- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sen. Bernard Sanders slammed the door on an independent run for president Wednesday and began to wind down his campaign team, vowing to “work seven days a week” and “knock my brains out” to elect rival Hillary Clinton if his own White House bid fails.

The Vermont senator’s comments came one day after a series of crushing losses in Northeastern primaries — losses that have left him with little realistic path to the nomination, barring a miraculous turnaround or complete collapse by Mrs. Clinton.

“I will do everything that I can, and I think Hillary Clinton and I agree on this, that we will do everything we can to make sure that a Republican does not win the White House,” the senator told MSNBC on Wednesday. “I will knock my brains out, I will work seven days a week to make sure that that does not happen if I am the nominee and if I am not the nominee. That’s what I will do.”

Also on Wednesday, the Vermont socialist said he was scaling back his presidential campaign and will soon lay off “hundreds” of campaign workers across the country.

In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Sanders said he plans to reallocate resources to California, where Democrats will vote June 7. Mr. Sanders has vowed to stay in the race through the closing contests, to give Democrats in every state a chance to vote.

“We want to win as many delegates as we can, so we do not need workers now in states around the country,” Mr. Sanders said. “We don’t need people right now in Connecticut. That election is over. We don’t need them in Maryland. So what we are going to do is allocate our resources to the 14 contests that remain, and that means that we are going to be cutting back on staff.”

While it is true that many states have voted in Democratic primaries, a candidate who expected to get the nomination would still need offices and staffers in those states for the general election in November.

The explicit promise to back Mrs. Clinton — who is now far ahead in the delegate race and has the nomination all but locked up — also indicates that Mr. Sanders isn’t holding a grudge over previous clashes with the Democratic Party.

The senator has said on several occasions that he believes the party has not been fair to him and has actively tried to swing the primary race in favor of Mrs. Clinton. He has charged, among other things, that the Democratic National Committee tried to limit the number of debates to protect the former first lady. And the debates that were held, Mr. Sanders said, often were scheduled on weekends or other inconvenient times, making it difficult for many Americans to hear his message.

Mr. Sanders also still has an active lawsuit against the DNC stemming from an incident last year in which his campaign was temporarily cut off from party voter data files.

His frequent run-ins with the party have led some to suggest he shed his Democratic affiliation and mount an independent run. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is the latest to float such an idea.

“Bernie Sanders has been treated terribly by the Democrats — both with delegates & otherwise. He should show them, and run as an independent,” Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday before repeating those words during his own victory speech later the same night.

While polls have shown that a sizable number of Sanders supporters are lukewarm at best to a Clinton candidacy, an independent run almost certainly would ensure that Mr. Trump or another Republican is victorious in November.

However, political analysts say, there just isn’t enough daylight between Mr. Sanders and Mrs. Clinton on key issues to justify such a run.

Sanders would find little success running as a third party. From a coalition perspective, the groups supporting him won’t be significant enough in most states to make noise,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston who specializes in presidential leadership.

“From an issue perspective, there aren’t enough salient issues to generate a candidacy and he has been less than clear about solutions to problems he’s posed. From a logistical perspective, running as an independent in most states is nearly impossible without significant early planning,” he said,

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