Today Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic Presidential Primary, clearing the path for former Vice President Joe Biden to be the Democratic Party nominee.
Biden released a statement saying:
“Bernie suspended his campaign today, but while you can suspend a campaign, you can’t suspend a movement. Bernie and his supporters have taken issues which had been given little attention and brought them to the center of the conversation. Bernie gets a lot of credit for his passionate advocacy for the issues he cares about. But he doesn’t get enough credit for being a voice that forces us all to take a hard look in the mirror and ask if we’ve done enough.
Jill and I can’t wait to work with him and Jane on building a more progressive future.
Bernie has often said that his campaign was not about him. It was about “us.” That goes for me, too. And now more than ever, that rings true. This primary is over — but this campaign is just beginning. And it’s a campaign bigger than whose name is on the ballot. It’s a campaign about people like us coming together to not only defeat Donald Trump, but to ensure that America lives up to its founding promises once we do.”
This article is reprinted from the Blog for Arizona. To read the inside stories about the 2020 election, visit https://blogforarizona.net/
Sen. Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday, clearing Joe Biden’s path to the Democratic nomination and a showdown with President Donald Trump in November.
Sanders made the announcement in a call with his campaign staff, his campaign said.
Sanders’ exit caps a stunning reversal of fortune following a strong performance in the first three states that voted in February. The nomination appeared his for the taking until, on the last day of February, Biden surged to a blowout victory in South Carolina that set off a consolidation of moderate voters around the former vice president. The contest ends now as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, which halted in-person campaigning for both Sanders and Biden and has led many states to delay their primary elections.
Sanders’ departure from the race is a sharp blow to progressives, who rose up during and after the 2016 campaign and commanded the Democratic Party’s Trump era debates over issues like health care, climate change and the effects of growing economic inequality.
But even as his policies grew more popular over the years and into the primary season, the Vermont senator struggled to broaden his own support and galvanize a winning coalition. Now, as he did after leaving the 2016 primary, Sanders will seek to influence the presumptive nominee through the means he knows best — from the outside.
Biden has already made gestures toward Sanders’ populist base, which formed a movement over the past five years that could be critical to defeating Trump in the fall. Whether the former vice president will take the necessary steps to win over the holdouts, and the extent to which Sanders goes to make the case, will be a running subplot until Election Day.
Oh, there it is, the media’s favorite worn out meme: “Dems Divided.” Do they never tire of this? A “big tent” coalition of many different interests and views is always going to have disagreements over policy. This is normal and healthy.
What is not normal and healthy is the authoritarian personality cult of Donald Trump, where mindless MAGA cult members parrot whatever constantly shifting and contradictory opinion their “Dear Leader” tweets out each morning. That should terrify you.
Whether Sanders’ decision to the leave the contest now, rather than carrying on as he did in 2016 through the end of the primary calendar, will earn him some goodwill with the party establishment he fought so long and hard to upend, is an open question. An earlier departure won’t blot out the ideological divisions that have roiled the party since 2016.
But the more immediate question facing Sanders, following his departure, and his supporters is whether and to what extent they will lend their support — and organizing energy — to Biden’s campaign.
Sanders has been insistent that he would support the eventual nominee, no matter who it was. But his political base — especially the young, who voted for him by overwhelming margins, and disaffected — will be more difficult to bring along, no matter how many miles Sanders covers on Biden’s behalf.
Let’s be clear: Donald Trump and Trumpism, the new American fascism, is an existential threat to the very survival of American democracy, and a threat to the entire world. I don’t give a damn about your trivial petty differences with the Democratic Party or with Joe Biden. Now is not the time. There is only one path forward now to defeat Trumpism, and this is an all hands on deck moment.
If you love your country and truly believe in what Bernie Sanders was preaching, you had better get on board and work your asses off to defeat the Party of Trump up and down the ballot to remove this existential threat to our democracy.
There will be time later to debate the nuances of policy differences once Democrats have regained control of the government.
Larry Bodine is the President of Democrats of Greater Tucson, and a PC in Legislative District 9.
A journalist and attorney, Larry Bodine attends live political events and reports on them for the Blog for Arizona, which features politics from a liberal viewpoint. See http://blogforarizona.net/
He has been an elected Democratic precinct committeeman in Illinois and Arizona, starting with the 2006 Tammy Duckworth campaign (she is now a US Senator). As an elected Democratic precinct committeeman in LD9 in Tucson, he works to get Democrats elected. Since 2017 he has taught “Getting Active in Local Politics” at OLLI-UA (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
His 45-year career includes reporting for the New York Daily News, which was the largest-circulation US newspaper at the time. He has won 7 awards for investigative journalism.