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Actually Bernie Sanders Played The Primaries Brilliantly

By Emily Cutler | Politics | July 14, 2016 |

By Emily Cutler | Politics | July 14, 2016 |

Jesus, what am I doing? Posting Seth Meyers’ videos two days in a row, walking straight into a political fight after I’d sworn off them, ripping open the Democratic wound just as Hillary and Bernie have tried to close it up? I don’t think I’m drunk, but I’m sure acting like it.

Even with all those legitimate warning signs though, Seth Meyers makes some good points.

Now when I say Bernie handled the primaries brilliantly, I don’t mean flawlessly. There were plenty of mistakes. Implying that Hillary isn’t qualified to be president was a big one, not calling out the Bernie Bros was another. The fact that Bernie Bros exist at all is an embarrassment for any Bernie supporter, and we should continue saying that whenever possible.

But I am still a Bernie supporter. I like him, I like his platform, and most importantly I like that he accomplished what we all hoped he would when he started his “hopeless” campaign. Sanders has pushed the platform left, and the conversations about this election reflect that. By staying in the race long after most people would have wanted him to quit, Sanders leveraged his campaign momentum into some significant changes in the DNC platform.

And he made me want to vote for Hillary for president. I was always going to vote for her, but now I feel good about it. She recognized that there was a group of voters who felt their voices weren’t being heard, she listened to their concerns, and she adjusted her campaign to address those concerns. Or, you know, exactly the thing that we want a politician to do. Bernie’s pressure on her forced her to reassess where she wanted to stand on a number of issues, and it’s made her a stronger candidate.

Which makes the whole “campaign as bloodbath” narrative seem especially silly now. It might have been contentious at times, but what we’ve ended up with is an incredibly qualified candidate and one of the most progressive DNC platforms we’ve had in years. Meaning that both sides have a lot of victories to celebrate. And maybe I need to adjust that headline. Turns out, actually both candidates played the primaries brilliantly.

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