Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign manager Jeff Weaver announced this evening that Sen. Sanders will be a member of the Democratic Party for life, and he will support Hillary Clinton if she wins the nomination.
Full video of Bloomberg Politics’ With All Due Respect (Weaver segment at roughly the 15 minute mark):
Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver announced that not only will Bernie Sanders stay in the Democratic Party for life, but he will also support Hillary Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee.
Mark Halperin asked Weaver, “If Sen. Sanders is not the nominee, will he stay in the Democratic Party forever now?”
Weaver answered, “Well, he is a Democrat. He’s said he’s a Democrat, and he’s going to be supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever that is.”
Halperin followed up, “But he’s a member of the Democratic Party now for life?”
Weaver said, “Yes, he is. Yes, he is.”
Bernie Sanders is going to keep campaigning for a Democratic nomination that he is still trying to win, but the long-term ramifications of the announcement by Jeff Weaver are huge. By keeping his Democratic affiliation, Sen. Sanders may see an even bigger promotion in the Senate if he fails to win the Democratic nomination. Sanders had been caucusing with the Democrats, but there are benefits to being a member of the party.
The second big part of the interview was Weaver’s statement that Sanders plans to support the Democratic nominee. That means that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, Bernie Sanders will be supporting her in the fall. Sanders was widely expected to support Clinton because his campaign has never given any indication that he wouldn’t support her if she won the nomination.
Those of us who have spent years typing (I-VT) after Sanders’ name had better get used to the change. This is a good move for Sen. Sanders. He will have a chance to challenge, change, and reshape the party from within, because Bernie Sanders is now a Democrat for life.