By Courtney Anderson
Super Tuesday Part Five seemed to be a sure-fire victory for Hillary Clinton and a perfect time for a concession from Bernie Sanders. And yet, that last part didn’t happen.
Clinton had secured the amount of delegates necessary to grab hold of the Democratic nomination, while Sanders trailed behind by at least 835 delegates.
Reports of a “secret” phone call between Sanders and President Obama leaked, as well as reports of President Obama’s plans to endorse Clinton.
#ImWithHer trended on Twitter for most of the day and well into the night. #ThankYouBernie trended after midnight, a sign of many Sanders supporters accepting that their candidate did not win, but ultimately changed the political landscape, pulling younger and more liberal voters and sparking his own version of a political “revolution.”
And then there was the POLITICO article detailing the organization—or lack thereof—of the Sanders campaign, with aides discussing the tension between themselves and their candidate. According to them, Sanders was “driving this train.”
They had to be careful around him and, to an extent, careful of him.
So, when he stepped onto the stage on what was the early morning hours of June 8, 2016, many expected him to finally concede.
He walked on stage and discussed a phone call with Clinton. He said he congratulated her, and the audience booed the statement. The audience is fiercely supportive of Sanders, holding on to the election and the possibility of Sanders victory tightly. Maybe even more tightly than Sanders.
The audience with Sanders, online and the newsrooms of CNN and MSNBC expected the speech to go one way. And then, it took a drastic turn.
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Sanders announced that he was not conceding. In fact, he was “taking our fight for social, economic justice to Philadelphia.” The audience surrounding Sanders roared. The audience online expressed confusion.
It had seemed so obvious.
Nearly 900 delegates behind. The opponent having more than 100 more delegates than necessary to win the nomination and the expected support of the standing president. All the signs point to concession.
But Sanders is not following those signs. Sanders is riding this train until the wheels fall off and crash against the tracks.
His supporters may call it heroic, brave, and say that it shows a dedication to the political revolution Sanders has worked so hard to craft.
Still others may call it pathetic.
Either way, it is clear that Sanders doesn’t know what it means to quit or when he should quit. His focus on being the nominee has made any other path unclear. There are methods Sanders could employ do to stay involved that do not require being the nominee. But he is not taking those methods.
Sanders is pushing himself to a meeting with the president and a rally. He is pushing himself to Washington, D.C. and to Philadelphia. And, though he didn’t vocalize it right then, he is pushing himself to believe that the super delegates will change their minds now that he has won Montana.
Maybe Sanders should just stop pushing.
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Cover Photo Credit: Tony Webster/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)