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Coming together

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Miodrag Soric
June 10, 2016

The Democrats are starting to unite and it is only a matter of time until Bernie Sanders throws in the towel. Expect Hillary Clinton to move to the left to pick up Bernie's supporters, says DW's Miodrag Soric.

USA Hillary Clinton und Barack Obama PK in Chicago
Image: Getty Images/AFP/J. Watson

The Democratic party is showing respect. Bernie Sanders has been welcomed to the White House and Hillary Clinton seems to only be saying positive things about her rival at the moment. "Bernie" - as he is often simply known - will enter the ring one more time this coming Tuesday, for the primaries in the District of Columbia. But even if he wins in the US capital, it won't change the math.

Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination. That can be the only conclusion, after US President Barack Obama threw his support behind Hillary. He took a long time to do so, behaving up until now in a completely neutral manner to both Democratic candidates. It was an approach that Sanders and his supporters appreciated.

Not the best talker

Now, Obama can barely wait to get into the election campaign. After all, he knows Hillary's strengths and weaknesses better than anyone. She is not the strongest public speaker - Obama in contrast, is a real wordsmith. Hillary's credibility and popularity levels are poor at the moment, while the president enjoys enormous support. Obama can use this political capital right up until voting day.

Admittedly, he won't do it without benefiting himself. He wants to strengthen his political legacy. Should Donald Trump become president he wants to partially roll back health reforms, challenge free trade agreements and reduce America's role as a global policeman.

From the Democrats' standpoint, those things can't be allowed to happen. Obama, Clinton and Sanders are all in agreement on this. It is only a question of days, perhaps weeks, until those Democrats who have opposed Hillary's candidacy start to support her campaign.

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DW US correspondent Miodrag Soric

Sanders' withdrawal from the race will happen in stages. The Senator from Vermont has to be respectful towards his millions of supporters. Many of them were passionate supporters of the white-haired revolutionary. And they still are, even if they are disappointed that their candidate appears to have come up short. But the "Bernie" fans can celebrate one thing: Sanders forced Hillary to take on some of his policies – such as more money for education and health, billions of dollars of investment in infrastructure, higher taxes for the rich and stronger regulation of Wall Street.

The political center

Hillary will now have to move politically to the left, even though she knows that elections in the USA are traditionally won in the center of the political spectrum. That's a risk, but she'll have to take it, if she wants to attract Sanders' supporters. If she doesn't, then the Democratic Party won't be united at the end of this presidential nomination process.

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