Well, that settles that: With his endorsement earlier this month, Bernie’s out of the race and backing Hillary, to the extent that Bernie can ever be expected to back Hillary. Now we’re finally off to the races with a contest between Trump — now officially the Republican candidat — a true monster from start to finish, and Hillary, who’s pretty good on some issues.
And yes, of course, there are other candidates in the race: Dr. Jill Stein is running for the Green Party, and Gary Johnson for the Libertarians. They have no chance of winning — they are only infinitesimally more viable than the candidate who wears a boot on his head — but at least if you want to throw your vote away, you’ll have options. Go ahead and vote for a third-party candidate and see how readily the establishment perks up and takes notice.
How did we get to the point that Bernie is endorsing Hillary? We may never know the full story, but it must’ve taken an awful lot of deal-making. He probably got a rude wake-up when he showed up for a speech before Democratic lawmakers and got booed.
Politics sure is a funny thing, though. If he’d manage to raise a few million dollars more, and buy a few million votes more than Hillary, those same booing lawmakers would have been lining up to praise him as the nominee; but it was not to be. It’s been clear for weeks now that Bernie’s out of the race, and the enthusiasm for him has waned to the point that nobody really even noticed his endorsement. Maybe that was by design: With emotions at a fever pitch during the primaries that matter, an endorsement would have only inflamed resentment. Waiting until most followers lost interest was probably a wise decision.
And to be fair, Hillary has made some minor concessions to the Bernie side. She rolled out a cheap-college plan that is basically identical to his, so that’s nice. And Bernie says “I am going to use all the leverage I have.” Of course, that’s virtually no leverage whatsoever at this point. All he has is an engaged voter base, but so does American Idol and you don’t see Hillary cutting many deals with them.
But that having been said, it must be awfully tempting for her to do something flashy and bold. Donald Trump continues to win huge headlines, while Hillary only seems to make major news when it’s in relation to Bernie or Obama or Trump. And while it’s wonderful that she’s behaving like a president instead of a reality-show character, she’s not quite president yet. She needs to be grabbing attention if she wants to be assured of winning this election. Donald Trump can do that; Bernie Sanders can do that; but can Hillary? The answer to that question remains to be seen at the Democratic National Convention next week.