With Joe Biden’s rapid ascent to the head of the Democrat nomination pack we must wonder what is happening with Bernie Sanders. Just one week ago virtually all of the pundits were saying that Bernie was going to cruise to the nomination.
Then came the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday and all of a sudden Biden seems to be the sure-fire candidate of choice.
This came after the entire Democrat Establishment and Fake News media ganged up on Bernie and declared him too militant and unelectable, and said that his candidacy would destroy the entire Democrat party from the White House down to local mayors and city councilors.
Naturally we could expect Bernie to be angry and combative. But guess what? Bernie is suddenly very agreeable. Look at this from Breitbart News on Thursday morning, March 5:
Appearing Wednesday on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he will drop out of the Democratic presidential primary if former Vice President Joe Biden has a plurality of pledged delegates heading into the Democratic National Convention.
A partial transcript is as follows:
RACHEL MADDOW: If, at the end of the day, it turns out that Vice President Biden is going to have more delegates than you do heading into the convention, will you drop out?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Of course I’m gonna drop out; he will win. I mean, I suspect, we will run through the process, and I think people have a right to vote. But if Biden walks into the convention, or at the end of the process has more votes than me, he’s the winner.
MADDOW: And that’s true whether or not he has a majority or a just plurality?
SEN. SANDERS: Absolutely, that’s what I’ve said. Look, here’s the story, and there’s some confusion about this. Last time around in 2016, you talked about 2016, you’ll remember that before the very first vote was cast in Iowa, Hillary Clinton had 500 superdelegates at her side. She walked into the campaign with 500 superdelegates. I thought that was totally outrageous, absurd, and undemocratic. We fought very hard in the Democratic rules process to get rid of all superdelegates. That is my preference. I think it should be the decision of the people, not Washington insiders. We lost, but what we did get is not getting rid of all super delegates at the convention voting, but that on the first ballot there won’t be any superdelegates voting.
OK, you have to understand what this means. A “plurality” means that Biden has more delegates than Sanders at the Democrat convention in July. The winner at the convention needs 1,991 delegates which is a “majority” of delegates out of the total of 3,979 (that 1,991 delegates is 50% of delegates plus one delegate). Whoever has 1,991 or more gets the nomination on the first vote.
But with a combined total of 148 delegates already won by Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, Peter Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tulsi Gabbard, that means that Biden and Sanders could end up with less than 1,991 if their vote totals were very close.
This would lead to a “brokered” convention, i.e., neither candidate got a majority so there would need to be a second vote.
So let us say in the most extreme case that Biden has 1,958 delegates at the convention and Sanders has 1,873 delegates and the rest have 148. That would mean that neither Biden nor Sanders got “the majority” needed (1,991) and the convention would be “brokered” since neither would get the nomination on the first ballot.
That means that there would be a second ballot, which Sanders could possibly win if his people made the right deals with the Warren, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Gabbard people to give their votes to Bernie, although that seems less and less likely.
But his interview with Rachel Maddow indicates that Sanders is now ruling out any kind of confrontation. He said he would drop out rather than contest the convention because dropping out would make the whole thing smoother.
So why is Sanders suddenly so agreeable? Isn’t Sanders a radical communist who wants power more than anything else?
Yes, but this is presidential politics and Sanders certainly got some phone calls after Super Tuesday telling him that he had better not make a stink at the convention. This can be added to the fact that Sanders’ comments supporting Castro have caused his poll numbers to crash in Florida, which has a huge Cuban population and a lot of delegates.
That is probably why he said what he did to Rachel Maddow, i.e., Sanders can see that his chances are fading. Because Sanders knows that he could drag down the whole Democrat party if he is the nominee and loses 45 states to Trump, and that that would be a very bad thing not only in the War on Trump but also for his own legacy.
In those phone calls, Establishment Democrats like Obama, Hillary, Schumer and Pelosi probably explained to Bernie that he should agree to drop out if the votes were not with him, even if there was no majority but just a plurality for Biden.
But the point may be moot anyway since Biden may very well get 1,991 or more votes after Sanders has lost a lot of momentum with Super Tuesday, and probably will continue to do so.
In the phone calls, Sanders certainly was told that he also must instruct his followers not to be angry and stay home on election day, and to support Biden since another Trump term is poison to all leftists. The possibility of millions of Sanders supporters angrily boycotting in November is frightening to Democrats. But it still could happen.
What does Sanders get in return for pledging to drop out?
Well, maybe Biden would make him secretary of state or something else. Who knows. But of course that is all moot since Biden is probably less of a threat to Trump than Sanders. Biden is a very weak candidate. Trump would beat him like a drum.