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Politics Democrats discover a new team player: Bernie Sanders

02:30  07 june  2020
02:30  07 june  2020 Source:   politico.com

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Then- Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters in Michigan during a March rally. | Scott Olson/Getty Images. Many Democratic leaders were irate in 2016 over what they saw as Bernie Sanders ’ failure to fully get behind Hillary Clinton and work hard to get her elected.

Senator Bernie Sanders ’s position on the Affordable Care Act is a reminder to voters that he is unabashedly left wing and unlikely to worry about When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced legislation this week to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, Democrats across the ideological

Many Democratic leaders were irate in 2016 over what they saw as Bernie Sanders’ failure to fully get behind Hillary Clinton and work hard to get her elected.

a man talking on a cell phone: Then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters in Michigan during a March rally. © Scott Olson/Getty Images Then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters in Michigan during a March rally.

Four years later, they’re heaping praise on the Vermont senator and his top brass for their efforts to put Joe Biden in the White House.

Sanders dropped out of the primary months earlier than he did in 2016, swiftly and wholeheartedly endorsed Biden, and set up policy task forces with him. Despite opposition from fellow progressives, senior Sanders aides have created super PACs to support Biden. And in an effort to avoid a repeat of the unruly Democratic National Convention during the last presidential election, Sanders’ team has told some of the delegates representing him there to sign a pledge swearing off attacks on Biden and other party leaders.

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It has not gone unnoticed.

“Sen. Sanders has been a tremendous force in helping unify the party,” said Neera Tanden, president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress and a longtime Hillary Clinton aide who has been a vocal critic of Sanders in the past. “I am grateful for his work to urge his supporters to support Biden and fight Trump. He knows the stakes of this election, has always said he will support the nominee, and has been a man of his word.”

The moves by Sanders and his advisers come as Biden is struggling to win over young people, progressives and Latinos, who represented key blocs of Sanders’ base in the primary.

Throughout the primary, Sanders vowed to back the eventual Democratic nominee. His former aides said his current efforts reflect the fact that he badly wants to defeat Trump and personally likes Biden despite their policy differences. A person who spoke with Sanders shortly after Trump’s election in 2016 said he “expressed a high level of frustration that he could only do so much” and “he was very, very frustrated with the people who were continually blaming him” for Clinton’s loss.

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Democrats Abroad primary and secured nine delegates, Democrats Abroad announced on Monday.

Sanders and Clinton never enjoyed a good rapport, and several Sanders staffers said they felt disrespected by the Clinton team in 2016. Two top aides said they had not been consulted about their primary victories in the critical swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan, which Clinton went on to lose in the general election.

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, said her campaign hired several staffers from Sanders’ team and “[i]f they had some secret plan for winning Wisconsin, there were infinite avenues by which to convey it.”

Some of Sanders’ allies, in explaining why they formed outside groups to help elect Biden but declined to go that far for Clinton, said they did not expect Trump to win in 2016.

“Many of us who believed that Donald Trump could win in 2016 also believed that Hillary Clinton would win. And that has proven to not be the case,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ longtime adviser and friend who created America’s Progressive Promise, a pro-Biden super PAC. “I feel a great responsibility having worked in this progressive space for 35 years — my entire adult life — at the side of Bernie Sanders to make sure that we stop what is happening in this country.”

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Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to sign a party pledge affirming that he will run for president as a Democrat in 2020 and serve as one if elected, senior campaign adviser Jeff Weaver told CNN on Wednesday.

Bernie Sanders Democrats . 12K likes. This is a page for people who are progressives first, and Democrats second. Have you heard of Brand New Congress yet? They were on The Rachel Maddow Show today. Started by top Bernie staff and volunteers to retake every seat in Congress in

America’s Progressive Promise is looking to kick off an eight-week campaign in June aimed at strengthening Biden’s standing among Sanders voters ahead of the party convention, according to a slide show for donors obtained by POLITICO. The group hopes to follow that with efforts in the fall to mobilize young voters, Latinos and liberals, in part by highlighting Biden’s “progressive kitchen-table agenda,” trying to “cut off and undermine third-party alternatives,” and stressing the stakes of the election on climate change. The fundraising deck, first reported by Mother Jones, lists a sample budget of $20 million for TV ads, digital spots, direct mail and other strategies in the battleground states of Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Dmitri Mehlhorn, a mainstream Democratic donor and top adviser to LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, said his contributor network is in talks with Weaver’s super PAC and “definitely considering” giving to it.

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders are posing for a picture: Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden for president during a live streaming broadcast in April. © JoeBiden.com via Getty Images Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden for president during a live streaming broadcast in April.

“It’s a good pitch,” he said. “It’s quite clear that Biden’s electoral coalition is diverse, and so it’s a good idea to have a dedicated focus on the Bernie part of it, and he’s a good person to do that.”

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A Democratic National committeeman from California has put forth a resolution asking Bernie Whatever you call him, Sanders is obviously incredibly popular among Democratic voters "There's only two real teams in the presidential election in 2020, and that's Trump versus a Democrat ," said

The super PAC’s focus on fostering party unity before the convention underscores how important it is to Sanders’ orbit to prevent a replica of 2016, when Sanders’ supporters even booed Sanders himself when he rallied for Clinton at the convention.

Gregory McKelvey, an Oregon-based Sanders supporter who ran to be one of his delegates, said a Sanders aide told him over the phone that if they see anything about “DemExit” or “Never Joe” on a person’s social media accounts “then you are out” as a delegate.

“They don’t want a messy convention,” he said. “They don’t want the movement to look bad.”

The policy task forces formed by Biden and Sanders, which include high-profile Democratic politicians such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former presidential nominee John Kerry, are crafting proposals to deliver to Biden and the party platform committee before the convention. Sanders’ wife, Jane, has played a “central role” in the development of the task forces, according to a person familiar with her work.

Some Democrats complain privately that Sanders still isn’t doing everything he can to support Biden, noting that he hasn’t turned over his prized email list or fundraised for Biden. A handful of former aides, such as Sanders’ former national press secretary Briahna Joy Gray, have also remained publicly critical of Biden, even as their former boss campaigns for him.

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Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ 2020 campaign manager, said that it is possible that Sanders could eventually fundraise for Biden if he announces more progressive policy positions or personnel, which he is hopeful will happen.

“People have to be brought along on the journey,” he said of Sanders’ supporters and small-dollar donors. “For those of us who care about it being effective and valuable as an approach, Joe Biden also has to do some things to kind of earn that support. We want that relationship to be built, not kind of forced and cajoled in a manner that might backfire."

Gray said in an email that she is “pushing for Joe Biden to be responsive to the exigent needs of the vulnerable populations he's relying on to put him in office — including Black Americans” and currently “he is falling far short.” Asked if the Sanders campaign has asked her to support Biden or limit her criticism of him, she said it has not.

Though holdouts such as Gray give them heartburn, Democratic insiders said they appear to be in the minority of ex-Sanders aides.

Like Weaver, former senior Sanders adviser Chuck Rocha created a super PAC aimed at electing Biden, at least in part. Nuestro PAC is working to drum up support for the former vice president and down-ballot candidates among Latino voters in swing states. Rocha said he has millions in commitments from donors and expects to begin campaigning in states in the next 30 days.

“The level and breadth of engagement shows how deeply Sen. Sanders, his staff and supporters who are involved in efforts to help V.P. Biden recognize what we learned in 2016: Democrats can’t take anything for granted when it comes to the urgency of defeating Trump,” said Karen Finney, Clinton’s spokesperson during the 2016 campaign.

Biden’s team has also been heartened by the efforts of Sanders and his advisers.

"Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are friends and share a steadfast belief that we need a government that will deliver for working families,” said Andrew Bates, Biden’s rapid response director. “Sen. Sanders and his team have been extraordinary partners in offering advice and support on the biggest challenges of our day, such as overcoming climate change and rebuilding the American middle class — especially after the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Despite Sanders’ efforts, though, some of his former aides are not sure he'll be successful in persuading the most hardcore anti-Biden voters in his coalition.

“These people don’t listen to anyone,” said Kurt Ehrenberg, Sanders’ past longtime political adviser in New Hampshire. “They just don’t believe in that argument that a little bit better is better. They’re through with that. And I get it, I get it. … There’s just some people who are going to vote for Ralph Nader every time.”

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