And then there was one. Bernie Sanders drops out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race
Former Vice President Joe Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee to take on President Donald Trump in November’s presidential election.
Four years ago, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders battled Hillary Clinton all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia before conceding the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
That isn’t happening in 2020.
With COVID-19 grinding the country to a halt and postponing most primaries until a later date, Sanders saw the writing on the wall just over halfway through the race.
But in dropping out, he struck a hopeful tone regarding all his campaign had accomplished in both his runs for president.
“Together, we have transformed American consciousness as to what kind of nation we can become and have taken this country a major step forward in the neverending struggle for economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice,” said Sanders in a live stream to more than 100,000 supporters on April 8.
Some of that change in American mindsets came regarding raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, universal healthcare, reducing fossil fuel emissions and making higher education more accessible for everyone no matter their financial status.
“It was not long ago that people considered these ideas radical and fringe. Today they are mainstream ideas and some of them are already being implemented in cities and states across the country,” he said. “That is what we have accomplished together.”
Speaking of “together,” it’s hard to deny how both of Sanders’ runs redefined the word when it came to political campaigns.
Not once did Sanders accept donations from any PAC or Super PAC, often backed by corporations. Instead, he relied solely on the individual donations of millions of supporters across the country.
“We can take on a corrupt campaign finance system and run a major presidential campaign without being dependent on the wealthy and the powerful,” he said.
The first time he ran, the approach was novel. In 2020, many candidates tried to emulate his platform, but didn’t have the base built up enough to compete.
Still, it left him just short in both runs.
This time, Sanders bows out to clear the way for former Vice President Joe Biden to take on Donald Trump in November.
In reacting to his decision to drop out, Biden celebrated not just the campaigns Sanders ran, but the “movement” he created around the issues he championed.
“Bernie’s done something rare in politics,” Biden said in a statement.
And the former Vice President knows if he wants to beat Trump, he has to tap into that same movement.
“To your supporters: I see you, I hear you… I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You’re needed,” he wrote.
Sanders said he will remain on remaining primary ballots and keep gaining delegates, but saw his path to the nomination as “virtually impossible.”
The Democratic National Convention, like every other major gathering, has been postponed amid COVID-19 from July 13 to Aug. 17 in Milwaukee, WI. The general presidential election has yet to be affected, and is still slated to take place on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.