For me this is the only possible conclusion after the primaries and two conventions.
Barack Obama is, of course, still President. But he is more or less a lame duck. Hillary Clinton has won her party's nomination for President. But Sanders' performance during the primaries, by garnering nearly half of the delegates and winning in as many of the states, puts him at virtual parity with Ms. Clinton by any objective measurement of power and influence within the Democratic Party.
Mrs. Clinton's status as Nominee of course gives a putative advantage in terms of perceived clout. But the "facts on the ground" in fact deny her this advantage. She is a profoundly compromised entity, generally distrusted and not viewed as having the kind of fundamental integrity necessary to be considered a genuine leader.
Mrs. Clinton's nomination itself would not have been considered decisive without the direct intervention by elites within the Democratic Party (i.e the "superdelegates"), or without the bias the Party establishment displayed towards her at critical moments throughout the campaign. She is still not even considered the legitimate winner of the primaries by millions of voters. Above all, the Party's nominee is not widely viewed as even possessing a sincere commitment to many of the progressive issues and values for which the Democratic Party (and now its platform) has traditionally stood.
Sanders, on the other hand (despite his perfunctory "endorsement" of his opponent) is not only more liked and trusted than any other politician in America, but is the primary leader of the ongoing struggle for fairness, justice and equality in America: issues which Sanders succeeded in making an essential part of the national conversation (by both parties) during his candidacy.
In addition, he has built a database of 8 million individual donors who contributed over $200 million to his presidential campaign, which continues to be active.
Last but not least, the Senator has proven his extraordinary power and influence by overhauling the actual platform of a party, theoretically led by a distinctly right-of-center candidate, into the most progressive in its history.
Briefly put: the Republican Party has no one who even remotely qualifies.
Say what you will, but I think the fact should be plainly stated: Bernie Sanders, in just one short year, by sheer force of character and moral will, has gone from being a marginal, virtually unknown "fringe" candidate for President of the United States, to the most powerful politician and influential political leader in this country.
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