Why Sanders Should Get Out Now & Save the Country

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Time for Bernie to step aside?

[The odds are long for Bernie these days. Should he keep his campaign going, or drop out and unify the party? The CFR’s Tom Berger looks at both angles, and you can read the first post in the series here.]

If Bernie Sanders got out now and made way for Hillary Clinton, would it ensure a Democratic victory?

While a cautiously optimistic Bernie Sanders supporter, I’m also perfectly comfortable with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, and hopefully our country’s next president. Like most Democrats, there are things I find appealing about both candidates, and things to be wary of. Many of Senator Sanders’ plans seem borderline unrealistic and hard to imagine being forced down the pipeline of the House and the Senate. Secretary Clinton has that much-talked-about but rarely-witnessed “likability” problem, which I think is overblown. I guarantee that if Secretary Clinton were male, we’d be having that conversation much less often, which leads to all sorts of issues with which we need to deal.

The key elements that Democrats have to consider now are if their candidate is a) capable, b) intelligent, c) able to compromise, and d) electable against any of the probable Republican candidates. I would argue that both Democratic candidates fit these criteria, but there is some room for debate on the fourth point.

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Bernie Sanders has a likable quality with younger voters that you would never expect given his age and adorable-yet-curmudgeony demeanor. From a personality perspective, he is almost the polar opposite of President Obama, the country’s last “cult of personality” candidate. But his sincerity, his kindness, and his compassion for those most in need of need speak to a much wider base than previously thought, which almost makes one optimistic about the new generation (provided they show up). Secretary Clinton’s pragmatism, experience, and sincere desire to serve provide her with an equally powerful argument for her suitability. Though some are wringing their hands about party divisiveness, I think the Democrats have an embarrassment of riches compared to the narcissistic circus act that is the GOP primary race.

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The Democrats can quietly and maturely unite.[/pullquote]

But it might be time to tread carefully. As mentioned, many liberals are concerned as to whether the millennials that Senator Sanders has invigorated will show up on Election Day. The evidence in primaries has not been particularly convincing. While Secretary Clinton certainly has her challenges as a candidate in the general election, it might behoove all people whose primary focus is to avoid a Trump in the White House as anything but a tourist to back her now. While the focus is still on the Republican’s unintentionally hilarious mise en scene, the Democrats can quietly and maturely unite behind the likely nominee in a way that both bolsters her ability to run in the general, and shows the country which party is mature and responsible enough to come together despite their internal differences.

Senator Sanders has said that he’s not planning on dropping out until the delegate count makes his nomination impossible. Now might be the time to take the base he’s built and put it where it will be most effective: ensuring a Democrat in the White House in 2017.

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  • Cindy Van Vreede

    As long as Bernie can bring in money, he’ll stay in the race. And why not? It’s a gravy train worth riding as long as young people continue to send in their $27 donations. Bernie gets to “be da man” and put forth his message. He doesn’t care about putting a democrat into the White House. He doesn’t care about the democratic party. He promised to help down ticket democrats with fundraising and has broken that promise. He’s not the man of his word you think him to be.

    • Robert Adams

      False -you are so wrong. Tim Canova Zephyr Teachout Primala Jyanpal and Lucy Flores have all enjoyed huge campaign contributioms from Sanders camp and an explosion in name recognition. Clinton’s victory fund has absorbed 99% of the money set aside to help down ticket dems to fumd her own campaign. She is a thief skirting campaign finance rules.

  • cookiega

    ……….and New England should have quit 2 years ago when Seattle was driving downfield in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. We used to be a nation of dreamers. Have we devolved into a nation of sheep huddling up to protect against the wolves hoping that the predators get their fill on the other members of the flock? President Obama was not elected and re-elected because of legislative accomplishments. His oratorical skill brought hope to a country saddled with a failed economy and seemingly endless war. His re-election was due to his grit and determination to stand as a firewall against a radical and obstructionist congress. Well done Sir! I for one don’t want our next President to be a gatekeeper who will aim for incremental steps as their legacy. I want a dreamer; someone who will pursue grand ideas like Social Security, Medicare, or putting a man on the moon. I want to vote for someone who I feel can energize the American people to get and stay engaged in the governance of our great country. Senator Sanders’ continuation in the Democratic nomination process will either gain him the nomination or force the Democrat party and Senator Clinton to at least consider a return to the glory days of grand ideas and greater accomplishments. Stay the course Bernie.

  • cookiega

    ……….and New England should have quit 2 years ago when Seattle was driving downfield in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. We used to be a nation of dreamers. Have we devolved into a nation of sheep huddling up to protect against the wolves hoping that the predators get their fill on the other members of the flock? President Obama was not elected and re-elected because of legislative accomplishments. His oratorical skill brought hope to a country saddled with a failed economy and seemingly endless war. His re-election was due to his grit and determination to stand as a firewall against a radical and obstructionist congress. Well done Sir! I for one don’t want our next President to be a gatekeeper who will aim for incremental steps as their legacy. I want a dreamer; someone who will pursue grand ideas like Social Security, Medicare, or putting a man on the moon. I want to vote for someone who I feel can energize the American people to get and stay engaged in the governance of our great country. Senator Sanders continuation in the Democratic nomination process will either gain a him the nomination or force the Democrat party and Senator Clinton to at least consider a return to the glory days of grand ideas and greater accomplishments. Stay the course Bernie.

  • Lars

    Tom Berger is just another dumb ass who is blowing smoke for the Hillbots. He has absolutely no idea what he is talking about whe some of the top financial wizards have called Bernies plan plausible. Clinton is scared to death of bernie now and sees that the ignorant voters she duped in the south is no longer her refuge. The Clintons have done every underhanded and unethical action in order to steal this election. Hell: in and recent interview while trying now to kiss Bernies ass, she said that she dosn’t blame him for staying in the race because she did the same thing in 2008. So Berger, take your unfounded opinions and … well he knows.

  • Salty Elbows

    Bullshit! Sanders is beating Obama’s primary numbers. And national polls show him beating Trump and Cruz with a wider margin than Hillary. Also, she’s about to get smacked up for AZ and Mass. How could you suggest we just give her the Presidency without democracy making the choice?

  • Claudia Judd-Mcgrath

    Lady I don’t know where you get your information I have found a lot of scandals in him. This tired narrative that he is honest (wrong) he is trustworthy (really wrong) and is raising money inly from small donors (FEC investigation) is really doing a disservice to those of us Denocrats who predate Presidents Obama and Clinton and remember McGovern Mondale and Dukakis. And THEY were real Denocrats. I’m a lowly high school graduate but I know how to use the Internet and so research.

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  • Stu Peters

    It is all irrelevant; Hillary is the chosen one; there is no political will to indict her over the farrago that is the email scandal. Even many Republicans want her rather then their putative nominee. I tell you folks it’s over.

  • Robert Adams

    The political will to indict Clinton is very strong and growing by the day. Sanders has captured a full 46% of the “democratic party” and we are pissed that our efforts to bring young people into the party has been thwarted with registration purges conducted by key democratic party loyalists. I registered several young people who had their party affiliations changed after the deadline. All to benefit Clinton. She is a weak candidate that has zero chance of defeating Trumps entrenched growing support with a begrudging coalition of voters. I personally prefer Trump to Clinton. He is an asshat but she is just a scumbag corporate war criminal under FBI investigatiom.