Election Commentary

After Biden sweep, it’s time for Sanders to exit the race. America needs a leader to rally around.

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. speaks during a rally at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Wednesday, April 27, 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016Photo: AP Photo/Michael Conroy

As panic over the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, America’s lack of leadership during the crisis has been striking. While other countries took precautions, President Donald Trump dithered, blaming Democrats and the media for over-hyping the danger as an election year ploy.

As former Vice President Joe Biden continues to dominate primary elections – including the three that were held yesterday despite warnings about “social distancing” – it is time for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to exit the race. Now is not the time for Democrats to be divided. America needs a leader and voters have already decided it won’t be Sanders.

Related: Will electability decide whether Biden or Bernie is the nominee? We asked our election analysts.

While Ohio postponed their primary election, Illinois, Arizona, and Florida declared business as usual. Biden easily won all three states and his supporters literally risked their lives to overwhelmingly vote for him.

That’s not to say that Sanders’ supporters didn’t do the same thing. But the simple truth is that fewer people were willing to risk their own safety to vouch that Sanders is the person to lead America out of what is becoming a crisis of epic proportions.

Bernie has been forced to consistently defend his decision to continue his campaign to the bitter end in 2016. He has been blamed for handing the election to Trump. His supporters have never helped his cause with vociferous attacks on other candidates and trolling their supporters online.

It’s time for him to break the pattern of dividing Democrats and the nation. It’s time for him to do the right thing.

Still, as primary elections nationwide are getting postponed, Sanders is waffling over whether or not to bow out of the race.

“The next primary contest is at least three weeks away,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s manager said in a statement. “Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign. In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.”

In a time of crisis, when we can’t count on the president to be a leader, someone has to step up. Biden has done that and people are willing to follow him. It’s time for Sanders to do the same.

If the goal is to defend “working people and the most vulnerable,” it is time to set ego aside and do exactly that. America needs a leader to rally around.

And the people Bernie says he wants to defend have said that that leader isn’t him.

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