Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

What exactly did Pres. Obama tell Sanders in that White House meeting Thursday?

Popular President told Senator to Drop Out and Support Hillary, no doubt.

 

Sanders and Obama walk together through the White House Rose Garden, laughing together in a NY Times photo. Was the meeting just for the press?

In a final attempt to placate Progressive Democrats disappointed with his Presidential legacy, at 11 a.m. PST, President Barrack Obama emerged from a meeting with Sen. Bernie Sanders, and endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president. Clinton locked up the nomination on June 7th, when she won a string of state primaries, including California.

Sanders vowed he would still compete in the Washington DC Primary, but did not say whether he would contest the Democratic National Convention, as he promised to do late Tuesday night in Santa Monica.

In Mexico, a president is elected to one six year term, then chooses his successor. That has not been the tradition in the U.S., where an outgoing president is rarely popular enough to select his successor.

It may seem inevitable, but Obama is the first U.S. President since Ronald Reagan popular enough to endorse successor. Analysts say this is in part due to the unpopularity with the voters, of both Clinton and Donald Trump, apparent Republican nominee.

Obama is viewed as a disappointment by the progressive wing of the Democratic party, having enacted none of the left wing social justice agenda of progressive Dems, including of course the feisty septugenerian Senator from Vermont. It is for this reason that he waited so long to make the endorsement.

Trump led the Birther movement 8 years ago, questioning whether candidate Obama had really been born in the U.S. or Kenya, making him ineligible to be President. The State of Hawaii produced a birth certificate proving that Obama had been born there (to a Kenyan father and an American mother) in 1961. So there is no love lost between Obama and Trump.

Obama and Clinton also have history. 2008 was supposed to be her year, but she ultimately endorsed the nation's first Black U.S. President ever, moving aside to let History be made by a once in a century candidate.

Another open question is, what does Bernie Sanders really want? It's not the Vice Presidency. A reporter once asked John McCain in 2008, if he would be Mitt Romney's VP. He said "I was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for 7 years. They kept me in the dark all that time, and fed me scraps. Why the heck would I want to do that again?" Meaning, there's no power in it, so Sanders too would probably pass.

It's probably not a cabinet position either, because it's better to rule in hell then serve in heaven. That's what Satan says to God when the latter banishes Satan to hell in Milton's Paradise Lost.

Does the 74 year old just want to secure his legacy, by putting social justice, economic justice, racial justice and environmental justice into the Democratic party platform? It would be there anyway, but it is a chance to define the word "Progressive" for the 21st century.

Perhaps the Vermont Senator simply likes campaigning, and hasn't run out of money. Perhaps the meeting was merely Kabuki theater.

Or perhaps despite his protestations to the contrary, he foresees a scenario where Hillary would be indicted, and the party would turn to him. Stranger things have happened in the strangest Presidential Primary season ever.

 

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