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CNY Reacts to Bernie Sanders Ending Campaign, Influence He'll Have in Party

Courtesy Bernie Sanders for President

The abrupt suspension of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is being met with disappointment, but also a lack of surprise in Central New York.  Fellow Democrat Common Councilor Joe Driscoll was disappointed to see an old inspiration go, though he thinks it was the right call. 

Driscoll believes party front-runner Joe Biden will need to shift policies on some issues to attract younger voters.

“I think the youth that utilize the internet a lot, they’re reading a lot about climate change, the impending disasters that are coming, seeing storms coming that are worse and worse, and they know that we need an aggressive plan if they’re going to grow old and their children are going to grow old. They want to know that the environment that they will be living in is going to be safe.”

He notes health care is another issue on which Sanders’ ideas can help Biden.  Driscoll can see how a meeting-of-minds of leading democrats could pay off.

“It would be great if Joe Biden sat down with Bernie and with Elizabeth Warren and developed a more aggressive plan. I believe there are more pragmatic ways to do it, I believe that there are ways that won’t alienate moderate voters. If the messaging is right, you can rally the troops around him and I hope that Joe Biden does that.”

Sanders remains on New York’s primary ballot and will continue to amass delegates before the convention.  Cornell Department of Government Professor Douglas Kriner believes he will still try to influence the party platform.

“How much more clout could he possibly have? The party has moved left on almost all of his key issues and priorities. I think that there is a sense that the establishment and that party leaders want to appease Sen. Sanders but they also feel that he did not give unconditional and full-throated support to Sec. Clinton last time and that it significantly hurt her chances.”

Kriner suggest democrats have to come together and re-energize … something he says Joe Biden is better positioned to do than anyone else.  And the Coronavirus pandemic has shut down most campaign activity that could help now and in November.

“What does Vice President Biden project in this crisis? He may not have quite the charisma of a President Obama, but he tries project a return to normalcy and a commitment to competency in management, versus the more kneejerk responses that we’ve gotten from the Trump administration at times, explicitly downplaying the threat in this.”

Kriner adds that democrats can take this time, knowing the likely nominee, to right some wrongs and close gaps that hurt the party in 2016, losing the presidential election that seemed a sure win.

Sanders has asked supporters in states that have not voted yet, including New York, to still vote for him in their primaries so that Sanders can gain more leverage over the Democratic Party’s platform in the DNC National Convention scheduled for July.

“While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not,” Sanders said.