There’s a lot of hope and speculation about whether Bernie Sanders will endorse and support Hillary Clinton after she wins her party’s nomination for President. I have no doubt the Democrats will have the leverage to ensure Senator Sanders will back the party’s nominee. Here’s how.
It turns out the Democrats still will have something Sanders wants, even if he loses. You see, the Democrats expect to take the Senate back this fall, which means the Democrats will have Senate committee chairmanships to hand out next year. Bernie Sanders, as ranking Democrat of the Budget committee, would love to get one of those, so he will fall in line.
Harry Reid is already dropping hints, saying Sanders can come back to the Senate with “more power,” but “I just hope the people who surround him, his campaign advisers, give him the right advice.”
The Democrats haven’t had to give him anything, after all. He’s not a member of their party and he won’t join it. Harry Reid threw him a bone when he joined the Senate: “I was very fortunate in that Harry Reid gave me the committees I wanted…. Harry gave me what I wanted.”
Reid’s successor as Democrat leader might not feel so generous, especially if Sanders refuses to fall in line behind Hillary Clinton. No matter what happens in November, Sanders could easily find himself an outcast in the Senate, should he not back Clinton as nominee. If the Democrats win, then they’ll feel they don’t need Bernie Sanders. If they somehow lose, then he’ll be an easy scapegoat.
Sanders will endorse. The Democrats will unite, just as they did in 2008.