COLUMN: Sanders endorses Clinton for Democratic nominee

A long primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders finally came to an end Tuesday when the Vermont senator formally endorsed Clinton at a campaign rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“She will be the Democratic nominee for president, and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States,” Sanders said during the rally.

With his remarks, Sanders ended the awkward, month-long period following the California primary June 7, where he declined to endorse Clinton or concede the nomination to her.

The emergence of Sanders on the campaign trail for Clinton will be an enormous benefit to the Clinton campaign.

Sanders deserves credit for influencing the Clinton campaign and making it as strong as it can possibly be in order to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Sanders has influenced Clinton’s campaign in particular in two enormous ways in the fields of education and health care.

The Clinton campaign added a plan to ensure students whose families made less than $125,000 a year wouldn’t have to pay tuition at in-state public colleges and universities, a plan that covers 80 percent of families in the U.S.

Though this plan doesn’t go as far as Sanders’ plan, in which he proposed free college tuition for all, it is an enormous step toward making affordable college a reality for most of our nation’s students.

In health care, the campaign proposed adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act.

The public option makes a universal healthcare system, which was another promise of the Sanders campaign, more feasible if it becomes law.

The platform for the Democratic Party for the election in the fall has also been sharply influenced by the Sanders campaign.

Some of the promises in the platform were key ideas during the Sanders 

According to NBC News, the platform supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, action on climate change that includes stricter regulations on fracking, a path toward legalizing recreational marijuana and opposition to the death penalty.

All of these ideas were championed by Sanders during the primary, and, though Sanders called for an outright ban on fracking, the stricter regulations are a significant compromise between his and Clinton’s campaign.

The progressive direction Clinton’s campaign and the party platform have taken will make Clinton and the Democratic Party better poised to keep the White House away from Donald Trump.

The reconciliation between the two campaigns also puts the Democratic Party in a far stronger position than the Republican Party, which still faces a myriad of problems surrounding Trump.

Though there will be a small minority of Sanders’ supporters who will not vote for Clinton, the divisiveness among Republican leaders is far greater than the one on the Democratic side of the field.

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