Realizing that fix was in with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 525 super-delegates, 74-year-old Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) vowed to not quit the race until the last vote is counted. With an insurmountable delegate lead of 2,293, Hillary told Bernie “enough is enough,” urging the pesky U.S. senator to drop out. Without counting her super-delegates, Hillary only leads Bernie 1,768 to 1,495, or missing 274 delegates. Expressing frustration in Nevada, Sanders supporters got frisky, shouting and throwing chairs. “I feared for my safety and had a lot of security around me,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), concerned that Sanders’ supporters were getting out of hand. “I’ve never had anything like this happen,” expressing concerns about Bernie’s backers. Whatever one says about Republicans, Democrats have their own disunity problems. Telling Bernie “enough-is-enough,” Hillary doesn’t help Democratic Party unity.
Winning Oregon’s May 17 primary by 12% [56% to 44%], Bernie underscored just how divided the Democratic Party. Sander’s won 21 primaries and caucuses to Hillary’s 25, adding Kentucky May 17 by only 0.5%, a virtual tie. Without her super-delegates, Hillary has only 274 more earned delegates, mirroring the extent of Democrats’ disunity. Urging Bernie to get out, Hillary antagonizes Bernie’s supporters, strongly attached to his candidacy. Bernie’s loyal following wants no part of Hillary’s attempt to push him out of the race. “There’s a tremendous amount of frustration out there and people want to have a fair process,” said Bernie’s campaign manager Jeff Weaver, echoing sentiments that the race was fixed from Day One. When you consider how Hillary and Bernie have battled it out, winning nearly the same number of states and delegates, it’s no wonder Bernie’s supports are angry. If Hillary really enjoyed strong Democratic backing, she would have won decisively.
When Hillary gets to the magic number of 2,383 delegates, it’s not going to stop Bernie’s supporters from influencing the election. Hillary wants Bernie to go quietly into the night but her narrow margin won’t make it happen. Instead of mending fences with the two camps, Hillary antagonizes Bernie’s supporters telling him to get out the race. “Unaddressed, the toxic relationship between DNC @SenSanders campaign, so evident last night, could cause dark cloud over Philly convention,” Tweeted former Obama chief strategist David Axelrod. Axelrod points out how deeply divided the Democratic Party closing in on the nomination. When you consider Hillary’s made no overture to Bernie on the VP pick, it’s no wonder the Party remains split. If Hillary really wants to stay competitive in November, it’s almost mandatory she picks Bernie as her VP. Hillary’s surrogates have not encouraged Bernie to lobby on behalf the VP pick.
If Hillary battles Trump for the White House in November, she’s going to need most, if not all, of Bernie’s supporters. Hillary’s going to need more than talk about Bernie backing her campaign. Bernie’s supporters want an outsider to blow-up Washington’s status quo, something an establishment candidate like Hillary won’t do. If Hillary doesn’t get Bernie’s backing for the Fall Election, she’s not going to beat Trump’s insurgent campaign. Whether Democrats like it or not, Trump has more appeal to Bernie’s supporters because of his outsider campaign. Hillary represents all that’s wrong with what Bernie calls “a broken electoral system,” where the Supreme Court’s Jan. 10, 2010 Citizen’s United ruling created Super PACs into which campaign could dump unlimited sums of cash. Backing Hillary would be the ultimate hypocrisy for Bernie supporters. Watching Trump self-fund his campaign appeals far more to Bernie-backers than Hillary’s super-PAC.
Hillary’s problems carrying the lion’s share of Democratic primaries leaves the Democratic Party grossly divided before the July Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Whatever Hillary says about healing the Party, it won’t happen unless she picks Bernie as her running mate. When Hillary’s strategists crunch the numbers, they’ll have to decide whether she gets more votes picking Bernie over someone else. Given Bernie’s supporters fervor, Hillary’s not likely to get Bernie’s backing without putting him on the ticket. Prevailing wisdom suggests two liberals, one more liberal than the other, on the ticket would be suicidal. In any other Election Year, it might be true. During the year of the insurgent, Hillary needs to separate herself from the establishment to beat Trump. Adding Bernie to the ticket forces his backers to jump on the bandwagon. If Hillary ignores Bernie and picks someone else, she’s got tough sledding to the White House.