The political world anguishes over Bernie Sanders' next move. Will he accept reality and, figuratively at least, hug and embrace Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party's not just presumptive but inevitable presidential nominee? Or will he continue to soldier on, less a Don Quixote-like figure, more a Sancho Panza, cleaning up a mess his alter-ego has created.
Sanders has defied the odds. Like Donald Trump, nobody thought he would achieve what he has. Trump, however, is the consummate personal optimist. I don't see Bernie believing he would have such success when he set out on his anti-Hillary crusade a year ago. After all, he had not even joined the Democratic Party back then.
So why doesn't he drop out already? Is it loyalty to the millions who supported his candidacy with small donations, volunteer work and votes? Is it steadfastness to the ideals of his campaign and a hope to influence the party platform and maybe the selection of a vice presidential candidate?
I'm no psychoanalyst, but maybe, just maybe, it is because he really is like every other politician. He enjoys the attention. He enjoys the limelight. The power he never had in Washington, the spotlight--though much dimmer--that he enjoyed as mayor of Burlington, VT. Maybe after he's "seen Paree," as the lyric goes, he just doesn't want to be relegated back to the farm. He's Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, wanting some respect and bemoaning he could have been a contender if only that darn Hillary wasn't there and her superdelegate union bosses weren't throwing the fight her way.
It is all about ego. How often had he met one on one with a sitting president before Thursday? How often had he been on Face the Nation or Meet the Press or the evening news almost every night. How often had he joked around, then got serious, with the likes of Stephen Colbert or Bill Maher?
Yes, the attention is mesmerizing. So don't begrudge him an extra 15 minutes of fame. He deserves it.