Bernie Sanders brought a close to one of the most successful insurgent campaigns in Democratic Party history.
Hillary Clinton and Sanders united at an event in New Hampshire on Tuesday, where the Vermont senator officially endorsed Clinton.
Sanders spoke first, followed by Clinton at an event designed to move the party closer to unity in the race against Donald Trump.
Sanders began by thanking New Hampshire, his campaign volunteers and the entire state of Vermont for their support of his presidential bid.
“We have begun a political revolution to transform the United States of America,” he said.
“Together we will continue to fight for a government that represents all of us and not just the one percent, a government based on the economic, social, racial and environmental justice,” he said. “I am proud of the campaign we ran here in New Hampshire and across the country.”
“Secretary Clinton has won the democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that. She will be the democratic nominee for president, and I intend to do everything I can to make certain that she will be the next president of the United States,” Sanders said in front of a roaring crowd.
Although Clinton was declared the presumptive nominee in early June, Sanders refused to concede, vowing to continue his campaign, until now.
“I have come here to make it as clear as possible why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president,” he said on Tuesday.
“The profound lesson that I have learned is that this campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders,” Sanders told the crowd. “This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face. And there is no doubt in my mind that as we head into November, Hillary Clinton is far and away the best candidate to do that.”
By holding out on his endorsement, Sanders leveraged his position and brought Clinton to the table. His goal: to cajole Clinton into accepting some of the core issues of his campaign.
Over the weekend, the Democrats’ platform committees adopted many of Sanders’ proposals, most notably, a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage– with Sanders conceding that it would be phased in “over time.”
“Hillary Clinton understands that we must fix an economy in America that is rigged and that sends almost all new wealth and income to the top 1%,” Sanders said during his address in New Hampshire.
“She believes, we all believe, that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And further, she wants to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure,” he said. “But her opponent, Donald Trump, well, he has a very different view.”
Clinton’s campaign also announced a proposal on Wednesday to eliminate tuition at in-state public colleges and universities for families with annual incomes up to $125,000. Then on Saturday, her campaign announced an expansion of her health care proposals, which brings her closer to Sanders’ call for Medicare for all.
“We got 80% of what we wanted in this platform,” Warren Gunnels, a top Sanders foreign policy adviser, told CNN.
“The profound lesson that I have learned is that this campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders,” Sanders told the crowd on Tuesday. “This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face. And there is no doubt in my mind that as we head into November, Hillary Clinton is far and away the best candidate to do that.”