With Clinton taking California and New Jersey, Bernie Sanders is now over and done, and he knows it.
Senator Bernie Sanders plans to lay off at least half of his campaign staff Wednesday as his battered presidential bid continues despite Hillary Clinton’s being declared the presumptive Democratic nominee, two people close to the campaign said Tuesday.
Many of those being laid off are advance staff members who often help with campaign logistics, as well as field staff members who have been working to garner votes for the senator, according to a campaign official and a former campaign staff member, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. Some campaign workers may move into jobs at Mr. Sanders’s Senate office, but others will be terminated, they said.
Word of the layoffs came on a night that Mrs. Clinton declared that she had captured the majority of pledged delegates needed to capture the Democratic nomination, despite a spirited fight from Mr. Sanders, who has showed no signs of ending his campaign.
Mr. Sanders insists that he is prepared to challenge Mrs. Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in July, holding out hope that his lobbying of superdelegates — party officials and state leaders who cast their final votes at the convention — will siphon support from Mrs. Clinton as he makes his case that he is a stronger candidate against Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.
Mr. Sanders’s spokesman, Michael Briggs, said Tuesday that Mr. Sanders planned to travel to his home in Vermont on Wednesday and then head to Washington on Thursday. Campaign aides say he plans to hold rallies in Washington, which holds the last nominating contest on June 14.
And as a reminder, the continued sour grapes coming from the defeated Sanders camp comes from Sanders himself.
There’s no strategist pulling the strings, and no collection of burn-it-all-down aides egging him on. At the heart of the rage against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, the campaign aides closest to him say, is Bernie Sanders.
It was the Vermont senator who personally rewrote his campaign manager’s shorter statement after the chaos at the Nevada state party convention and blamed the political establishment for inciting the violence.
He was the one who made the choice to go after Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz after his wife read him a transcript of her blasting him on television.
He chose the knife fight over calling Clinton unqualified, which aides blame for pulling the bottom out of any hopes they had of winning in New York and their last real chance of turning a losing primary run around.
And when Jimmy Kimmel’s producers asked Sanders’ campaign for a question to ask Donald Trump, Sanders himself wrote the one challenging the Republican nominee to a debate.
There are many divisions within the Sanders campaign—between the dead-enders and the work-it-out crowds, between the younger aides who think he got off message while the consultants got rich and obsessed with Beltway-style superdelegate math, and between the more experienced staffers who think the kids got way too high on their sense of the difference between a movement and an actual campaign.
But more than any of them, Sanders is himself filled with resentment, on edge, feeling like he gets no respect -- all while holding on in his head to the enticing but remote chance that Clinton may be indicted before the convention.
That's it. Sanders's message of real progressive change to pull the country left to help the working class is now "I hope the FBI indicts Hillary." And it came from Sanders himself.
It's all he has left now, and it's an unfortunate end to his legacy. Maybe he can turn it around and support Hillary, but the fact that there's major questions about whether or not he will is everything you need to know.