a way to disqualify Trump, Sanders will be right there like the good little boy he is and offer his services and all of his supporters…Anything to get even with the Big Bad Hillary who is quite frankly in his opinion in HIS Way. After all, it is about HIM, isn’t it?

  6. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

    Here in the NY/NJ Metro area, it is a joke how not one Sanders supporter dares ask about his Dominion Oil and Fracking investments. It’s also pretty amazing how he manipulates his own PR so no one asks Sanders about his wife’s little spending spree at Burlington College that got her fired.

    Sanders really plays that holier-than-thou routine to the hilt. But, one thing is certain. If he is so dedictated to social causes, he damn well best keep up his “movement” momentum long after the election is over or he will prove what he really is: a manipulative tyrant.

  7. plc97477 June 15, 2016

    Can anyone tell me why bernie fought releasing his taxes so hard? As much as it hurt him, you would think he would like to get them out there where everyone could see there was nothing there. Instead he fought it like a wild cat.

    1. Amelia Earhart June 15, 2016

      my guess it’s because he’s one of the “evil millionaires” he rants about…how can one not be one when you have 2 people both making 6 figures and who own at 3 or 4 houses?…unless they are really lousy money managers…

    2. elw June 15, 2016

      What difference does it make now? He did release one year of recent taxes and like every other Senator he has to produce financial information every year, which is in the public domain. You can find if you really want to – but you are probably having much more fun pushing lies about him.

  8. Moderate Black Woman June 15, 2016

    I hope the Democratic Party won’t let Sen Sanders’ insurgent “movement” take the Party so far to the left that we get Mr. Trump. Sen Sanders is creating racial and generational divides that the Democratic Party cannot afford if it is to regain control the Senate. Primary voters are not the general electorate. The latter are more likely moderates who care about fairness and income equality but generally take a dim view of free college education and free health care for twenty somethings who don’t pay taxes. Sen Sanders’ platform will require most taxpayers to pay more taxes and “fees” instead of saving for retirement, which is often forced due to age and race discrimination.

    1. elw June 15, 2016

      Oh please, Bernie Sanders is hardly “so far to the left” as you would like to believe. In the latest polls 75% of Democrats felt he should play a major role in the Party’s platform, so your worries are not felt by the majority of us.

      1. MVH1 June 16, 2016

        Major role has its limitations. You think Bernie the Ten Minute Democrat is embraced by 75% of Democrats? Then why didn’t he win the campaign.

        1. elw June 16, 2016

          I would seem that that is what the polls are saying. Hillary has a 54% disapproval rating, she got extremely small crowds to her rallies – you should be asking how did she win?

  9. elw June 15, 2016

    Well, it looks like the man who came in second place is the biggest winner in this race and is much more likely to meet his own goals than winner will be. Hillary’s Presidency will not be a pretty one. With her propensity for scandals, real and make believe, and her ability to make people dislike her I expect she will be knee deep in mud through out her time in the White House while Bernie’s power and popularity will grow.

    1. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

      Either you stop your lying or someone is going to do what Hillary did to Trey the King of Liars Gowdy. He thought he was a smart ass too. Now? He’s under investigation for falsifying evidence in the federal investigation of Benghazi. People like you just never learn when to stop the lying.

      1. elw June 15, 2016

        Are you threatening me?

        1. MVH1 June 16, 2016

          Be serious. She doesn’t know you, doesn’t have a name for you, doesn’t know where you live and the most she’d be likely to do is stick a sign in your yard saying something you don’t like.

          1. elw June 16, 2016

            You cannot be serious, you actually think her threats and name calling are acceptable. In addition, I do not need you to tell what I already known. That does not change the fact that she is breaking the sites rules and nor do I need to put up with that kind of behavior.

          2. MVH1 June 16, 2016

            I’m serious.

  10. Eleanore Whitaker June 15, 2016

    How old is Sanders? How old is the Democratic Party? In his book, “The Most Exclusive Club” Lewis L. Gould, also author of “Grand Old Party” and Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Texas, wrote that “in the early 1900s, the Democrats at that time favored small government, states, rights and economy in expenditures owing to the fact that the southern and midwestern states were then Democratic. The Republican party endorsed strong national government, expansion of business through protective tariffs, subsidies to businessmen and farmers and stimulation of overseas trade.”

    A total upside down version of the two parties today. Both parties reviled the idea of socialism.

  11. mary5920 June 15, 2016

    Laying out a list of reform plans for the Democratic Party, Sanders
    discussed electoral reform, calling for the elimination of
    superdelegates and the need for more open primaries, which allow
    independent voters to participate.

    Regarding electoral reform, I would think they would need to call for every state to conduct primaries rather than caucuses, and call for every state to use vote by mail with verifiable paper ballots than can be hand counted if necessary.

    I disagree with a number of items on Bernie’s platform agenda. A universal $15 per hour minimum wage is unworkable in every location and situation. Single payer is one way to get to universal coverage but not the only way, and most places that now have it got there incrementally.
    Back to primaries: I disagree with open primaries as well as the idea of eliminating super delegates for a major reason: people who invest time and a great deal of effort in their chosen party should have a right to chose their candidate.

    The Republicans have Trump because they don’t have super delegates and because they have winner take all, and open primaries.


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