On Tuesday night, American history was made, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the first woman to secure the presidential nomination by a major political party. There are still sharp divisions within her own party, however, thanks to the compelling insurgent candidacy of Bernie Sanders. And with Clinton now owning a pledged delegate majority, it sounds like the female nominee of a decidedly non-major party is hoping to court the defeated Vermont senator ― Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein reached out to Bernie Sanders on Twitter on Tuesday night, making a not-so-subtle play at uniting with him on a third-party bid.
Stein, 66, was the Green Party's nominee in 2012, ultimately netting a scant 0.36 percent of the popular vote against President Obama, Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson. In other words, she didn't do so well ― certainly not compared to Ralph Nader's high-profile and hugely consequential 2000 Green Party run, when he won 2.74 percent of the popular vote, and ultimately played a spoiler role in Florida that aided (whether indirectly or not) the election of George W. Bush.
Needless to say, that'd be the same big panic scenario that the Democrats would face if Sanders actually considered jumping onto the Green ticket with Stein this year ― although she didn't get too specific about exactly what she was proposing. Here's what she said, tweeted out at the same time Clinton as was finally acknowledging she'd won the Democratic nomination.
Now, there's a necessary disclaimer here, which is that this is absolutely not going to happen. At least it won't if Sanders is a man of his word ― he's been on record for months that he won't run as an independent or third-party candidate, and even more specifically, he's insisted that he'll do everything in his power to prevent the election of a Republican, namely Donald Trump. Needless to say, Sanders staying in the race in any capacity would all but assure Trump's election ― Trump people are going to stay with Trump, but having a far-left progressive and a center-left progressive both in the general election would clear a much easier path for him.
Much in the image of Nader's 2000 run, however, Stein seems less concerned with highlighting any sharp distinctions between a Clinton win and a Trump win. Back on May 21st, she tweeted "Yes, I will be horrified if Donald Trump is elected. I will also be horrified if Hillary Clinton is elected. Both are corporate politicians."
It comes as no surprise that she'd try to court Sanders, all this considered. But from the sounds of things, Democrats can rest easy ― whatever success Stein has this year, she'll almost certainly be doing it without the support of one Bernie Sanders.