Hillary Has a Bernie Problem
For all the talk of dissension in the Republican Party, you’d think that Democrats were getting along just swimmingly. But as the primaries wind down, that’s far from the case. Despite being crowned the Democratic nominee long ago by the media, Hillary Clinton simply can’t put away her socialist challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“We are in until the last ballot is cast,” Sanders said at a rally. “We have the possibility — it will be a steep climb, I recognize that — but we have the possibility of going to Philadelphia with the majority of the pledged delegates.”
On Tuesday night, Sanders once again made life difficult for the DNC. Hillary managed to squeak out a (contested) victory in Kentucky, but Sanders took Oregon later in the night. These contests didn’t have much impact on the delegate race, but they show that Sanders will not go quietly into the night. And his supporters don’t seem to be inching towards reconciliation anytime soon. Whether some of those supporters will vote for Donald Trump remains to be seen, but a big chunk of them would rather stay home than vote for Hillary.
Making this doubly difficult for her is that it’s taking away one of the arguments she’d hoped to use as the general election campaign began. She wanted to shine a spotlight on the divisions within the Republican Party, using anti-Trump politicians to encourage fence-sitters to vote for her. But she can’t do that when the divisions on the left are just as significant.
Just take a look at what happened in Nevada. During the state’s Democratic convention last week, Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters went after each other in a melee, throwing chairs and disrupting the event. And while Harry Reid asked Sanders to admonish his supporters, the eventual statement sounded like tacit encouragement.
“It is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned,” Sanders said. He denounced the violence, but only as an afterthought.
What will Hillary and the Democrats have to do to get Sanders on board? Well, Sanders wants her to adopt some of his extreme financial policies. Whether that would sway his supporters or not, only time will tell. But it’s a dilemma for Hillary either way; if she moves too far to the left, her election prospects could grow dimmer. One thing’s for sure: the longer Bernie stays in this thing, the better it is for Trump.
So by all means, Mr. Sanders, bern it all the way to the convention.