With the Democratic Platform Done, Bernie Prepares to Endorse Hillary


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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