Senator Bernie Sanders said on Sunday that he would “take our campaign for transforming the Democratic Party into the convention,” refusing to concede the presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton though not explicitly saying he would challenge her for it.
Mrs. Clinton earned enough delegates to clinch the nomination last week, but Mr. Sanders has declined to end his campaign. He has contended that he could persuade enough superdelegates, the party leaders who have overwhelmingly backed Mrs. Clinton, to switch their support to him by arguing that he would be the stronger candidate against Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
That plan became more improbable last week as high-profile Democrats supported Mrs. Clinton. President Obama endorsed her on Thursday, calling her the most qualified candidate ever to seek the White House and imploring Democrats to unite behind her.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also endorsed Mrs. Clinton. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, the only senator to endorse Mr. Sanders, told CNN on Friday that he now supports Mrs. Clinton.
In recent days, Mr. Sanders appeared to acknowledge the odds against him, and began speaking less about beating Mrs. Clinton and more about working to defeat Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.
On Sunday, he gathered with about 20 key supporters and advisers at his home in Burlington, Vt., to discuss how to proceed.
“We are going to take our campaign to the convention with the full understanding that we are very good at arithmetic and that we know, you know, who has the received the most votes up to now,” Mr. Sanders said after the meeting, standing on his front lawn with his wife, Jane. Among the dozen or so people who attended the gathering were Benjamin T. Jealous, a former president of the N.A.A.C.P.; Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona; Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator; and Bill McKibben, the environmentalist and author.
Notably, Mr. Sanders also said he would continue his efforts aimed at “transforming the Democratic Party,” a sign that his main goal may no longer be to become the nominee.
So we've reached the opening phases of the Great 2016 Democratic Unity Swap Meet, which apparently is all about the negotiations involving what Bernie's price will be for endorsing Hillary Clinton, but before we get totally outraged at Sanders, please remember that the same Clinton folks were DEMANDING eight years ago that Barack Obama make Hillary his vice president or else. Even Ed Kilgore was pushing an Obama-Clinton ticket in the summer of 2008, so I'm not really going to buy the "What is Bernie Thinking?" line right about now. That's baked into this little pie, folks.
The Clinton PUMAs were just as obnoxious then as the Bernie or Bust folks are now, frankly, and just as condescending. No, two wrongs don't make a right, but having said that, Clinton realized that burying the hatchet was the best course of action. I'm not so sure Bernie has gotten to that long game point yet, because this is pretty much his last shot at the brass ring.
Anyhow, I'm fairly sure that a former Senator and Secretary of State may know a few things about high-stakes political negotiations, and that she will find a solution that can satisfy as many people as possible.