Is Bernie Sanders still running for President? His supporters and his rivals’ supporters are wanting to know, after an announcement that he will be appearing at Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire rally on Tuesday.
Here’s what you need to know.
Sanders’ Campaign Announced that He’s Participating in Clinton’s Rally on Tuesday, July 12
At this point in time, he’s still technically running, but that could all change tomorrow. His campaign hasn’t made any official statements about whether or not he is still in the running for President. In the past, he promised that he would take his campaign all the way to the Democratic National Convention. But more recently, he seems to have pivoted, focusing on taking the progressive platform all the way to the Convention.
What Sanders’ campaign has said officially is that he will be appearing at the rally with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. (See the event page here.) A telling sign may be the event’s title. It’s being called a “Portsmouth Organizing Event with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.” Sanders never referred to his previous rallies as organizing events. However, the term “Organizing Event” has been the name Hillary Clinton has used for all of her rallies. So this event is definitely a headliner event being run by Clinton’s campaign, that Bernie Sanders is participating in.
Another interesting point is that Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire by 22 points ahead of Clinton. So choosing New Hampshire for a potential “unity” event has a lot of emotional/psychological implications as well.
On a Reddit thread about the event, Sanders’ supporters said they would only go if they were a dissenting voice, rallying against Clinton. One person wrote:
“Or we could (go) and be very vocal that we’re very against supporting Hillary and that this movement will continue to fight the likes of her. Of course I don’t live in NH and can’t really go there at the moment in a day’s notice, but NH residents really should consider going and being unanimously vocal about how we will never support Hillary.”
Sanders’ Supporters Are Hoping His Endorsement Will Be Similar to the One He Gave for Bill Clinton
In 1997, Bernie Sanders published a book called “Outsider in the White House.” In it, he wrote about why he had decided to endorse Bill Clinton for President. The lackluster endorsement is what supporters hope he will do for Hillary Clinton (although many would prefer that he doesn’t endorse her at all.)
Yet, without enthusiasm. I’ve decided to support Bill Clinton for President. Perhaps “support” is too strong a word. I’m planning no press conferences to push his candidacy, and I will do no campaigning for him. I will vote for him, and make that public. Why? I think that many people do not perceive how truly dangerous the political situation in this country is today… Do I have confidence that Clinton will stand up for the working people of this country—for children, for the elderly, for the folks who are hurting? No, I do not. But a Clinton victory could give us some time to build a movement, to develop a political infrastructure to protect what needs protecting, and to change the direction of the country.”
Other Bernie supporters don’t think this type of endorsement would be good enough. They are tired of “politics as usual” and don’t want to keep pushing people to support one of the two major parties instead of working for true change. Those supporters were hoping Sanders would run third party.
It will be interesting to see what happens on Tuesday.