Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders formally declared an end to their political rivalry Tuesday, joining forces to take on a shared enemy: Donald Trump.
“I have come here to make it as clear as possible why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president,” Sanders said at a joint rally here. “Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination and I congratulate her for that.”
The 74-year-old self-described democratic socialist, who has been a thorn in Clinton’s side over the last year, pledged to support his former rival through Election Day: “I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.”
“We are joining forces to defeat Donald Trump!” Clinton declared. “I can’t help but say how much more enjoyable this election is going to be when we are on the same side. You know what? We are stronger together!”
And even as she struck a victorious tone, Clinton also repeatedly and directly addressed the Sanders supporters in the high school gymnasium.
She walked through a number of policy issues where Sanders had pulled her to the left during the course of the election — minimum wage; the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, college affordability — to make a broader concession: the movement that Sanders created was nothing short of a political revolution.
“Sen. Sanders has brought people off the sidelines and into the political process. He has energized and inspired a generation of young people who care deeply about our country,” she said. “To everyone here and everyone cross the country who poured your heart and soul into Sen. Sanders’ campaign: Thank you.”
Big talk from the same guy who was too afraid to debate Bernie in California. https://t.co/LVCjo0PKrN
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 12, 2016
As one of the hosts and warmup acts at Portsmouth High School, in New Hampshire, on Tuesday morning, Senator Jeanne Shaheen seemed a bit unsure what to say, at least initially. “Go, Bernie, and go, Hillary, right?” she asked the crowd. Then she recovered, saying, “I am so thrilled to have Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders come together in New Hampshire so we can defeat Donald Trump.”
The crowd cheered. Some people held up banners that read “Stronger Together.” After Shaheen had finished, there was a rustling backstage and the two principals emerged. They weren’t holding hands or joshing with each other, but they didn’t look uncomfortable. They looked businesslike: Bernie in a dark jacket and tie, Hillary in one of her trademark pantsuits.
When they reached the lectern, Sanders gave Clinton a half hug, acknowledged the event’s hosts, and said, “Let me begin by thanking the thirteen million voters who voted for me during the Democratic primaries, and thank you, New Hampshire, for giving us our first great victory.” For a few minutes, it sounded like he had accidentally brought one of his old campaign speeches. “Together, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution continues,” he intoned. “Together, we will continue to fight for a government which represents all of us and not just the one per cent.”
As Clinton applauded gamely, Sanders got down to brass tacks. He noted that his opponent would be going into the Democratic Convention with three hundred and eighty-nine more pledged delegates than him, and “a lot more superdelegates.” Then, for the first time, he publicly acknowledged what has been obvious for weeks: “Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process,” he said, turning to place a supportive hand on her shoulder, “and I congratulate her for that. She will be Democratic nominee for President, and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next President of the United States.”
How Sanders supporters can still reshape the Democratic party: https://t.co/1H9WGYKXOq
— Vox (@voxdotcom) July 13, 2016
Let me begin by thanking the 13 million Americans who voted for me during the Democratic primaries. Let me also thank the people here in New Hampshire who gave us our first big win and a special thanks to the people of Vermont whose support for so many years has sustained me.
Let me also thank the hundreds of thousands of volunteers in every state in our country who worked so hard on our campaign and the millions of our contributors who showed the world that we could run a successful national campaign based on small individual contributions – 2 1/2 million of them.
Together, we have begun a political revolution to transform America and that revolution continues. Together, we continue the fight to create a government which represents all of us, and not just the one percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.
I am proud of the campaign we ran here in New Hampshire and across the country. Our campaign won the primaries and caucuses in 22 states, and when the roll call at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is announced it will show that we won almost 1,900 delegates. That is a lot of delegates, far more than almost anyone thought we could win. But it is not enough to win the nomination. Secretary Clinton goes into the convention with 389 more pledged delegates than we have and a lot more super delegates.
Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that. She will be the Democratic nominee for president and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.
— Xavier Pérez (@DOUBTMYPROGRESS) July 13, 2016
Before this primary season, the Democratic Party’s national platform had not been contested since 1988, when Jesse Jackson offered amendments on military policy, health care, and education, and introduced rules to diversify the party. The 1984 DNC witnessed four hours of platform discussion, which was nothing compared to the 17 hours of heated debate in 1980 over Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy’s fundamental split over unemployment and inflation.
Bill Clinton’s “third way” platform in 1992 marked a rightward sharp turn from the Democrats’ New Deal agenda of tax and spend, social safety nets, and full employment, toward one of small government, personal responsibility, and market-driven growth and investment. Since then, Democratic platforms have gone unchallenged, and the convention itself has functioned as a spectacular coronation. Barney Frank said as much when he branded the platform (in an interview with Slate) the “Miss Congeniality” of the convention process. Frank worked on the 2012 document, but the process was so boring, he intimated, that he couldn’t recall what was in it.
But this year, Bernie Sanders broke that consensus by reviving the New Deal of FDR Democrats. Hillary Clinton, of course, went on to win the majority of delegates. But heading into Philadelphia, she still needs to win over a significant portion of Sanders’s base supporters. Sanders was clear early on that his campaign aimed to fortify a grassroots movement, not himself as a candidate. He identified the platform as a way to register the Democratic Party’s commitment to a progressive agenda—a kind of peace treaty between the DNC and the political revolution, but also an historical marker of dissent from the party’s neoliberal agenda.
Among the unity amendments was a Sanders-Clinton compromise on education that included free public higher education for families with income of up to $125,000 a year. Having campaigned on free higher ed as a counterpart to universal health care, I was ambivalent. On the one hand, the $125,000 cutoff meant that some 83 percent of American families would get free tuition. On the other hand, it tainted Sanders’s elegant College for All with means-testing. In the end, the negotiated language made no mention of the cap, so I was pleased to stand with AFT President Randi Weingarten to present the amendment: “Every student should be able to go to college debt-free, and working families should not have to pay any tuition to go to college.”
The result was similar for health care. A unity deal was announced that called for increased funding for community health centers and the National Health Service Corps, and expanding Medicare. National Nurses United had lobbied hard for a single-payer amendment, and, despite the unity deal, their union rep delivered a spirited speech in favor of Medicare for All—to which gallery chanted rigorously “single-payer now!”
Sanders’s foreign-policy amendments were no less notable. His list of 12 “priorities” included reducing spending on nuclear weapons in what’s fast becoming a new arms race. The US government is projected to spend $1 trillion on “modernization” over the next 20–30 years, which, experts argue, is being read by Russia and China as an act of provocation. Hillary Clinton had not taken a position on this aspect of nuclear proliferation, but her assent to platform language against the $1 trillion program runs counter to President Obama’s current position.
— POLITICO (@politico) July 13, 2016
Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, acknowledging that Clinton won the Democratic nomination and effectively ending his presidential campaign. While I was skeptical of his chances at nearlyeveryturnof thiscampaign, don’t expect schadenfreude here. Instead, let’s celebrate a candidate who far exceeded most expectations, discuss his legacy and what Sanders’s success means for the future of the Democratic Party.
But let’s start by talking about that success. The first thing to note: Sanders came a long, long way. He began the primary trailing Hillary Clinton by 57 percentage points in national polls. In the end, he lost the national primary vote, in aggregate, by only about 12 points. He closed the gap by 40 percentage points. No candidate since 1972 started that far down to a front-runner and came so close to winning.
Sanders started the primary campaign by nearly pulling off an upset in the Iowa caucuses. When Sanders announced his bid, Clinton led in the Hawkeye State by 54 percentage points. In the final Iowa polls, she was 5 points in front of him. And he lost the state by less than 1 percentage point. From there, Sanders romped in the New Hampshire primary, cruising by 22 percentage points. Sure, he represents New Hampshire’s neighbor, Vermont, in the U.S. Senate, but it’s important to recognize that he started down 40 percentage points in the Granite State. That is, in Iowa, New Hampshire and other contests, Sanders demonstrated an ability to close the gap on Clinton the more he campaigned.
Perhaps where Sanders impressed most is what he did after Iowa and New Hampshire, two states that we knew would be favorable for him. He won contests into June — even after Clinton amassed a nearly insurmountable advantage in delegates — for a total of 22 wins (out of 57 contests). Sanders did this well even with virtually all party elites lined up against him. His campaign was powered almost entirely by the grassroots.
— Feetothefire (@feetothefire) July 13, 2016
Senator Bernie Sanders offered a full-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, urging his supporters to get behind the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. But many of his most loyal followers are not feeling it just yet.
Disappointment in Mr. Sanders cascaded across the internet as he embraced his former rival, describing her as a comrade in the fight to overhaul a rigged campaign finance system and lift the poor out of poverty. The sadness was most evident on the Facebook page where the Vermont senator explained his decision in a message titled “Forever forward” that drew responses infused with a skeptical refrain: Never Hillary.
“You broke my heart and betrayed the left Senator Sanders,” wrote Cesar Agusto Diaz, a Sanders supporter from New York.
Daniel Whitfield, of Discovery Bay, Calif., insisted that the political revolution Mr. Sanders had championed did not have to end just because the senator had given up. However, he said that voting for Mrs. Clinton was not an option.
“Intelligent Bernie supporters will NEVER support her because she stands for everything were fighting against,” he said. “Just because Bernie has left our movement does not mean it is over.”
Some backers of Mr. Sanders suggested that they would give Mrs. Clinton a chance in order to stop Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. Others rejected the idea of having to choose between “the lesser of two evils” and suggested that they would give a third party a chance.
As you have throughout this historic campaign, I ask for your support as we continue through November and beyond.https://t.co/IriYPCuJX6
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 12, 2016
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) July 12, 2016
On Tuesday, Sanders broke the hearts of many of his New Hampshire supporters, who seemed to not want to see the revolution end. Months after it was clear that Hillary Clinton would be the presumptive Democratic nominee, Sanders endorsed her candidacy at Portsmouth High School, and the party attempted to forge a political union between their supporters.
In 2004, many liberal activists had, as one bumper sticker suggested, “Dated Dean, Married Kerry” — a reference to Howard Dean, an insurgent progressive candidate, and John Kerry, the eventual nominee. But in this presidential primary, many New Hampshire voters expressed a different notion: They dated Sanders, and now they feel they have been left at the altar.
“Absolutely, I am disappointed and heartbroken,” said David Weeda, a Sanders delegate from Maine to the Democratic National Convention. “He can do this if he wants, but I am going to still fight for his cause. He was the first person in my 35 years of activism who was speaking for me.”
My take on Bernie's speech: Yes, he won real victories, and the whole process was good for the party: https://t.co/GCNsE0e90H
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 12, 2016
Their appearance together in New Hampshire was a show of party unity, but voter unity may be harder to achieve — especially among young voters. A new poll from The Associated Press and University of Chicago suggests Clinton has yet to convince this group, perhaps Sanders’ most reliable demographic this campaign season. Her weakness extends across racial and ethnic groups.
There’s a little good news for Clinton in the poll of 18- to 30-year-olds — in a matchup against Donald Trump, she clearly bests the New York businessman, 38 to 17 percent. But that leaves 45 percent of those young adults who said they were either undecided, wouldn’t vote or would vote for someone else (22 percent).
Another stat that bodes poorly for Clinton: Those who chose her aren’t exactly crazy about her — many instead simply dislike Trump. Those who chose Clinton are about evenly split: 47 percent said they “mainly support” her, while 53 percent said they “mainly oppose” Trump.
Sanders inspires more enthusiasm. In a Sanders-Trump matchup, 61 percent of young adults chose Sanders, compared with only 16 percent who chose Trump. In this scenario, the share of people who would choose “someone else” is drastically smaller: 7 percent, compared with 22 percent in the Clinton-Trump matchup. In addition, nearly three-quarters of those who would choose Sanders said it’s because they support him (as opposed to opposing Trump).
Interestingly, views of Sanders are more consistent across ethnic groups compared with views of Clinton. Young black voters are most likely to see Clinton favorably, at 64 percent. Among young, non-Hispanic white voters, it’s only 26 percent — the smallest share of the four ethnic groups studied.
Thank you Bernie Sanders for speaking out against climate change, against fracking, against fossil fuel political power, for renewables.
— Zephyr Teachout (@ZephyrTeachout) July 12, 2016
Bernie Sanders is planning to launch as many as three new organizations to continue the “political revolution” that began with his presidential campaign, a top aide said.
Sanders, who endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee during a Tuesday morning rally in New Hampshire, sent a lengthy email to supporters shortly afterward explaining his decision and previewing his future plans.
“In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the creation of successor organizations to carry on the struggle that we have been a part of these past 15 months,” the senator from Vermont said. “Our goal will be to advance the progressive agenda that we believe in and to elect like-minded candidates at the federal, state and local levels who are committed to accomplishing our goals.”
Jeff Weaver, Sanders’s campaign manager, said Sanders is working to set up at least two, and possibly three, “sister organizations” to carry out those missions.
One will be devoted to policy formulation. A second will focus on recruiting and training candidates. And a third might engage in other political activity, possibly registering as a political action committee, Weaver said.
“We’re working out details right now,” Weaver said, adding: “This would have happened whether Bernie Sanders was elected president or not.”
Weaver said he expects the organizations to be up and running in a matter of weeks, with the aim of fully participating in the fall elections.