Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumed nominee for president, extended an olive branch to his last-standing opponent in the primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
Despite severe ideological differences, the former vice president said that he would want Sen. Sanders to play a role in crafting policies, and says he agrees with much of what Sen. Sanders advocates for. Biden built his primary campaign around being the “moderate” candidate that can bring Washington back to “normalcy,” while Sen. Sanders embraces socialism and favors a “revolution” in American politics.
A hurdle that the former vice president will face, once officially the nominee, is the voting bloc that elevates Sen. Sanders. Young, progressive voters who favor a “revolution” in Washington have served as the fuel behind Sen. Sanders’ movement, and those voters tend not to favor Biden as a candidate. Biden acknowledged that Sen. Sanders’ has a large following, whose votes he will need in November, and that Sen. Sanders’ has changed the landscape of the political sphere:
“Bernie has an incredible following. Bernie’s probably one of half a dozen people in American history who may not be the nominee, but has had an impact on American politics in a significant way. And a positive way," Biden said.
Throughout the Democratic primary, the former vice president sparred with Sen. Sanders, calling policies he embraces, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, “unrealistic,” and pointing to his electability problem. Sen. Sanders has yet to exit the primary, despite his path to the nomination being virtually non-existent at this point. Despite Sen. Sanders’ inability to court traditional Democratic voters, Biden will need the backing of Sen. Sanders’ progressive supporters to defeat an incumbent President Trump in November, who is seeing record-high approval numbers and bringing in large amounts of fundraising cash.