A Sanders campaign memorandum published by BuzzFeed News late Sunday evening reveals internal proposals for the Vermont senator’s post-primary strategy in regards to both the Democratic nomination and general election.
Dated June 5 — two days before the primaries in California and New Jersey — and entitled “End Game”, the memo outlines options for how Sanders and his surrogates will handle everything from conceding to or challenging Clinton superdelegates, to influencing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) rules and platform, and campaigning in the fall.
While the memo says “an external event could bring Clinton’s viability in the general election into focus”, it also acknowledges that such an opportunity for the Sanders campaign would “require a robust delegate persuasion program and extensive floor operation at the convention.”
On changing DNC rules, Committee co-chair Barney Frank is targeted as a player Sanders would like to “remove”, but questions whether it is worth spending the political “capital” necessary to do so.
The memo also recommends demanding the DNC give Sanders a Tuesday night, prime time speaking slot at the convention and considers “calling for a new Chair of the Democratic National Committee to Promote Party Unity”. Both of these objectives were effectively accomplished, although the latter required the intervention of external circumstances — namely the publication of internal DNC emails which showed an anti-Sanders bias among party leadership.
As far as Sen. Sanders’ role in the general election campaign, three proposals were laid out:
- Commission a plane at the DNC’s expense to campaign for Hillary Clinton in swing-states.
- Campaign for Democratic senators, “to help deliver a majority and take credit for it.”
- Campaign for progressives, thereby helping to “extend the Sanders legacy and build progressive strength for future policy battles.”
The memo was reportedly found at a DoubleTree hotel restaurant in Los Angeles June 5, where Sanders and his campaign aides stayed the night.
Ultimately, Sanders endorsed Clinton and officially ended his campaign on July 12 in New Hampshire, where security personnel confiscated “Still Bernie” signs held by rally-goers. The endorsement came exactly one week after FBI Director James Comey announced federal charges would not be brought against Clinton for storing classified emails on an unsecure, private server during her tenure as Secretary of State.