As expected both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump notched Yyuuugge wins in the New York primary last night. They were both (even the Donald) fairly gracious in their victory speeches with Trump mainly thanking his staff and the voters, Clinton reminding her audience that she and Bernie Sanders have a lot more in common than in difference. Mr. Trump is obviously beginning to listen to his newly-hired handlers in trying to become more presidential. And Sec. Clinton is starting the task of trying to unite the Democratic Party after a couple of contentious weeks on the campaign trail between Sanders and her.
Some postulate that these victories in New York place the two front runners on a pretty easy glide path to victory, perhaps even avoiding a contentious open convention on the Republican side. I think it’s a bit early to predict that, but as Hillary said, “Victory is in sight” at least for her. If that is so, what should Bernie do now?
I agree with those who say that he should absolutely NOT get out of the race (not that there’s much chance of that!). His “movement message” is compelling, exactly what this country needs to hear, and has motivated hordes of younger voters wooed by his idealism and his integrity. Bernie Sanders has been, and will continue to be, a real asset for the Democrats and the nation in general.
I do think he needs to moderate his tone a bit now. Or rather, return to the issue-oriented, non-personal style he began this race with. Advisers who counseled him to “take Hillary on” about Wall Street speeches and shenanigans with the Democratic National Committee were wrong. His appeal is his message and his ability to rise above the petty personal attacks such as we see on the GOP side. He should regain that perspective for the duration of the campaign.
Not only is this the moral and ethical thing for him to do as the most moral and ethical candidate on the trail, but it is smart politics. No matter who wins the nomination, the Democratic Party will need to unite to defeat Donald Trump (who I do not believe will be as soundly defeated as many of the pundits predict — there are a lot of angry people out there). Working now to begin to forge that Democratic unity will guarantee Senator Sanders a large place at the Convention, a speaking role in that gathering, and — most importantly — the ability to influence the platform in a more progressive direction.
Maybe even a Cabinet position. Health, Education, and Welfare?