With the Democratic Platform Done, Bernie Prepares to Endorse Hillary

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Our long national nightmare is over at last:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is making it official: Former Democratic rival Bernie Sanders will join her at a New Hampshire event on Tuesday where he plans to endorse her.

….Though Clinton effectively clinched the nomination more than a month ago, Sanders has been slow to formally endorse her fall bid against Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump. He has instead maneuvered to win commitments from Clinton and the Democratic Party to incorporate portions of his agenda into theirs.

Last week, Clinton announced revamped policy on college tuition and healthcare that did just that. And at a meeting on the Democratic Party platform, Sanders successfully pushed for liberal positions on an array of issues, including the minimum wage and climate change.

This all makes sense. Though I’ve had my issues with Sanders, I said a few weeks ago: “In the end, the threat of Donald Trump will prevent Bernie and his followers from hating Hillary too long, but in the meantime there’s no reason not to use every weapon in his arsenal to browbeat both Hillary and the Democratic Party into moving in the direction he wants them to go.”

And that’s what he’s done. He cooled it on the personal attacks, but used every bit of leverage he had to move both Hillary and the Democratic platform to the left. He didn’t get everything he wanted, but unlike some of his more rabid supporters, he never expected to. He did lose the primary, after all.

Nonetheless, he got a helluva lot. He played his cards well, and in Hillary Clinton I think he had a fairly willing sparring partner. She didn’t fight all that hard against his platform demands.

But yesterday the platform was finished, and Bernie is pretty happy with it. With that done, he’s endorsing Hillary almost immediately. My guess is that it will be a fairly enthusiastic endorsement, too—and will get more enthusiastic as time passes and the wounds of the primary race fade away. In the end, I’m happy to see that Bernie has pretty much played things the way he should: he stopped the personal attacks, pushed the party to the left, and now he’s diving in to the campaign against Donald Trump. Good work.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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