The common sentiment on the left side of the Democratic electorate throughout the primary race has been that party elites see Bernie Sanders as a bigger threat than Donald Trump. Now that Sanders has cleared the way for Joe Biden to get the nomination, the former has seven months to win over Bernie’s supporters.
The press secretary for Bernie Sanders’s now-suspended presidential campaign has suggested that the Democratic establishment may “replace” Joe Biden as the party nominee ahead of the general election to beat Donald Trump.
“Bernie was too kind to go after Biden, but it’s coming,” Briahna Joy Gray tweeted on Thursday.
“Either Dem leadership cares more [about] maintaining a corporate status quo than getting rid of Trump, or they’re planning to replace Joe – adopting a pretty fast and loose relationship [with] representative Democracy.”
Gray was replying to a segment of Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show that questioned Biden’s mental acumen and fitness for office – a common argument used by both Republicans, including Donald Trump, as well as a sizeable chunk of Democrats.
The spokeswoman’s comments represent a common belief among the younger and progressive Democratic voters, Sanders’s core demographic, that the party establishment fought to keep the nomination away from the Vermont senator, who proposed sweeping reforms including universal healthcare, free higher education and student loan bailout.
Sanders emerged as the front-runner after the first three state contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, but then lost to Biden in 17 of the 24 primaries and caucuses held on Super Tuesday and afterwards, not least due to a slew moderate candidates coalescing around Biden.
He suspended his campaign on Wednesday, effectively making Biden the presumptive nominee for the general election, but will remain on the ballot in the upcoming state contests to influence the Democratic platform.
That strategy appeared to have worked exactly the way he wanted from the beginning: on Thursday, Joe Biden released new proposals to lower the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60 and expand the student loan forgiveness programme, in a less-than-subtle bid to appeal to Bernie’s supporters.