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When Will Bernie Sanders Concede?

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On the latest episode of our politics podcast, Keepin’ It 1600, hosts Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer look at the state of the Democratic Party following the June 7 primaries. Favreau and Pfeiffer recorded before the “Delete your account” affair, but still assessed where things stand between Clinton and her other opponent (for now), Senator Bernie Sanders.

You can find more Keepin’ It 1600 here. This transcript has been lightly edited and condensed.

Jon Favreau: Sanders just met with [President] Obama and came out and basically said … he didn’t say that he was dropping out, but he also … he didn’t attack Hillary Clinton. He didn’t say he was going to keep going after superdelegates. He said he’s going to compete in the D.C. primary, which is Tuesday, and that he was going to take the issues he has to the convention, which I do think is careful wording. He didn’t say he was going to take his candidacy to the convention. When do you think he gets out?

Dan Pfeiffer: Sometime after Tuesday. I think it will probably be much like the Obama-Clinton race … some sort of orchestrated meeting between Clinton and Sanders that leads to a dropout and then an endorsement. The combination of Barack Obama’s breaking-news endorsement and what Sanders said today, Elizabeth Warren’s … endorsement … all makes me feel like everyone’s getting together and getting on the right page. So I think he’ll be out soon.

I think he will do the right thing. When you say that the most important thing we can do is defeat Donald Trump — that he’s going to do everything he can — that is a pretty clear signal of where this is going and he has a very important role to play here because he can help turn out voters. He can build big crowds for Hillary that her campaign can use to register, and early-vote, and all of the above, and that’s a powerful surrogate. I remember in ’08 when we had Obama, Biden, Hillary, and Bill Clinton out on the trail, and the first lady. You can cover a lot of space in a lot of key counties that way, and Hillary will have Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton. That is a lot of firepower and that’s really helpful. Donald Trump will have Chris Christie and Omarosa.

J.F.: [Laughs.] I think you have to expect that Bernie needs some time on this, not to think about whether he will endorse her or not, but to turn the ship around. Right? You’re going from one day where you’re giving speeches where you’re sort of attacking Hillary Clinton, and she’s doing the same with Bernie. They’re going back and forth, they’re in a tough primary battle. It’s hard to go from that one day and 10 minutes later saying, “Oh, I love her. She’s great. It’s perfect.” You do need some time to get there gradually because otherwise you sort of look … political, right? I didn’t expect him, really, on Tuesday night to drop everything and endorse her right there. We saw this in 2008. When the last primary took place on June 3 of 2008, I remember everyone thought that night that Hillary was going to say, “I’m suspending my campaign and endorsing Obama,” and all that. And she didn’t. She gave a whole speech.

D.P.: Yeah. Terry McAuliffe introduced her as the next president of the United States.

J.F.: She didn’t mention Obama in the speech. She said, “Everyone’s asking, ‘What does Hillary want?’” It wasn’t until four or five days later that she announced that she was suspending her campaign. So I think that this is just normal … I’m sure that he’s going to take his issues to the convention, and he’s going to try and shape the platform, but I don’t think he’s going to be running around persuading superdelegates for the next couple months. I just don’t see it