Democrat Bernie Sanders endorsed former rival Hillary Clinton for president in a show of party unity on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time), saying she was the best candidate to fix the country’s problems and beat Republican Donald Trump in the November 8 election.
With Clinton nodding in agreement beside him, Sanders put their bitter primary campaign behind them and said Clinton would take up the fight to ease economic inequality, make college more affordable and expand healthcare coverage for all Americans.
“This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face, and there is no doubt in my mind that, as we head into November, Hillary Clinton is far and away the best candidate to do that,” he told a raucous crowd in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that included plenty of vocal Sanders supporters.
To get his support, Clinton has had to sign up to several of his unaffordable ideas.
It came after Clinton last week adopted elements of Sanders’ plans for free in-state college tuition and expanded affordable healthcare coverage. Sanders also successfully pushed to include an array of liberal policy positions in the Democratic platform, which a committee approved on Saturday (Sunday NZT).
Sanders did not win all of his policy fights, most notably failing to win support for blocking a vote in Congress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
But he told the rally in Portsmouth that “our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratically controlled Senate, a Democratically controlled House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.”
Normally a candidate veers towards the centre once they get the nomination, but Clinton is signing up to a very left agenda. This is because the Republican candidate is also spouting leftish policies in some areas such as trade and deficits – and combined with a belief he can’t win.
UPDATE: Not all Sanders supporters on board. The Hill reports:
The unusual political strategy will have Sanders delegates consuming a lot of beans before heading to Philadelphia later this month, according to US News and World Report.
Protest organizer Cheri Honkala, national coordinator for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, has been stocking up on boxes of dry beans and canned beans.
The plan is for delegates to chow down, then let presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton smell what they think of her.
“The fart-in is to raise attention about things that really stink in our society,” said Dr. Walter Tsou, of the Philadelphia branch of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
What wonderful people.