Now if his followers could stop fighting each other and Biden and come on board….
Many Democratic leaders were irate in 2016 over what they saw as Bernie Sanders’ failure to fully get behind Hillary Clinton and work hard to get her elected.
Four years later, they’re heaping praise on the Vermont senator and his top brass for their efforts to put Joe Biden in the White House.
Sanders dropped out of the primary months earlier than he did in 2016, swiftly and wholeheartedly endorsed Biden, and set up policy task forces with him. Despite opposition from fellow progressives, senior Sanders aides have created super PACs to support Biden. And in an effort to avoid a repeat of the unruly Democratic National Convention during the last presidential election, Sanders’ team has told some of the delegates representing him there to sign a pledgeswearing off attacks on Biden and other party leaders.
It has not gone unnoticed.
“Sen. Sanders has been a tremendous force in helping unify the party,” said Neera Tanden, president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress and a longtime Hillary Clinton aide who has been a vocal critic of Sanders in the past. “I am grateful for his work to urge his supporters to support Biden and fight Trump. He knows the stakes of this election, has always said he will support the nominee, and has been a man of his word.”
The moves by Sanders and his advisers come as Biden is struggling to win over young people, progressives and Latinos, who represented key blocs of Sanders’ base in the primary.
Biden’s team has also been heartened by the efforts of Sanders and his advisers.
“Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are friends and share a steadfast belief that we need a government that will deliver for working families,” said Andrew Bates, Biden’s rapid response director. “Sen. Sanders and his team have been extraordinary partners in offering advice and support on the biggest challenges of our day, such as overcoming climate change and rebuilding the American middle class — especially after the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Despite Sanders’ efforts, though, some of his former aides are not sure he’ll be successful in persuading the most hardcore anti-Biden voters in his coalition.