Bernie, We Welcomed You with Open Arms and You're Still Welcome

Listening to Bernie Sanders speak in Carson, California the night of the Kentucky and Oregon primaries one would think the Democratic Party was intent on keeping all new people out. He railed, "I say to the Democratic Party 'Open the doors and let the people in!" Bernie just a reminder, the Party did open its doors and invited you in and you accepted their invitation. In November you told George Stephanopoulos "I am proud of the fact that I am the longest serving Independent in the history of the United States Congress. That's what the people of Vermont voted for. I made a decision in this presidential election that I will run as a Democrat. I am a Democrat now." According to your campaign you intend to remain a Democrat for life.

So the Party was open to you and it is open to all your supporters and the Party wants them. All you need do is explain to them the rules of the Party which you were aware of before you decided to run. You understand each state makes their own decisions on how to handle their primary or caucus. They can decide it is 'open' allowing even Republicans to vote in the Democratic Primary or 'closed' where only registered Democrats can vote. Either way it's not that hard to find out how to register and vote.

When you decided to declare as a Democrat you told Chuck Todd, "you ran for president as a Democrat in order to receive media coverage. In terms of media coverage, you have to run within the Democratic Party because anchors like you (Todd) would not have me on this program if I had run as an independent." Bernie you also knew as an Independent you couldn't have afforded to run as no one knew who you were. The Democratic Party gave you access not only to the media but to their voter files. You knew all the rules and Thomas A. "Tad" Devine who is your senior advisor developed many of them. He was a senior Democratic adviser in Al Gore's 2000 and John Kerry's 2004 Presidential campaigns

Some Democrats didn't want the Party to invite you in but the majority of us and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were fine with it. We tend to agree with Will Rogers who said "A Democrat is just like a baby. If it's hollering and making a lot of noise, there is nothing serious the matter with it. When it's quiet and doesn't pay much attention to anything, that's when it's really dangerous."

So you called for your 'revolution' from the Democratic Party stage. There was a grace to your appeal when you began the race. You talked issues important to all of us. Young people came by the thousands to your rallies. Your campaign just forgot to remind these new voters how to register to vote for you. You seemed so enamored with your set speech you forgot many of the young people you were talking to never voted before. They didn't know the rules. But your campaign knew them, you just didn't bother to inform your supporters.

So last Tuesday night you railed at the Democratic Party and seemed to blame them for your mistake and for your supporters not voting. You spent months railing against the concept of superdelegates but today are begging them to endorse you. You use polls you know don't mean much to try to convince them to switch from Hillary to you. You and your campaign manager are quoting polls showing you leading Trump by bigger margins than Hillary. You have to excuse those of us who supported Hillary in 2008 when she was in your position in relation to Obama, winning seven out of ten final primaries, for not buying into that.

An example of the worthlessness of such polling is a FOX news poll reported on April 30, 2008. Change the names and they still can't get it right. They reported "Nearly half of Democrats (48 percent) think Hillary Clinton has a better chance of beating John McCain in November -- 10 percentage points higher than the 38 percent who think Barack Obama can win, according to a FOX News poll released Wednesday. This represents a significant shift from March, when Democrats said Obama was the candidate more likely to beat McCain. Further, for the second month in a row Clinton does slightly better than Obama in head-to-head matchups against the Republican senator. Clinton tops McCain by just 1 point (45 percent to 44 percent), down from a 3-point advantage last month. McCain edges Obama by a narrow 3-point margin (46 percent to 43 percent), up from a 1-point lead."

Hillary went on to run through the end of the primary season. She was actually closer to Obama than you are to her today. Then there was the issue of the delegates taken away from Michigan and Florida in the balance. Hillary actually equaled Obama in actual votes in 2008 while you are 3 million behind her today. But you are entitled to continue running.

On June 7, 2008 Hillary made her '18 million cracks in the glass ceiling speech' and graciously thanked all her supporters saying she understood that while she came close she had lost and Barack Obama would be the candidate of the Democratic Party. She gave him her full support. Senator Sanders I hope you read that speech as you move forward.

While campaigns have winners and losers some of those who lose actually come away with a victory if they are seen to have run a good race influencing the national discussion. Until very recently that is what you have done. You began your campaign with grace and passion speaking for a set of ideas. It would be nice if you end your campaign the same way. If you stay in the Senate you will need the good-will of at least the Democratic members of Congress to help move your ideas forward.

You have the opportunity to continue to be a force to be reckoned with or you can become the next Ralph Nader and you don't need to run as a third-party candidate to be that. I want you to be that 'force to be reckoned with' as together we ensure the Democrat Party nominee, the nominee of the Party you say you are now a part of, keeps Donald Trump from ever inhabiting the White House.