Clinton is indicating she wants to remain active in politics by backing Democratic candidates in 2018 who can help flip Congress. But in a striking role reversal, it’s the 76-year-old Sanders who now wields more power among the next line of budding aspirants in Democratic politics.
“This week looks like a moment where it’s crystallizing in a lot of people’s minds that Bernie Sanders is the future of the Democratic Party,” says Mark Longabaugh, a Democratic consultant and aide to Sanders’ presidential bid. “There’s an assumption within the Democratic Party that a progressive candidate is a weakness. That’s not a weakness, that’s a strength. We have to lose some of the timidity that the party has had for too long on policy issues. How did Donald Trump end up as president? The public is restless and extremely unsatisfied with the performance of government. You have to make an argument. Put big bold ideas on the table. The public may not agree with every aspect, but they’re going to give you credit for trying to do something. Bernie Sanders put it on the table and argued for it.”