13 votes

"What should Bernie do when he drops out? Are there any potential drawbacks to doing so now?"

From the NY times

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was reassessing the future of his presidential bid on Wednesday after a crushing round of primary losses left him with no realistic path to the Democratic nomination and the 2020 race itself looked increasingly dormant because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr. Sanders’s campaign has stopped actively advertising on Facebook and its campaign manager sent an email to supporters without asking for donations — the kind of steps that other candidates have taken before ending their campaigns. Mr. Sanders’s aides said he is not suspending his campaign at this point, even as some Democrats have become increasingly vocal that he should consider leaving the race.

Even among Democrats who view Mr. Biden’s eventual triumph as inevitable, there is a belief that contested primaries are good for the party, making some of them reluctant to call for Mr. Sanders to withdraw. In Wisconsin, Democratic officials worry that if Mr. Sanders drops out before the state’s planned April 7 primary, it could dampen his supporters’ enthusiasm, depress turnout and hurt progressive candidates for state and local offices.

Mr. Sanders also views the coronavirus crisis as a moment when the progressive agenda he has championed for years is especially vital, and he is eager to leverage his influence for good at a time when issues like health care and economic inequity are so resonant, some allies say.

And top advisers see potential for him to continue to shape the narrative around how the country should be responding to the crisis and are holding out hope that they can harness existing virtual infrastructure to allow him to get his message out and keep his supporters engaged — a tacit admission that the campaign is no longer trying to win.

The above paragraphs show that yes, Sanders knows his electoral situation is done for, despite never clearly indicating if he is dropping out.

Some suggested Mr. Sanders should declare a moral victory — Democrats have moved broadly toward his progressive policy platform since he began his first presidential campaign — and throw his support to Mr. Biden.

“It’s time to throw in the towel knowing that he has won the battle of issues,” said Wilbur Colom, a D.N.C. member from Mississippi. “The Democratic Party has moved within inches of his revolution on all major issues. We all are feeling the Bern.”

From the Star

Charles Chamberlain, chairman of the progressive group Democracy for America, said Sanders can play a potentially “critical” role in unifying the party by continuing his campaign.

“Bernie has already made it clear that he will 100% support the Democratic nominee and that he’s going to campaign for Joe Biden if that’s who it is,” Chamberlain said. “The reality is, that’s not 100% true for all Bernie Sanders supporters. So there is a real value to Bernie staying in the race as long as possible to bring those people into the party deeper.“

That underscores the sensitivity of how Sanders proceeds. Justin Bamberg, a South Carolina state representative and Sanders supporter, said it’s wrong to assume that, if the senator quickly drops out, his backers would unite behind Biden.

“It’s a mistake for the party, regardless of whether the nominee is Biden or Bernie, to think that beating Donald Trump in and of itself will be enough motivation for the average person living their day-to-day life to come out and be excited about voting in November,” Bamberg said.

I agree. Biden needs to emphasize that he can be trusted to keep his promises of endorsing and then carrying out Warren's plan despite their controversies and that the bernie or bust folks won't gain nothing from a Biden presidency.

16 comments

  1. [10]
    Uncharted
    Link
    I would vote for Biden against Trump any day should it come to that. But I find it extremely depressing that someone like Biden is able to beat Sanders in elections. If we look back to Sunday's...

    I would vote for Biden against Trump any day should it come to that.

    But I find it extremely depressing that someone like Biden is able to beat Sanders in elections. If we look back to Sunday's debate, Sanders clearly won by a large margin. And Biden has shown a willingness to lie whenever it's politically advantageous (Medicare cuts etc). But what happened afterward? Biden decisively won the next couple of primaries.

    Biden is being carried over the finish line by the media and people who don't care about the finer details of policy and track record. He exemplifies everything that's wrong with American politics; politicians brazenly act against the interests of their constituents to further the agendas of the organizations that fund them; then go and offer meaningless platitudes to voters to curry favor. This is a problem that crosses party lines and is key to the failings of America's current political system.

    After all, if Biden's brand of politics was that good, why did Obama's presidency end in the election of Donald Trump? Why did America reject a career politician with extensive accomplishments for a rude, brash, morally bankrupt failed businessman? A return to normal, traditional politics is not the solution.

    28 votes
    1. [3]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      While it may seem that way to you, according to polls both candidates did well with Biden showing a slight edge over Sanders. Who Won The Biden-Sanders Debate? I would suggest reading The First...

      If we look back to Sunday's debate, Sanders clearly won by a large margin.

      While it may seem that way to you, according to polls both candidates did well with Biden showing a slight edge over Sanders.

      The debate doesn’t seem to have been much of a game-changer. In terms of raw debate grades — respondents graded candidates on a four-point scale (higher scores are better) — Biden did score slightly higher than Sanders, but respondents rated both of their performances pretty highly and both were viewed pretty favorably by respondents before the debate.

      Biden picked up a little over 3 points in potential support while Sanders experienced a 2 point decrease, but neither change was particularly big, unlike some of the gains and drops we saw in previous debates.

      We also asked likely Democratic primary voters how favorably they felt about each candidate both before and after the debate, and, notably, both Biden and Sanders had very high favorability ratings going in. They both managed to make a positive impression last night, too. Sanders’s net favorability (favorable rating minus unfavorable rating) rose almost 4 points and Biden’s rose 1 point.

      Going into the debate, voters thought Biden was the most likely to win in the general election. That was true after the debate as well. Respondents’ average rating of Biden’s and Sanders’s ability to defeat Trump was mostly unchanged.


      After all, if Biden's brand of politics was that good, why did Obama's presidency end in the election of Donald Trump? Why did America reject a career politician with extensive accomplishments for a rude, brash, morally bankrupt failed businessman? A return to normal, traditional politics is not the solution.

      I would suggest reading The First White President essay by Ta-Nahesi Coates. I think the argument laid out by Coates that the election of Donald Trump is more about racial resentment and white supremacy then the politics of Obama is pretty strong.

      9 votes
      1. Uncharted
        Link Parent
        That sounds interesting, I'll definitely take a look at that book. Also, just to clarify, I didn't mean to say that Obama's politics was the main reason Trump got elected, I was mainly trying to...

        That sounds interesting, I'll definitely take a look at that book.

        Also, just to clarify, I didn't mean to say that Obama's politics was the main reason Trump got elected, I was mainly trying to make a point that the status quo of politics was not compelling enough to prevent voters from choosing Trump over Clinton.

        5 votes
      2. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. dubteedub
          Link Parent
          I really don't follow your argument. The only metric that matters for a political debate is the impression it had on voters. If voters watch a debate and think someone did well, then they did well.

          I really don't follow your argument.

          The only metric that matters for a political debate is the impression it had on voters. If voters watch a debate and think someone did well, then they did well.

          1 vote
    2. [6]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Seriously? Nobody came out of that debate looking good. The overall impression that these were two very old people. Sanders' main strategy of trying to dredge up Biden's actions from 20 or 30...

      If we look back to Sunday's debate, Sanders clearly won by a large margin.

      Seriously? Nobody came out of that debate looking good. The overall impression that these were two very old people. Sanders' main strategy of trying to dredge up Biden's actions from 20 or 30 years ago only served to emphasize the oldness of the people while not really doing much to make Sanders look good. And what's more, the Sanders camp did such a poor job of setting expectations for Biden by accusing him of dementia that the only bar he had to clear was refraining from shitting his pants on stage. So when he showed up and was able to speak fairly cogently he looked great.

      7 votes
      1. [5]
        Uncharted
        Link Parent
        I agree with the fact that neither candidate came out of that debate looking better. Based on the overall media coverage during and immediately after the debate, it seemed that Sanders had gotten...

        I agree with the fact that neither candidate came out of that debate looking better. Based on the overall media coverage during and immediately after the debate, it seemed that Sanders had gotten the upper hand in terms of policy. Though I didn't watch the debate end to end myself so maybe I'm wrong.

        Also speaking of speaking cogently, if this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li4PG7nmlyM - was the Biden running for president today, I would have far fewer concerns about his fitness for office. He's just too erratic nowadays to be a good candidate let alone debate Donald Trump.

        2 votes
        1. [4]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          The people voting based on policy have already made their decisions, probably way back before Iowa. The people deciding now are deciding based on other factors. Winning “on policy” and $1.50 will...

          Based on the overall media coverage during and immediately after the debate, it seemed that Sanders had gotten the upper hand in terms of policy.

          The people voting based on policy have already made their decisions, probably way back before Iowa. The people deciding now are deciding based on other factors. Winning “on policy” and $1.50 will get Bernie a cup of coffee.

          He's just too erratic nowadays to be a good candidate let alone debate Donald Trump.

          I don’t know what kind of wunderkind you think it takes to debate Donald Trump. Trump is senile and he was a dim bulb even back when he had all his meager cognitive faculties intact.

          Hillary Clinton wipes the floor in debates with Trump. It didn’t do much for her. Winning at debates isn’t that effective. Elizabeth Warren won most of the debates in the primary and that, too, didn’t get her that far.

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            Uncharted
            Link Parent
            I think you're right. Most of the 'policy' contests took place waay early on when there were 10+ candidates in the running and people were still excited about what the Democratic Party could bring...

            The people voting based on policy have already made their decisions, probably way back before Iowa. The people deciding now are deciding based on other factors. Winning “on policy” and $1.50 will get Bernie a cup of coffee.

            I think you're right. Most of the 'policy' contests took place waay early on when there were 10+ candidates in the running and people were still excited about what the Democratic Party could bring to the table.

            What do you think is the main deciding factor right now in the primaries? I'm trying to figure it out but as far as I can see it's mainly about presumed electability and voters' gut feelings.

            I don’t know what kind of wunderkind you think it takes to debate Donald Trump. Trump is senile and he was a dim bulb even back when he had all his meager cognitive faculties intact.

            IMO it doesn't take a lot of brain or intelligence to beat Trump in a debate, but Trump is a master of spewing lies and hate and personal attacks in such a way that I think he would dominate the show when going against a sensible, calm, and senile opponent. Sanders has a lot more fire and energy that would let him keep the upper hand against Trump.

            But yeah, it's surprising how little debate performance matters in the grand scheme of things. It still blows my mind that Warren died out so quickly (and did worse than Buttigieg).

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              NaraVara
              Link Parent
              Do I trust him? Could I have a beer with him? Does he understand/care about people like me? Does he have the administrative/managerial skill to get stuff done? Does he give me warm fuzzy feelings...

              What do you think is the main deciding factor right now in the primaries?

              Do I trust him? Could I have a beer with him? Does he understand/care about people like me? Does he have the administrative/managerial skill to get stuff done? Does he give me warm fuzzy feelings that make me feel like I'm in good hands?

              Trump is a master of spewing lies and hate and personal attacks in such a way that I think he would dominate the show when going against a sensible, calm, and senile opponent.

              Nothing about Biden has read as "sensible" or "calm" this cycle. He's actually been irascible on the campaign trail and with embedded journalists. He sounds like Nicholas Cage in the Wicker Man any time someone questions him. Lack of "fire" isn't really a concern I have.

              3 votes
  2. [2]
    Silbern
    Link
    At this point, I think the best path is for Bernie and Biden to sit down and hash out some compromises - some Bernie policies, or influence, in exchange for Bernie dropping out. Like it or not,...

    At this point, I think the best path is for Bernie and Biden to sit down and hash out some compromises - some Bernie policies, or influence, in exchange for Bernie dropping out.

    Like it or not, Biden needs every Democratic supporter he can get, including Bernie bros, and he's going to need the party to be fully united to overcome Trump and Russia's propaganda come fall. He can't afford to have the party split between a factionalist dispute.

    Bernie should realize that his losses have likely been too great to overcome, and he risks not getting anything at all if Biden wins over him in sheer numbers alone. If he can get Biden to visibly adopt some of Bernie's policies or slogans, then imo he'll already have made a very positive contribution to the presidency, even if he doesn't reach it himself.

    Right now, unity is more important than any individual that becomes president. As a Buttigieg-then-Sanders supporter myself, I'm not too enthused about Biden, but he's miles better than Trump and we need to do everything we can to get him elected. This country's future depends on it.

    15 votes
    1. Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I agree. Biden has already shown that he'll do this by endorsing a free tuition proposal which removes tuition for those below 125k earnings a month. I think the problem is many bernie supporters...

      I agree. Biden has already shown that he'll do this by endorsing a free tuition proposal which removes tuition for those below 125k earnings a month.

      I think the problem is many bernie supporters hold Bernie's 40 year record where he has been against the war in Iraq, Civil rights, gay marriage and all the speeches from 30 or 40 years ago when he says something like 2% of people own a third of the wealth, 80% of the stocks and 90%of the bonds and now only 1% does so makes him effectively a prophet, something Biden doesn't have even slightly. I think Biden needs to make it clear that compromise will be made with progressives instead of moderate Republicans, who have clearly bent the knee to trump and won't follow along. They both also need to really emphasize downballot races like state legislators and governors since the Democrats are doing badly at these races and in a country where states are as important as the (well) United States that really matters.

      9 votes
  3. [4]
    SuperGracchiBros
    Link
    This may be a very stupid question, but what about Bernie running as Biden's VP, or some other cabinet position? As a major concession to the left-wing of the party, it seems like it might catch...

    This may be a very stupid question, but what about Bernie running as Biden's VP, or some other cabinet position?

    As a major concession to the left-wing of the party, it seems like it might catch some of those Bernie or Bust folks that otherwise would not vote. Asking as a Canadian.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      It's just silly to put a 79 year old man as VP to a 78 year old man. I've leery of even putting Warren up as VP because she's in her 70s too. Pick Julián Castro or something.

      This may be a very stupid question, but what about Bernie running as Biden's VP, or some other cabinet position?

      It's just silly to put a 79 year old man as VP to a 78 year old man. I've leery of even putting Warren up as VP because she's in her 70s too. Pick Julián Castro or something.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        I agree. 2 most likely choices IMO are Pete and Klobuchar. Pete's a moderate Midwesterner and young/gay while Klobuchar is a moderate Midwestern and a woman. Given he said his VP will be a woman,...

        I agree. 2 most likely choices IMO are Pete and Klobuchar. Pete's a moderate Midwesterner and young/gay while Klobuchar is a moderate Midwestern and a woman.

        Given he said his VP will be a woman, the choice seems pretty clear.

        1. NaraVara
          Link Parent
          Klobuchar adds nothing to his coalition. I do think he should select a progressive, ideally someone who is good on criminal justice and does well with the yutes since that's where his weakness is.

          Klobuchar adds nothing to his coalition. I do think he should select a progressive, ideally someone who is good on criminal justice and does well with the yutes since that's where his weakness is.

          2 votes