What are Bernie Sanders’ options if he loses?

What could Hillary Clinton offer Bernie Sanders if she wins?  What could he accept?  Above all, will he turn over his list of 2 million small donors and on what terms?

Peter+Daou+on+Twitter_+_THE+CAUSE_+If+Bernie+Wants+Real+Progress+He%E2%80%99ll+Align+HisSome of Clinton’s supporters say they aren’t willing to modify the Democratic platform in order to placate Sanders.  From their standpoint, that makes sense.

Sanders already has done immense damage to Clinton by raising peoples’ hopes.  The whole argument for Clinton is that nothing much good can be done, and she is the one qualified to keep things from getting worse.

I think Clinton’s election strategy will be try to persuade corporate conservatives that she is preferable to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz—which, from their standpoint, she is.  She will treat progressives and Sanders supporters as an embarrassment—which, from her standpoint, they are.

What she could offer Sanders is the promise of not trying to block him from retaining his Democratic Senate committee assignments and seniority rights.  This would be important to him carrying on the progressive fight from the Senate.

His endorsement of Clinton wouldn’t help her much, but the lack of an endorsement, or a lukewarm endorsement, would hurt.

Sanders’ core supporters back him because of his positions on important issues.  Some still are under the illusion that Sanders and Clinton stand for the same things, except that he is a bold idealist and she is a cautious pragmatist.  The first group would not be influenced by his endorsement or lack of endorsement; the second group might.

The big thing that Sanders has to offer is his donors list—the 2 million people who kept him in the race, mostly with donations of less than $200 each.

Barack Obama had the same kind of donors list in 2008.  He could have used it as the basis of a continuing progressive movement.  He instead chose to align himself with his fat cat donors.

I would hate to see Clinton soliciting money from these people so that she can be empowered to protect Wall Street and start wars.

Key allies of Bernie Sanders plan to meet in Chicago after the Democratic primaries are over.  They would be better custodians of the Sanders donor list, and the Sanders legacy, than Clinton or her allies.

I would not want to see Bernie Sanders burn his bridges to the Democratic Party.  But I would rather see him do that than sell out his principles in order to remain within the fold.  If that should happen, the movement he helped conjure up would simply have to look for a new leader.


The desperate scramble for Sanders’ secret weapon by Gabriele DeBenedetti and Darren Samuelson for POLITICO.

Sanders allies plot meeting to discuss future of the movement by Alex Seitz-Wald for MSNBC.

Clinton Camp Says She’s Been Forced to the Left Enough, Already by Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams.

Five Things We’ve Learned About Hillary Clinton Since She Won the New York Primary by Seth Abramson for the Huffington Post.

A Hillary presidency will *not* be more progressive because of Bernie’s primary challenge by Nate Roberts for Kossacks for Sanders.

Jane Sanders Says Bernie Will Lead a National Movement Whether or Not He Wins the Presidency by Alexander Reed Kelly for TruthDig.  And there will be a national movement whether or not Sanders leads it.

The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate by Dave Lindorff for Counterpunch.  Interesting but unlikely.

Cries for Sanders to Be Conciliatory Miss the Point by Ian Welsh.

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One Response to “What are Bernie Sanders’ options if he loses?”

  1. Anne Tanner Says:

    I get such a kick out of some of the commentators, such as this one. Total snobs, totally out of it in terms of what people outside Washington think. Does he really believe that Hillary would have time as president to tinker with Bernie’s position in the Senate? Would Bernie want to be in her administration? Would the $27 contributors give to a candidate who shows NO interest in them?
    Give me a break.


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