Naturally, as self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders lost to former vice president Joe Biden in the primaries, there is bound to be at least some hard feelings to overcome, as well as a bit of resentment. However, it’s hard to tell whether it is that hint of jealousy or a deep-seated fear of partisan loss that has motivated Sanders’ latest political leak.
Here is what we know.
The Washington Post published a story recently suggesting that Bernie, or at least his campaign, isn’t all that sure that Biden is making the most of his presidential campaign and, as such, just might lose come November.
Namely, the progressives would like to see Biden move farther to the left.
I know, no real surprise there, is there?
According to the Post, “Sanders, the runner-up to Biden in the Democratic primary, has told associates that Biden is at serious risk of coming up short in the November election if he continues his vaguer, more centrist approach.”
But it’s more than a general belief that Biden should move more leftward. According to those close to him, and who, of course, is speaking “on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive talks,” say that there are “specific changes” that the leftist senator would like to see Biden make in his campaign. You know, things like talking “more about health care and about his economic plans, and should campaign more with figures popular among young liberals, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…”
And when Sander’s campaign was asked about whether these sentiments were true, Bernie’s former campaign manager and current spokesman Faiz Shakir said, “Senator Sanders is confident that Joe Biden is in a very strong position to win this election but nevertheless feels there are areas the campaign can continue to improve upon.”
Shakir went on to state that Sanders “has been in direct contact with the Biden team and has urged them to put more emphasis on how they will raise wages, create millions of good-paying jobs, lower the cost of prescription drugs and expand health care coverage.”
And while I might not agree with those issues particularly, I do believe Sanders is making a good point.
For some time now, the Biden team has seemed to run on the idea that he is better for America simply because he isn’t Donald Trump. The Democratic National Convention was pretty much a showcase of this thought. And while there is a good portion of the Democratic left that will vote for Biden on that alone, it will not be enough for all of them.
Sanders’ fans, for instance, are one such group that will want more. With Sanders out of the race, they still want to feel represented. They want to know that someone will take up the issues they care about.
And now, that is more important than ever. As Biden has recently taken up the discussion of having more law and order and finally condemning the riots and chaos in an attempt to desperately appease the moderate and sane in his party, he only increases his chances of losing the far-left vote.
Sanders is offering a way to possibly get that back or at least some of it: Give them a voice for Medicare for All, tell them how you are going to raise the minimum wage, and prove to them that climate change means something to you.
Essentially, he’s saying: If Biden expects to win, he will need the progressive left’s backing. But he won’t have that if he abandons their platform issues and only speaks to the more moderate in the party.
Now, whether Biden will take this advice is another question entirely.
I am positive that Biden, or at least his staff, are very aware of the pull of the left and need to at least listen to their agenda. However, they are also likely very concerned with how such a leftward move will look to those on the moderate side, as well as Trump.
President Trump has already skewered Biden on several occasions on his not exactly slow or logical move closer to the progressive side. Moving that way, even if by a couple more steps, will only give Trump more ammunition, as well as give “vaguer, more centrist” voters cause to question his motives further.
But which will cause him the most damage? Losing the far left or losing the moderates? That is the question his team will have to ask themselves as they plan their next moves.