President Barack #Obama has a big problem in the form of a septuagenarian socialist from Vermont named Bernie Sanders. He has to persuade him that the gig is up, and it’s time to quit and get behind the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Obama was able to handle this task with deftness when Clinton was the defeated candidate and he the triumphal nominee. He dangled the prospect of having an office in his administration, secretary of state as it turned out, and the opportunity to run again in eight years. Neither inducement is going to work with Sanders.
Sanders is not interested in toiling in someone else’s vineyards awaiting his turn. For one thing, he is leading a social movement to turn the United States into a people’s republic. For another thing, he is a little long in the tooth to be waiting his turn for a woman he detests as a corporate shill. 2016 is his moment and, one way or another, he intends to take advantage.
Some of Bernie’s followers are even worst. CBS is reporting that some “Bernie Bros” are threatening to hunt down female reporters on social media for having insufficient deference toward their guy. Some of the more moderate Berniacs are telling Obama to back off. That behavior must be especially galling for Obama. He is the one who does the telling. He is never the one who is told.
The president can approach Sanders in one of two ways. The first way is to be polite, using honeyed words, and flattering Sanders into giving up. The other way is to have a couple of the boys dangle Sanders by his ankles out of a high window. That is how things are done in Chicago.
Obama’s and by extension, Hillary Clinton’s nightmare is that neither approach may work, which suggests a third option.
Option three is to let Clinton be indicted and support #Bernie Sanders for president. Is that as if there is a lot of daylight between Obama and Sanders insofar as an ideology is concerned. However, Bernie admits that he is a socialist, unlike Obama or Clinton, and that will present a problem. Socialism in the minds of most Americans means Venezuela at best and the Soviet Union, where Sanders went to on his honeymoon, at worse.
The bottom line is that there are no good options. #Election 2016