On Thursday evening, Vermont Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released a statement via livestream video in which he essentially refused to concede the Democratic race. Sure, he said he’d work with Hillary Clinton to help defeat Donald Trump, and made mention that his role in that process would develop shortly, but he still is taking his campaign to the convention as of now.
While his comments were well-received by his base, as he deemed it #OurRevolution and called on his fervent supporters to now look into running for local office and volunteering, many Democrats and liberals just sighed. The way they see it, Hillary has been the presumptive nominee for ten days, and Bernie is still refusing to give the common courtesy of giving a concession speech, let along endorsing Clinton in her fight with Donald Trump. All in all, he is wasting away much of the political capital he built up over the primary.
Over at the Clinton camp, however, it seems like Hillary’s merely shrugged her shoulders and moved on with life. Having gotten a sense of Bernie over an increasingly contentious primary tussle, it appears that she just figures that he’ll come around when he comes around, and if that takes ignoring him, so be it.
According to The Hill, aides and allies of Clinton reveal that she is now in full general election mode, and while she’d like for Bernie to finally concede, she has bigger fish to fry at this point.
“At this point, Bernie Sanders is an after thought,” one former Clinton aide said, adding that “the world has moved on.”
“Now it is about Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump. We are now in full general election mode,” the former aide added.
At the same time, Hillary supporters were a bit incensed that Bernie hasn’t finally done the honorable thing and acknowledged reality:
“What’s he waiting for at this point?” one Clinton confidante said. “It’s over. It’s been over. Time to join the team and help defeat the guy who will do major damage to this country.”
“He played his cards wrong,” the former aide said. “Rather than using his political capital to further his policy agenda, he chose to prioritize petty process fights. Rather than realizing he lost, endorsing Hillary, and using his clout to move the Democratic Party, he chose to look like a sore loser.”
Within the camp, it seems like some are more willing than others to give Bernie the time and space they feel he needs to bring this in for a landing. At the same time, others are running out of patience. Regardless, the one common theme within the campaign is that the primary is over, it’s a done deal, Hillary won and it’s time to take down Trump.
Just as a friendly reminder, even taking away superdelegates, Hillary has nearly 400 more pledged delegates than Sanders, 2219 to 1832, and leads him in the popular vote by almost 4 million. As the delegate count stands, Clinton is ahead, 2806 to 1880, with Bernie needing to flip nearly every single superdelegate to get a majority.
Now, at least campaign manager Jeff Weaver has announced they no longer intend to do that over the next few weeks. Which, incidentally, makes Bernie’s reluctance to concede even more silly looking.