Peculiar to modern election laws, presidential candidates never end their campaigns. They just suspend them. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the latest and the last to give up the challenge to former Vice President Joe Biden. For better or worse, the Democrats are now stuck with Uncle Joe – barring some unforeseen event requiring him to suspend his campaign. In politics, nothing is impossible.
Sanders said that he was ending his second quixotic quest for the Democrat presidential nomination because he wants to devote his time and energy to crafting and passing legislation in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This is a variation of the more traditional cover story when politicians drop out of a race. You know, “I want to spend more time with my family.”
The real reason for ending his bid for the nomination is that Sanders finally discovered that the path to victory he claimed to still have insight was some sort of mirage. With the confirmed opposition of the entire Democrat establishment, Sanders did not have a path to the nomination from the day he announced his candidacy.
Sanders apparently intends to wield some influence at the convention. He cannot get the presidential nomination – and there is zero chance that Biden will pick him for Vice President. So, what is the plan? The only obvious answer is that he wants to push the Democratic Party platform further to the left. The Party establishment is likely to allow Sanders to do that since the political platforms are rather irrelevant.
Sanders’ dedicated revolutionaries were enough to give him some plurality victories in the early primaries, but – just as in 2016 – once the field shrunk an establishment candidate was about to emerge.
As far as his determination to craft COVID-19 legislation, he will be no more influential in doing that than he was in producing legislative victories in the past 29 years he has served in Congress. His level of success did not go passed winning a majority vote for naming a couple of Vermont post offices.
While most of his fellow senators (and that includes the ladies) call him their friend, Hillary Clinton was closer to the truth when she succinctly said, “no one likes the guy.” Yes, he has a following among the kids who seem to see him as a replacement for Santa Claus – promising to bring them everything on their wish list. But in terms of his colleagues in the Senate, he is a cranky old socialist whose voice and vote rarely made any difference in the sway of legislation.
The millionaires and billionaires can rest a bit easier today with the voice of the nation’s number one proponent of class warfare diminishing like a distant radio signal as the world moves down the road. Not that they were really worried.
Some have speculated that his movement … ooops, I mean revolution … will be picked up by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes. We can only hope.
So, there ‘tis.