Bernie Sanders stepped out of the 2020 presidential race on Wednesday at noon Eastern U.S. time, marking the end of his run for national office. An inspirational Progressive suspended his campaign, citing a near-impossible path to the Democratic presidential nomination and the challenges of a raging pandemic which has taken nearly 100,000 lives across the globe including over 15,000 lives in the U.S. (and counting).
While Sanders, who ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2016, has again fallen short in his White House run, in his speech he mentioned that the movement for Medicare For All and the other issues he and his campaign fought for was anything but finished. Bernie’s ideas as advocacy have now taken hold in the U.S. and have become fused into the mainstream. The speech struck several tones, varying between thanking, supporters, surrogates, organizers and volunteers.
Notable reaction to Bernie’s exit came in on Twitter from several former presidential candidates, some of whom had vigorously attacked Bernie Sanders at the podium only a couple of months before. The reactions to some of Bernie’s fellow competitors was interesting to say the least, including a classy, conciliatory tweet from Joe Biden, who is now the presumptive Democratic nominee in the wake of Bernie’s campaign suspension.
The Sanders campaign galvanized and energized the U.S., and it was a sad day for his supporters even though Senator Sanders gave an uplifting, triumphant and moving address from his home in Burlington, Vermont. Bernie Sanders thanked Jane Sanders for her tireless commitment and gave supporters a kind gesture by announcing his name would still be on the ballot in the remaining 23 states yet to vote. For any Sanders supporter vowing to write-in Bernie’s name instead of voting for Joe Biden in November: here is your chance, if your state hasn’t voted already, to cast your vote in the remaining primary for Bernie.
Time can be afforded in the near future for analysis of where things didn’t go right for Bernie, but right now at least, and for the next few days and weeks, Bernie supporters can reflect, mourn and be inspired by a politician and good, genuine person who fought the good fight and never lost his integrity in the process.