September 24th, 2021


Three reasons Bernie Sanders should stay in the race

Ed Rogers

By Ed Rogers The Washington Post

Published May 23, 2016

On CNN last week, Hillary Clinton compared Bernie Sanders's position in the 2016 Democratic primary to her position during her 2008 run against Barack Obama, saying she has "an insurmountable lead in pledged delegates" and implying that it was time for Sanders to follow her 2008 example and drop out.

The demands that Sanders exit the 2016 stage coming from Clinton allies and her sympathizers in the media are becoming an angry roar. It is certain that Sanders will not get the number of delegates he needs to become the Democratic nominee before the convention. But there are three good reasons that Sanders should want to stick around.

Clinton could be indicted. The longer Sanders stays in the race, the better positioned he will be to assume the nomination if Clinton is arrested on federal criminal charges. Given how the Democratic Party establishment has treated him in this election so far, there is no guarantee Sanders would automatically be tapped to fill her shoes.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hasn't even tried to hide her contempt for The Bern as she shamelessly works to endear herself to Clinton. At this late date, there is no way Team Sanders should be confident that the DNC chair would be a fair administrator of the process to replace Clinton if needed. No doubt Sanders believes it is best for him to stay close to the action until he knows how the latest Clinton scandal will play out.

Sanders and his followers can still have an impact on the issues they care about. They don't trust Hillary Clinton, so they are right to demand a big role in the construction of the Democratic Party platform at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The Sanders team should not accept Clinton's assurances that they matter and will have their say. The members of Bernie Nation want to have a hand in writing their positions into the party platform, and they should. Maybe they did learn something from Ronald Reagan after all: "Trust but verify."

Sanders owes it to his supporters not to quit. Sanders voters are passionate about The Bern. They have worked tirelessly for him, so for him to just throw in the towel when there is still some good that can come from his movement would be bad form. Staying in the race is the unselfish thing to do. Unlike Clinton eight years ago, Sanders is not angling for a job in the next administration.

It's not about him. Agree with him or not, Sanders actually believes what he says, which is part of the reason his movement has gained so much momentum.

And just to acknowledge the obvious as a partisan Republican, Clinton and the Democratic ticket becomes weaker the longer Sanders stays in the race.

05/17/16: Obama calling the kettle black
03/29/16: Can we talk about Ted Cruz?
03/10/16: After Tuesday's results, all eyes are on Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell

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Ed Rogers is a a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991."