PHILADELPHIA — In the end when the Vermont delegation cast its votes, the final count at the Democratic National Convention was 2,842 votes for Hillary Clinton and 1,865 for Bernie Sanders.
Sanders paid lip service to party unity from the convention floor. The self-described socialist’s loyalty to the Democratic Party is at best limited.
Whether Sanders is even a Democrat is a matter of some debate. His home state of Vermont does not offer party registration. Sanders claims to be a Democrat when it is in his self-interest. He caucuses with Senate Democrats because otherwise he wouldn’t get the prestige associated with being ranking member on a committee. It is telling that he doesn’t plan to raise money for Clinton’s general election campaign and will not turn over his mailing lists.
Nonetheless Sanders followed party tradition earlier today and gave the new nominee a boost from the convention floor.
Vermont state party boss Dottie Deans called on Sanders to speak. After basking a few moments in the adoration of delegates, the Clinton rival paid tribute to the nominee and then moved that Clinton “be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party,” he said.
In the hours leading up to this, Sanders tweeted, “Election days come and go. But political revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end.”
Howard Dean said much the same thing in 2004 after he crashed and burned in his party’s nomination process. But in a sense he was prophetic. The already left-wing party lurched even farther to port when it caught Obama fever.
And it shows no signs of moving back to the center anytime soon.