Though Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton emerged from a ninety-minute meeting on Tuesday night reaffirming their shared commitment to defeat Donald Trump in the fall, the senator continued to withhold his endorsement of Clinton while the former secretary of state remained mum on Sanders’ repeated calls for a progressive transformation of the Democratic Party’s agenda and the primary process.
The meeting came as Clinton claimed victory in the Washington, D.C. primary, the final contest of the 2016 Democratic primary season.
“The two discussed a variety of progressive issues where they share common goals like raising wages for working families, eliminating undisclosed money in politics and reducing the cost of college for students and their families,” a Clinton official said in a post-meeting statement.
While the remarks from the Clinton camp included specific language about “unifying” the party ahead of next month’s national convention in Philadelphia, the Sanders campaign was more coy on the issue.
“Sanders and Clinton agreed to continue working to develop a progressive agenda that addresses the needs of working families and the middle class and adopting a progressive platform for the Democratic National Convention,” said Sanders spokesperson Michael Briggs in a statement that avoided use of the recent buzz word “unity.”
Missing from either statement was any discussion of the distance or difference between how the two candidates have proposed to reach their “common goals.” Throughout the campaign, one of the key contrasts has been Sanders’ demand for bold progressive change versus Clinton’s commitment to status quo incrementalism. And while Sanders has yet to endorse Clinton’s candidacy, Clinton has yet to endorse any of the central tenets of what Sanders and his supporters have come to call the ‘political revolution.’
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Though Sanders congratulated Clinton on her victory in the D.C. primary and for her overall campaign, Briggs said more work is needed to “develop a progressive agenda that addresses the needs of working families and the middle class and adopting a progressive platform for the Democratic National Convention.”
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As Common Dreams reported on Tuesday, Sanders is determined to bring his call for democratic reforms and a more visionary platform to the convention.
“The time is long overdue for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party,” Sanders said.
On Thursday evening Sanders plans to address his supporters in a live-stream address in what is presumed to be a more detailed explanation of his current mindset and the path ahead.
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