Things got pretty tense this week in the Democratic presidential primary race as Bernie Sanders supporters were criticized for intimidation tactics at the Nevada convention and the Sanders campaign pushed back with allegations that the party leadership was favoring front-runner Hillary Clinton. However, as bad as things may seem, Seth Meyers reminded viewers Thursday that Democrats have been here before.
On NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers” Thursday, the host took a closer look at the growing tension in the Democratic primary race and concluded that the reaction of Sanders and his supporters to Clinton’s seemingly inevitable nomination win bears a striking resemblance to Clinton’s own campaign in 2008, when she lost to then-Sen. Barack Obama.
Meyers played a series of clips highlighting the tension in the race, including the Sanders campaign’s rocky relationship with Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, allegations that the party leadership is playing favorites and the recent chaos in Nevada when Sanders supporters protested the delegate allotment.
“Now some establishment Democrats and pundits are urging Sanders to step aside, comparing him to a certain presidential spoiler from the 2000 election,” said Meyers.
The comedian then played a montage featuring pundits questioning if Sanders would play the role of Ralph Nader, a candidate who many believed damaged former Vice President Al Gore’s chances in the 2000 general election against George W. Bush. However, Meyers argued that 2008 Clinton was the better comparison, pointing out that while Nader won zero states in the 2000 primaries, Sanders has won 20.
“In 2008, a similarly divisive fight played out between Clinton and Obama all the way into the last primary,” Meyers said. “We’ve heard a lot about the ‘Bernie or Bust’ movement, but in 2008 there was something similar going on with Hillary supporters who said they would never back Obama.”
Meyers pointed out that Obama won the 2008 election when Democratic voters rallied around him out of fear of a John McCain presidency. Meyers played a clip of Clinton arguing that a similar situation will play out this year as a result of Donald Trump.
“That’s right, Donald Trump can bring people together and not just washed up celebrities,” joked Meyers.
Watch Seth Meyers compare Bernie Sanders to 2008 Hillary Clinton below:
Sanders has pledged to stay in the race until the last vote. Though it’s nearly mathematically impossible for him to catch Clinton in the pledged delegate count, his last shot might be the June 7 primary in California.