New York was the last straw for Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton took the primary by 58% and scooped up 139 delegates.
The Sanders campaign cried foul after a series of voting irregularities were discovered and the Board of Elections stripped more than 125,000 Democrat voters from the rolls, but the impression of disenfranchisement will not change the fact that there is no way Sanders can win the nomination.
Following the defeat insiders began urging Sanders to get behind Clinton.
“Will Sanders offer up the olive branch and throw his support to Clinton in the interest of beating Trump? Or will he continue with the increasingly aggressive approach his campaign debuted in the lead-up to New York?” asks Lucia Graves of The Guardian.
It doesn’t look like it now. Sanders is still peddling his “revolution” and talking up chances in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland. He has promised to take the fight all the way to the convention floor in July and work tirelessly to flip superdelegates.
Clinton will need Bernie’s supporters in the battle against Trump, who will likely become the Republican nominee short an unforeseen effort by the establishment to sabotage his chance. Ted Cruz went down in flames in New York, where he finished third behind the candidate hanging on by his fingernails, John Kasich.
Over the next few weeks, Hillary will attempt to draw in Bernie’s supporters by moving closer to the left. She has already shifted on globalist trade policy and the minimum wage—two issues near and dear to Bernie progressives—and further tilting will be required if she is going to add bulk to her race and beat Trump, the nearest thing to an anti-establishment candidate, this time around. She moved left on immigration reform and an overhaul of the criminal justice system. Clinton also positioned herself to the left of Sanders on abortion, unions and so-called gun control. Moreover, her tax the rich mantra looks attractive to progressives.
“I want to be your champion. I want to fight [for] you every day,” she said in Vermont as she wooed Bernie supporters on his home turf.
In Wisconsin, a state with a hefty leftist constituency, Clinton eked out a straw poll win over Sanders last year.
On Monday, Sanders told CNN he has moved Clinton to the left, although he added the change is little more than an election ploy.
“They’re very good at rhetoric, and certainly she has moved to the left in this campaign in response to many of the initiatives that we have brought forth,” Sanders said. “I think the average person understands when you collect such large sums of money from Wall Street and other special interests, they have their doubts as to whether the Clinton people will stand up to these powerful forces.”
As hope for Bernie fades, many Democrats will ignore Clinton’s tight relationship with Wall Street and the bankers. Faced with the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, they will hold their noses and line up behind Clinton.
The average progressive will follow the faded Hollywood diva Susan Sarandon’s lead. In March, the actress criticized Clinton for her relationship with Henry Kissinger. “I don’t like the fact she talks about Henry Kissinger as her go-to guy for the stuff that’s happened in Libya,” said Sarandon. “I don’t think it’s good.”
Asked if she would vote for Clinton in a race against Trump, Sarandon said she is undecided. “I don’t know. I’m going to see what happens,” she said.
She was talking about the outcome of the primaries and the prospects for Bernie Sanders. Now that he is even further behind than he was last month—and the DNC will make it virtually impossible for Sanders to do anything significant on the convention floor in July—Sarandon and the progressive wing of the Democrat party will either sit out the election or vote for Clinton.
They can’t sit is out, though, not with the prospect of Donald Trump sitting in the White House.