Bernie Sanders and his supporters are frustrated by last night’s result. And that is understandable. But they should, actually all of us should, keep a few things in mind. First, the overarching imperative to beat Trump, and do it soundly, remains; one could easily argue that it has grown in recent weeks and months.
Second, Biden isn’t the candidate many of us had hoped would lead the Democratic Party ticket. I supported Elizabeth Warren. But there is little doubt that he now will. And there is no reason to think that he can’t win, even if you think he isn’t best equipped to do it. Public opinion polls, many of them in fact, tell us he can.
But even more germane to his electability, an expansive, energized and diverse coalition has meteorically formed in the space of two weeks. And there is reason to think it will continue to grow in breadth and depth. And if Joe Biden — and this is critical — can reach out and extend a genuine hand of mutuality to Bernie Sanders and his many supporters, especially young people and Latinos, then this growing coalition will become a powerful juggernaut this fall that could elect Joe Biden and his Vice President (and who this is is critical to uniting the party) by a good margin and a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress.
Finally, were this to happen, a newly elected President Biden would land on a political landscape that would tilt in a progressive direction, one that he couldn’t and wouldn’t want to ignore. In other words, a Biden presidency would be more than a “return to normalcy,” as important as that is. It would also have to account for the new political dynamics that have taken shape over the past decade, the issues that Bernie and Elizabeth Warren raised in the primary, and the mandate issuing from the elections. All of this and more will surely figure in important ways on how the new president and Congress govern and legislate.