Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is expected to appear with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Tuesday. According to sources with firsthand knowledge of plans, Sanders is “highly likely” to endorse Clinton as the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate at the New Hampshire rally.
Clinton’s scheduled return to New Hampshire on Tuesday was announced by her campaign on Saturday, according to WMUR. Her appearance in New Hampshire on Tuesday will be the first time since she suffered a heavy loss in the New Hampshire primary.
It is significant that Sanders is expected to announce his endorsement of Clinton in New Hampshire which he won in the February 9 primary election by a wide margin — 60-38, according to the Associated Press.
Before the announcement of the planned joint appearance, the Sanders and Clinton campaigns had worked towards a common platform for the Democratic Party that will be adopted formally at the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, July 25-28.
The announcement of the planned joint appearance at New Hampshire came soon after negotiators for both campaigns met at the Democratic National Platform Committee Official Convention. Sanders’ negotiators won key policy concessions from the Clinton campaign at the Democratic Platform Committee meeting.
Democratic Party strategists are hoping that Sanders’ anticipated endorsement of Clinton at Portsmouth High School on Tuesday will end tensions between both candidates generated by the struggle for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
Sanders has been under pressure lately to endorse Clinton’s presidential bid, but his intransigence before the committee meeting was seen by analysts as part of a strategy to strengthen his position so that he will be able to force Clinton to make significant policy concessions, especially in healthcare and education.
But Sanders confirmed in an interview on Saturday that his campaign was working closely with Clinton’s to reach a compromise and resolve differences, according to The Hill.
“I think it’s fair to say the Clinton campaign and I are coming closer and closer together in trying to address the major issues facing this country,” Sanders said on Saturday. “We look forward to continuing working with the Clinton campaign and will have more to say in the very near future.”
Policy proposals by the Sanders camp that were eventually included in the Democratic Platform for adoption at the party’s convention included $15 minimum wage, extensive Wall Street reforms, and expansion of Social security.
In a major concession to Sanders, Clinton had announced on Saturday a decision to include in her healthcare proposals plans to double funding for community health centers, representing an additional $40 billion over a decade.
Clinton also confirmed her commitment to the proposal of a “public option” insurance plan in every state.
Responding, Sanders praised the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, saying that her new proposals represented major steps toward the ideal of universal coverage.
“I congratulate Secretary Clinton for this extremely important initiative. It will save lives and ease suffering,” Sanders said. “It will improve health care and cut health care costs. It is a significant step forward as we advance toward the goal of health care for all Americans.”
Clinton had announced earlier last week changes to her previous higher education proposals that represented concessions to the Sanders campaign. She announced a plan to ensure that families making $125,000 or less a year enjoy tuition-free public college and university education.
Although Sanders’ negotiators were able to win major concessions in healthcare, education, climate change, and minimum wage, Clinton’s negotiators voted down a language introduced by the Sanders camp to reject the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal.
The Clinton camp also rejected a proposal calling for an end to Israeli “occupations and illegal settlements” in Palestine territory and a proposal to ban fracking.
[Photo By J.Scott Applewhite/AP]