Senator Bernie Sanders, after a devastating series of losses yesterday, has begun laying off campaign staff. Last night’s primary races widened the gap between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and it appears that the Sanders campaign might be moving toward putting an end to his presidential run.
According to Politico, the Sanders campaign laid off hundreds of campaign staffers today, informing them that they should look elsewhere for work and that their help would not be needed in the remaining primary states. Shocking media observers, Sanders started laying off his campaign staff early this morning, but the Sanders campaign claims that all is well, and Bernie plans to take it to “the last vote” as he promised last night.
“We’re 80 percent of the way through the caucuses and primaries and we make adjustments as we go along. This is a process that we’ve done before of right-sizing the campaign as we move through the calendar,” said Michael Briggs, Bernie Sanders’ campaign communication director.
NEW: Bernie Sanders campaign laying off "hundreds" of people, spokesperson confirms - @ABCPolitics— ABC News (@ABC) April 27, 2016
Bernie Sanders faces a tough path to the Democratic nomination, which he can only secure by winning nearly every remaining primary contest. With Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead – including superdelegates – the former Secretary of State has all but sewn up the Democratic nomination, according to Clinton supporters.
Sanders supporters aren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet, but Bernie himself might be getting close after reports today of “hundreds” of campaign staffers getting laid off and after the tone of last night’s concession speech. Vanity Fair reports that Bernie Sanders might have had a hidden message for his supporters last night, as he conceded to Hillary Clinton in four out of five states last night.
Bernie Sanders knows he’s not likely to win the Democratic nomination – the math is against him, and Clinton’s lead is now almost insurmountable – and the Vermont senator said as much during last night’s speech, acknowledging that his campaign has always been an underdog.
“I look forward to issue-oriented campaigns in the 14 contests to come. The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be,” said Senator Bernie Sanders last night.
Sanders added that he intends to remain in the race until the last vote is cast, but Hillary Clinton herself made the exact same promise back in 2008 – engaging in a bitter fight with then-rival Barack Obama over the allocation of John Edwards’ delegates. The Clinton campaign fought tooth and nail in 2008, denying up and down that then-Senator Clinton would concede the race to Barack Obama after his decisive victories in the Democratic primary.
“Your head told you the math didn’t add up, but your heart said, we’re continuing to win states, we’re continuing to draw big crowds, and it’s very hard to walk away from a contest when you have millions of supporters who are clearly still determined to help you get elected,” said Howard Wolfson, who served as Clinton’s communications director in 2008.
Politico reports that Clinton’s refusal to quit back in 2008 has made it difficult, if not impossible, for her to call for Bernie Sanders to drop out of the race ahead of reaching the required number of delegates to clinch the nomination.
After laying off hundreds of campaign staffers today, Bernie Sanders could simply be changing his campaign strategy – as Sanders strategists have claimed – focusing on flipping superdelegates and scoring a big win in California, instead of an all-out brawl for the remaining primary states.
But, Politico points out, this new strategy is almost identical to the one Clinton used in 2008, right before she conceded to Barack Obama.
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