The fiercely divided campaign for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States is over, and Bernie Sanders has officially endorsed Hillary Clinton.
“Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that,” Sanders told the crowd at at a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was their first joint appearance, showing some semblance of unity approaching the election against Donald Trump in November.
JUST IN: Bernie Sanders: “I am endorsing Hillary Clinton.” https://t.co/FnkCHz2fkB
— ABC News (@ABC) July 12, 2016
Look at the body language from both of ’em. Yowza. The Democratic Party is trying to hold together what looks like a widening schism – between ‘establishment’ progressive politics, exemplified by Clinton, which are broadly pro-business and moderate, and the leftist insurgency represented by Sanders.
It’s all smiles, but the split is real. For many Bernie supporters, seeing him throw down his arms and support the very candidate he has previously described as beholden to the whims of Wall Street will probably sting.
His endorsement rings less as support for Clinton’s policies, and more like a vehement opposition to Trump.
“If anyone out there thinks that this election is not important, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump will nominate, and what that means to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country,” he said.
He has said in the past that it is not up to his supporters to simply vote for Clinton because she is somehow entitled to the Democratic vote, but it’s on her to reach out and offer the kind of genuine economic progressivism his (quite large) camp demands.
It’ll be a tough one – through all the campaign rhetoric, one thing is clear: Clinton is pretty wedded to the financial sector, and despite her bluster on cracking down on Wall Street she has always been immersed in the world of corporate finance. Sanders supporters do not like that.
Sanders says that the Democratic platform, which was hashed out over the weekend, is the most progressive Democratic platform in history. Whether that’s a backhanded compliment, or enough for his supporters… time will tell.
Trump is obviously loving stirring up division here:
Bernie Sanders, who has lost most of his leverage, has totally sold out to Crooked Hillary Clinton. He will endorse her today – fans angry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2016
Ah well. Onwards to November.
Source: ABC News.
Photo: Getty Images / Taylor Hill