Tags: Bernie Sanders | Budget Chair | Wasserman Schultz | DNC

What's Next for Bernie Sanders?

What's Next for Bernie Sanders?

(AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 July 2016 07:27 AM

Hillary Clinton's can be happy for the success of her acceptance speech on another level: The distraction cooled most of the animosity toward her from Bernie supporters.  

Talk of a walkout from the convention by diehard "Sandersnistas" during Clinton's address never materialized. Sanders' own much-praised speech to the convention and his announcing the votes of Vermont that officially delivered the nomination to Clinton major factors in getting the bulk of his followers to board the "Clinton express."

But even as the Democratic Party showed signs of unity, some sources close to Hillary and Bill Clinton privately admitted that the public show of support for the Democratic nominee by Sanders supporters would not necessarily translate into their doing any hard work getting out of the vote on her behalf.

"They are not on board yet," veteran Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg told me as we left the convention Thursday following its adjournment. "They require a lot of work."

For their part, the hardcore Sanders campaigners who spoke to me made it clear they had two new priorities upon which to focus their energy:

First, the election of enough new Democratic senators to recapture a majority in the Senate and make Sanders chairman of the Senate Budget Committee; and the defeat of former Democratic National Chairman and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the primary Aug. 30.

Asked if he would work for Clinton in the fall, Sanders volunteer and retired federal employee Jake Quinn of North Carolina told me: "I'll work for every Democrat on the ballot. But I'm going to work especially hard for [Democratic Senate nominee] Deborah Ross. If she can take out [Republican Sen. Richard] Burr, that's one of the four seats we need to get a majority and make Bernie Budget Committee chairman."

"I supported [former Rep.] Joe Siesta in the Senate primary, but now I'm supporting [Democratic Senate nominee] Katie McGinty," said Ferguson Township Supervisor Peter Buckland, "If she beats [GOP Sen. Pat] Toomey, it's going to be another step toward pulling the Senate left."

Wasserman Schultz faces a stiff primary challenge from law professor Tim Canova, who has so far raised more than $1 million and has Sanders' endorsement.

"We love Tim Canova," said Jake Quinn, as many of his fellow Sanders supporters volunteered to me that they have donated money to the insurgent opponent to Wasserman Schultz.

At 74, Bernie Sanders may have had his last hurrah in presidential politics. But the activists he energized this year made it very clear that, as one of them put it, "We are not done."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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As the Democratic National Convention adjourned Thursday night following Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech, most of the animosity toward her from supporters of Bernie Sanders that had been so apparent on Monday had fizzled after four days.
Bernie Sanders, Budget Chair, Wasserman Schultz, DNC
Friday, 29 July 2016 07:27 AM
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