Bernie Sanders, the sitting senior senator from Vermont and former Democratic presidential nomination contender, has vowed to take to the campaign trail to support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. The hope is Sanders will energize working-class voters with his fiery rhetoric, but not all of his supporters are enthusiastic about his decision.
Of his return to campaigning, this time for Clinton, Sanders said, “I look forward to it. I feel very strongly that Donald Trump would be a disaster for the country. I want to do everything I can to see that Secretary Clinton wins.” While Bernie Sanders is looking forward to stumping for Clintons, large swaths of his campaign supporters are questioning why Sanders would go on the road to support someone he spent the better part of the year assailing in the media as untrustworthy. It is a curious scenario in politics. Enemies because friends overnight after a fight has been concluded and a winner named; which often confuses more diehard supporters who do not understand how such a quick change of position can take place.
The good senator says he hopes to have as large of turnouts as he did during the heat of the Democratic nomination battle. He said, “I think we can create large turnouts.” While sanders as kept a low profile since he conceded the fight to Hillary Clinton, he still has millions of supporters. What remains to be seen, and is not known, is if those numbers will translate to as large of rallies when he is supporting Clinton, rather than attacking her, and how his supporters will react to the change.
Sanders, who endorsed Clinton last month, ticked off a list of states that he is likely to hit in coming weeks, including some where he won primaries and caucuses (New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin) and some where he fell short but ran strongly among key segments of the electorate (Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada).
Sanders said that during some of those visits he will also campaign on behalf of Democratic Senate candidates, including Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania, Ted Strickland in Ohio and Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire. He is also planning to campaign for other progressive down-ballot candidates, he said.
Sanders said he plans to hold large-scale rallies, which were a staple of his campaign, drawing from both his land Clinton’s lists of supporters.
“I think we can create large turnouts,” he said.
Sanders has kept a low public profile since the Democratic convention, where he offered his full-throated support of Clinton during a prime-time speech, but some of his delegates continued to protest the outcome of the primaries.
He has been working on a forthcoming book on his experience running for office and vision for the country’s future.