Bernie Sanders Endorses Hillary Clinton, and Magic Has Vanished From the World

Politics News Bernie Sanders
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Okay, calm down, the “magic” part of that headline is a joke—I think?—and we all probably need a little levity after the bitter division of the American left over the past few months. Right?

Regardless, the long-awaited official endorsement finally went down in New Hampshire this morning. Bernie Sanders withheld his endorsement even after Clinton’s victory had been mathematically ensured in order to fight for concessions in the official party platform as the campaigns moved toward the convention in Philadelphia later this month. To some extent, he and his advocates were successful, adding language in support of a $15 minimum wage tied to inflation, a tax on carbon emissions, expanding social security, introducing a modern Glass-Steagall, and pushing Clinton to the left on making public college education free and expanding health care coverage. On the other hand, he failed to win other battles, such as party-wide opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and language that called for a ban on fracking.

Nevertheless, he clearly thought he had maxed out his leverage, and that the time was right to endorse. Standing beside Clinton, he noted that she had won more votes and more pledged delegates. He took a few subtle shots—adding that she also had “a lot more superdelegates,” and praising his campaign for raising big money on small donations, a silent contrast to Clinton and her super-PACs—but overall the feeling was positive.

Sanders’ main message was about defeating Donald Trump, and he admitted that Clinton was the best candidate to do so:

“If anyone doesn’t think this election is important,” he said, “then think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump will nominate, and what that means for the future of this country.”

He also pointed out policies on which the two agree, from the cost of prescription drugs to gay rights. It remains to be seen how active a role he’ll have in the campaign to come—he would be a valuable advocate, of course, but there are a lot of hurt feelings after a long and bitter primary. At the very least, you can expect to see him with a primetime slot in Philadelphia.

Video of the endorsement to come when available…