Charisma Caucus

Is Bernie Sanders Planning His Own Convention Coup?

Bernie Sanders
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has hinted to donors that he still wants the Democratic presidential nomination. (Reuters photo)

Vice President Joe Biden made headlines Thursday night when an interview he conducted, which isn't supposed to air until Sunday, was leaked, suggesting he believes U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) would soon endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"I've talked to Bernie, Bernie's going to endorse her, this is going to work out," Biden said in the pre-recorded interview with National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition." "The Democrats are coalescing even before this occurs."

To add fuel to the fires of speculation, The Hill soon reported that a Sanders spokesman couldn't deny the rumor. According to Michael Briggs, the report stated, the two campaigns were "talking."

Two and a half hours later, the headline had changed. During a live interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Sanders himself attempted to shut down the rumor entirely.

"Joe and I talked about three weeks ago, and as I said, right now my hope is we can reach an agreement on some very important issues and I can go forward to the millions of people who supported me and say, 'Look this is the progress we've made, this is where we're gonna go as a country,'" Sanders said. "So, I hope it happens. As of this moment we're not there quite yet."

The Vermont senator has yet to concede the Democratic presidential nomination. And currently, Clinton's status as nominee-in-waiting is based largely on the support of unbound "superdelegates" who are notoriously fickle—as she learned in 2008. Sanders told Hayes his holding out was based on his desire to influence the party platform, though.

"We're trying to do everything we can right now to make the Democratic platform most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party," he said.

In the meantime, however, the Sanders campaign sent out a "personal message" from campaign manager Jeff Weaver to its donors that sends an entirely different message. While it does emphasize the need to have Sanders delegates present to push his agenda onto the platform, it also suggested a secondary motive:

The world is going to have answers to two very important questions about our campaign in about three weeks.

      1. Are we able to bring all of our nearly 1,900 delegates to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, where with Bernie they will cast important votes for a progressive platform that includes issues like opposition to a vote against the disastrous TPP, or a $15 federal minimum wage?
      2. Will the FEC fundraising report we must file days before the convention show that we have the momentum and the power to continue the incredible work of our political revolution?

I want the answers to both of those questions to be yes. The future of our movement depends on it. Can you help before the FEC deadline at midnight?

The June 30 quarterly fundraising deadline is generally considered crucial because it is the last report that will be filed prior to the national conventions. The implication of the Sanders campaign statement is that if it can show it out-performed Clinton, and in light of the many scandals she is facing, perhaps the superdelegates can be convinced to switch their votes on the eve of the convention.

With the mainstream media continuing to push speculation of a "convention coup" at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, are they about to be blindsided by one at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia instead?

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