Bernie Sanders is still a candidate for the nomination but not the kind of candidate who actively seeks the nomination but just the kind of candidate who can’t stand the idea of conceding ever, so he won’t.

Asked if Bernie Sanders is actively seeking the nomination, his campaign manager Jeff Weaver says no. Is the campaign still polling super delegates? No. Asked 12 hours later if Bernie Sanders is still a candidate for the nomination Jeff Weaver says yes.

For a campaign that is different than all the others because it tells the truth, it says, truth seems to have become very relative. It’s hard to see what advantage Bernie has by maintaining the fiction that he is still a presidential candidate when he cannot possibly be one because there are no more delegates to be had and he is not trying to flip any super delegates. But many of his core supporters, the true believers, the ones who have been the most dedicated donors even when they couldn’t afford it, those people still believe in their heart of hearts that Bernie can and will the nomination. And as long as Bernie has not conceded, the campaign can still continue to raise money from these people. Doubtless donations spiked after his speech last night. You have to wonder just how much of this equivocation nonsense–he is not actively seeking the nomination but is still a candidate for the nomination–is because they were flat broke after the California primary. Maybe they couldn’t pay the bills and meet whatever payroll remained, the fate of most failed political campaigns. But then no campaign ever collected donations the way Bernie’s does, in smallish dollar amounts via social media. As long as they have that dedicated base of followers they have money coming in, provided that base still thinks Bernie is actually seeking the nomination. Is that what is happening? Is that why Jeff Weaver takes such pains to state that Bernie is still a candidate? Maybe, maybe not. It’s impossible to tell since they stopped releasing monthly donation totals a couple months ago. For a campaign that began so idealistically, it’s a rather unseemly finish.

He spent part of his speech last night saying how important it was to defeat Trump. But you do not defeat Trump by donating to the Bernie Sanders for President campaign. You do not help other progressive candidates by donating to the Bernie For President campaign. You don’t take back congress or statehouses or state legislatures by donating to the Bernie Sanders for President campaign. You don’t fund ballot initiatives to stop open carry or legalize marijuana or provide homes to the homeless by donating to the Bernie Sanders for President campaign either. It’s hard to tell just who you are benefiting by donating to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Sometimes campaigns wind up existing only to feed themselves, aimless organizations serving no purpose other than collecting funds to collect more funds. I don’t know if the Bernie Sanders campaign has reached that point yet, but I am starting to wonder. Because right now, for all political intents and nomination purposes, the campaign serves no function at all. As current events and filibusters pass it by, the campaign seems to be just spinning its wheels, going nowhere and making money doing it.

don't quit bernie

Bernie’s final campaign rally, Washington D.C. (Photo by Molly Riley, Getty Images.)

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