Sanders’ influence fades ahead of Clinton endorsement

Sanders’ influence fades ahead of Clinton endorsement

History is full of examples of candidates who ran thrilling primary races, came up short, and then translated that excitement into tangible gains: a key cabinet post (Clinton), a future candidacy (Ronald Reagan, Gary Hart), or influence in the next administration through personnel appointments or policy commitments.

Sanders could have ranked among them. But, for reasons rooted in his personality and aloof political style, it looks like he won’t. He’s trapped by an inability, baffling even to some of his supporters, to end his campaign on advantageous terms. For weeks he’s swerved like a loose fire hose between gruff suggestions of support for Clinton — saying he’ll do all he can to stop Donald Trump — and threats to keep fighting her straight through the convention, possibly expecting she’d be indicted for maintaining a private e-mail server as secretary of state. (On July 6, the day after the FBI said it wouldn’t recommend any charges, the Department of Justice said none would be pressed.)

Asked recently by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell why he wouldn’t back Clinton, Sanders replied as if the primary battle were still raging: “It’s not a question of my endorsement. It’s a question of the American people understanding that Secretary Clinton is prepared to stand with them as they work longer hours for low wages, as they cannot afford health care, as their kids can’t afford to go to college…’.

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