It was such a busy, important news day yesterday -- particularly with President Obama's speech in Dallas -- so this story didn't get nearly as much attention as it would have otherwise. But it shouldn't pass without more notice that on Tuesday, Bernie Sanders finally acknowledged that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president, and he endorsed her.
He was very clear, in a joint appearance in New Hampshire--
"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. Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination and I congratulate her for that."
In fact, he went even further. "I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States."
I don't imagine he's happy about it. Who would be? He ran a unlikely, powerful campaign that grew from nowhere and remarkably came close to getting the nomination himself. But he's been very clear that Donald Trump is the unacceptable "enemy" and not the former Secretary of State with whom he agrees about 85%.
Less happy than even Sanders himself though, I'm sure, are those of his supporters who are the most fervent and die-hard. The "Bernie or Die" folks who have been sending out unrelenting angry Tweets about how he can never, ever, not ever give up his candidacy before the Democratic convention and can never, not ever, never, ever endorse That One, who they believe is not only is worse to them than Donald Trump, but should be indicted because it was supposedly proven by the FBI even though they didn't recommend indicting..
Clearly Bernie Sanders disagrees with them, on every level.
And I'm certain that most Sanders supporters disagree with the die-hards, as well, since already 63% of them have said that they would indeed support Hillary Clinton. So, the whole cry that "no Sanders supporters will never ever accept Hillary Clinton as the nominee" never had a chance of being even remotely true. And further, I suspect that that "63%" number will go higher, indeed likely much higher as the reality of the Sanders campaign being officially over, and Sanders himself speaks at the Democratic convention on Sec. Clinton's behalf, and he hits the campaign trail for her, and the election nears and Trump goes more out of control, the horrifying specter of Donald Trump even-possibly becoming President of the United States sinks in.
And yes, I'm sure that some Sanders' most-profoundly fervent die-hards will never, ever, not ever be able to support Hillary Clinton -- not for likely any reasons they say -- but because she's the candidate to beat their beloved Bernie and that is the most inexcusable sin. Indeed, for all their surprising calls for indictment, it's important to remember that in their very first debate, Bernie Sanders fully dismissed the importance of the whole "email issue" as being without any meaning. So, the "Bernie or Die" folks putting so much attention on that can have nothing to do with the actually issue itself, but mostly -- I suspect -- because an indictment would have meant their candidate could still have been nominated. Which is all that mattered. It was everything. Bernie or Die. Never mind that a year ago some of them, if not many or even most had even heard of Bernie Sanders. What matters is today, and today Hillary Clinton is the person who defeated him. And they invested so much of their fervent passion in him.
Today is also the first full day that Bernie Sanders has acknowledged his campaign is over and that he supported Hillary Clinton said that Donald Trump must not be allowed to become President of the United States.
And now the Democratic Party moves forward. Most of it, at least...
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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