Tag Archives: Super Tuesday

Endorsement Wars: Backstage with Bernie

There was some excitement behind the scenes at Bernie Sanders’ Super Tuesday shindig. Sharp elbows, bruised feelings. In the long run, it won’t mean much; but hey, this is a blog about politics, and backstage maneuverings are part of the deal.

Both Democratic candidates for governor spoke from Bernie’s podium — a big opportunity, a very visible platform. Important for both. Well, here’s what happened beforehand according to multiple sources, some on the record and some off.

“[Sanders campaign manager] Jeff Weaver reached out to Matt and asked him to speak before Bernie,” says Matt Dunne’s campaign chief Nick Charyk. “They had a history; Jeff did fundraisng for Matt [in 2010] and endorsed him.

“It was an incredible honor. We had a busy Town Meeting Day schedule, but Matt was jetting up to Burlington when the Sanders campaign contacted us, and told us that Sue Minter had reached out, said she was now endorsing Bernie, and wanted to share the stage.”

Parenthetical: Minter had earlier said she would vote for Bernie in the primary but wasn’t formally endorsing — a rare distinction, but one she chose to make. On Tuesday, with the chance to appear with Bernie in the balance, she changed her tune.

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Resilience, but no revolution

Bernie Sanders won’t be the Democratic nominee for president. And it’s not because of superdelegate shenanigans or imaginary Clinton conspiracies* or the media’s reluctance to validate his candidacy. It’s not even because I endorsed Hillary and voted for her in the primary.

*Honestly, I don’t get the Clinton hate. To hear some of my leftish acquaintances tell it, the Clintons are somewhere between Richard Nixon and Attila the Hun on the universal scale of evil. 

But give the guy credit. He did better than expected on Super Tuesday. Not well enough to give him a shot at the nomination, but more than well enough to keep his candidacy going all the way to the Democratic convention.

Which is an absolutely worthwhile goal: get all the publicity you can for progressive ideas, and compel the Democratic Party to honor the left wing for the first time since, oh, 1972. Bernie has proven that the left wing is as strong a potential source of energy (and even money) that the party can’t afford to ignore. That is his enduring gift to our political discourse.

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