In New York Speech, Sanders Eyes Democratic Party Reform

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Sanders is still reaching.Photo: KENA BETANCUR/This content is subject to copyright.

As Bernie Sanders continues to remind us, he’s still in the running for the Democratic nomination. And although he admitted on Wednesday that it “doesn’t appear” he’s going to be the nominee, he’s refusing to fade quietly into the background. He said as much during a speech to supporters in New York on Thursday evening titled “Where We Go From Here,” which in many ways echoed the one he gave via live webcam last week.

Election days come and go, but what is much more important is that political and social revolutions continue,” he said, nearly parroting last week’s statements. “Our goal from day one has been to transform this nation, and that is the fight we are going to continue.”

He then listed a number of positions he would like to see on the Democratic Party platform, such as killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, banning the sale of assault weapons, and expanding background checks for gun sales — all familiar echoes of what he’s said so far on the campaign trail. He promised his supporters that he would fight for issues like these when the Democrats convene for their convention in July.

Conspicuously absent from his speech was any mention of Hillary Clinton. And although he’s said he’ll work to keep Donald Trump out of the White House, he didn’t so much as hint that an endorsement (or even an acknowledgement that Clinton is his party’s official nominee) is forthcoming. 

Instead, Thursday’s speech seemed to indicate Sanders’s desire to stay in the spotlight until the convention, and his campaign’s desire to keep him there. He’ll appear on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert late Thursday night, and on Friday he’ll deliver a similar address to supporters in Albany — all, it can be assumed, for the purpose of maintaining his few points of leverage over the Clinton campaign.