The US Senate passed the economic relief bill unanimously, 96-0, yesterday. It’s a product of a lot of negotiating between Republicans and Democrats, and Bernie Sanders is getting credit for arguing for the expansion of unemployment benefits. So, good for him for getting credit for that. It’s part of a larger push to embiggen Sanders because he’s still in the “race” for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. Even as primaries are being postponed and even as the math has not worked in Sanders’ favor for a month, he’s still hellbent on staying in the race. Which is what I predicted.
Lacking a meaningful path to the Democratic nomination at a moment when the coronavirus crisis is gripping Washington and the country, Bernie Sanders stepped back from actively campaigning for president over the past week, leading some Democrats to wonder whether he would soon leave the race altogether. But Tuesday, Sanders appeared to signal anew that he is in the race for the long haul: His campaign announced a full organizing effort ahead of New York’s scheduled April 28 primary, and a spokesman said he would participate in a debate with former Vice President Joe Biden — if there is one.
“Bernie Sanders is still a candidate for the Democratic nomination,” senior adviser Jeff Weaver told NBC News on Tuesday in response to a question about the New York efforts. “One of the things that means is working to secure votes in future contests.”
Publicly, Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, has targeted his attention and comments to his work in the Senate as Congress readies a legislative response to the crisis. Advisers say he’s balanced his responsibilities, privately seeking input from supporters to “assess a path forward” for his presidential campaign — and his larger political movement.
“We are in a bizarre moment,” Sanders admitted Monday night in an interview on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” adding, “so what we are doing is transitioning our campaign to a virtual campaign… We’re kind of moving day by day.”
So, he’s not dropping out any time soon and he wants a debate in April, which will probably be as likely as all of the churches in America being full on Easter Sunday. Joe Biden has been appearing on various cable news shows via video link-ups and he was asked about the potential of debating Sanders one more time:
NEW: “My focus is just dealing with this crisis right now. I haven’t thought about any more debates,. I think we’ve had enough debates. I think we should get on with this,” Joe Biden says when asked if there should be more Democratic debates. https://t.co/cZA4ORLjNb pic.twitter.com/4fryw6GhTf
— ABC News (@ABC) March 25, 2020
“I think we should get on with this.” I do too. But the Bros and Broettes are still wallpapering comment sections and social media, arguing that…Biden is the one who needs to drop out. Let me give Biden a little piece of advice: he can play nice with Sanders and his supporters, but there is literally nothing he can say or do which will get them away from their ludicrous, myopic position. So I hope Biden does just get on with it.
Here’s Biden’s latest ad. He’s attacking Trump, not Sanders. That’s what should be happening now.
In times of crisis, American presidents have always stepped up to meet the moment. But all we've gotten from Donald Trump are lies, excuses, and scapegoats.
Trump has failed our country at a time when we need him most. pic.twitter.com/d2vxUHGiH0
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 26, 2020
Photos courtesy of Getty.