Bernie Sanders' Hillary Clinton Endorsement Is Finally Here

At a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire Tuesday, Bernie Sanders formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, after battling with the former secretary of state through every primary and caucus for the Democratic nomination. His campaign released a press statement confirming his endorsement, timed with his remarks at the rally. Although Sanders had already admitted that it didn't look like he'd become the party's nominee and said he'd vote for Clinton in November, this marked his official endorsement of the presumptive Democratic nominee. It's likely a melancholy moment for Sanders, his team, and his millions of supporters, but one that many Democratic leaders have also been waiting for since Clinton crossed the delegate threshold needed to secure the nomination early last month.

"I have come here today not to talk about the past, but to focus on the future. That future will be shaped more by what happens on November 8 in voting booths across our nation than by any other event in the world. I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I amendorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president," Sanders said.

When Sanders first jumped in the race, few pundits thought he would pose a serious challenge to Clinton. Ultimately, he couldn't pull into the lead in the pledged delegate race or the popular vote, but he did amass millions of votes and win a significant number of states — more than many political experts had predicted. Buoyed by strong support from young, independent-leaning voters (a feat that would've been awfully hard to predict this time a year ago), Sanders ran a grassroots campaign that was arguably unprecedented in its success. In case you forgot (or maybe didn't realize), when Sanders jumped into the race in 2015, his campaign didn't exactly start with a jam-packed amphitheater full of cheering, adoring people.

It'll be fascinating to see what's next for Sanders and his newfound political coalition, both in the short and long term. While he was still campaigning, he repeatedly stressed that he would do everything in his power to prevent the election of Donald Trump. While primaries are always divisive to some extent, there were reportedly fears within the party that Sanders' campaign might poison the well against Clinton. That'll be the biggest, most immediate question: Will Sanders be hitting the campaign trail with Clinton, or is the ideological and personal gap between them just too large?

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Based on his endorsement, it seems like Sanders may be willing to throw his weight behind Clinton.