On Tuesday morning at approximately 11 a.m., Hillary Clinton will concede in the Democratic primary and hand Bernie Sanders the nomination before she leaves the stage in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in handcuffs and a federal indictment puts her in jail for years to come.
That’s the fantasy, more or less, of some self-identified #BernieorBust fans, who do not think that the senator from Vermont will be endorsing Clinton at their first joint event on Tuesday.
Others are just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
“Maybe she will concede the nomination on the grounds her controversies are to [sic] distracting from the real issues America faces,” Jerry Jarvis, a West Frankfort, Illinois resident and member of a #BernieorBust Facebook page, told The Daily Beast. “I know that it would be the right thing to do but when have we ever known her to do that. I still don't want to believe America is really heading down a dark path.”
There is absolutely no indication that Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is going to exit the race, and after being cleared of charges in an investigation of her use of a private email server during her tenure in the State Department, it does not appear that she will be facing any jail time.
But there is also no explicit word from Sanders himself that he will endorse his one-time opponent just two weeks out from the Democratic National Convention. And unless it comes from his own mouth, some of his most ardent supporters will not believe it.
On July 7, The New York Times first reported that Sanders was expected to endorse Clinton, based on conversations with three Democrats who were familiar with the planning of Tuesday’s event. Since then, Clinton announced her plan to cut in-state tuitions at public universities for families whose incomes are up to $125,000 a year, an initiative which approximates a plan that was at the core of Sanders’ campaign.
Additionally, over the weekend, Clinton proposed that Congress add a “public option” to the Affordable Care Act, something which earned the praise of the senator from Vermont.
“I applaud Secretary Clinton very much for that proposal,” Sanders said on a call with reporters on Saturday morning. “We look forward to continue working with the Clinton campaign and we’ll have more to say in the near future.”
Even before this, both Sanders and his wife said they’d vote for Clinton if he did not earn the nomination and Sanders has been adamant about doing anything in his power to defeat Donald Trump.
But, the word “endorse” never escaped his lips and the campaign did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast as to whether the event on Tuesday would end with a kumbaya moment.
This nuanced distinction in his language was enough to raise the specter of doubt for Sanders’ most relentless supporters, allowing some to conclude that he wouldn’t dare deflate their hope balloons by selling out and putting his arm around (S)Hillary Clinton.
When H.A. Goodman, a writer and an often-delusional public face for the #BernieorBust efforts, was reached for comment about the impending event, he refused to offer any insight.
“Seeing that you already did a hit piece on me, I doubt you'd accurately convey my thoughts,” Goodman emailed, referencing another Daily Beast piece in which writer David Freedlander attempted to speak with him.
“Also, I have very little respect for the Daily Beast, and view you to be a PR firm for Clinton. So, don't call me or contact me again. If you call me, or contact me again, I will either write an article about your obvious attempts at yet another hit piece, or explain exactly what you're doing in a YouTube segment.
“Have a nice day.”
The Daily Beast attempted to reach him again on Monday with no success. It is unclear if a YouTube video exists detailing these attempts.
“Bernie will never indorse [sic] Hillary,” Pomeroy, Ohio resident Nelia Seyler told The Daily Beast in a Facebook message on Monday.
The report from The New York Times did not seem to move some supporters either.
“The media hasn't been honest thus far in the election cycle, there is no credibility there,” Oakdale, Pennsylvania resident Mark Shirley said. “I doubt that anybody in this group will take anything said by the media as true.”
“H.A. Goodman already called Resnick a Hillary shill” and “Daily beast is a shillary mouthpiece,” some of the other insights on a #BernieorBust Facebook thread read.
As the Sanders campaign drew to a whimper, with the candidate holding out his outright support until the middle of July, the #BernieorBust crowd became somewhat of a statistical minority.
A Pew Research poll from July 8 indicated that 85 percent of Sanders backers polled would support Clinton. And in May, a group of former volunteers and staffers launched the Brand New Congress PAC in an attempt to sustain Sanders’ remarkable movement down the ballot as his own bid quickly faded.
“I do expect him to endorse Hillary Clinton, though I'm not sure if it will be tomorrow,” 24-year-old Vermont native Joe Behlendorf (who runs the #BernieFacts Twitter account) told The Daily Beast. “It's definitely going to be a disappointing moment, but I understand his strategy. If he withheld an endorsement he would be totally ostracizing himself in Congress and that might make it even harder to achieve victories on progressive issues. If he endorses her, Democrats in Congress have to at least pretend to get along with us. While it's not what I would have wanted him to do, I could never turn on Bernie because he stood up for us when nobody else would.”
Similarly Erica Garner, a staunch Sanders surrogate and the daughter of Eric Garner who was choked to death by the NYPD, seemed to think the moment was coming.
“Bernie fought a great fight,” she told The Daily Beast in a direct message on Twitter. “He took it as far as he could. Now he is doing what he must but as we know, his supporters are "independent.” They will do what is best for them.”
But even as she was willing to acknowledge that Sanders is likely to endorse Clinton, Garner is not voting for her anytime soon.
“Clinton represents more of the same failed institutional policies that have left black bodies dead in this country since its inception right on up through the ‘super predator’ comments, sentiments that I'm sure are shared by the police when they execute one.”
For some who accepted Tuesday’s likely fate, the prospect of Sanders falling in line with Clinton was less ire-inducing than it was devastating.
“I’m heartbroken,” Amber Jo Mercer of Chattanooga said in response to a question about the pending endorsement.
“Be positive, he would never lead us on, just to concede,” Jennifer Smith Furbush assured her.