Senator Bernie Sanders met with acclaimed director Spike Lee after a whirlwind election to decompress and be interviewed. During their conversation, Sanders revealed some information that may have changed the outcome of the race.
When asked by Lee if he had ever been offered the vice president position by Hillary Clinton’s camp, he said, “absolutely not.” But when the Vermont senator was asked if he would have taken such a position, if offered, he responded that he “probably” would have.
Clinton and Sanders had a bitter campaign against one another at times, one whose fractures had been felt since the end of their primary race. Sanders had even been blamed for Clinton’s loss to Trump. The eventual embrace of the two candidates as Sanders campaigned for Clinton in the general election was meant to heal those scars, but a prominent position for Sanders within Clinton’s administration would have likely done much more to galvanize Millennial support for the Democratic nominee.
Adding to the drama of Sander’s disclosure was the fact that, according to documents obtained by Wikileaks, Bernie Sanders was listed as a potential vice presidential candidate for Clinton. At the time, Donald Trump had yet to lock in the Republican Party nomination. Sanders' outsider appeal and populist message would have potentially countered some of Trump’s among white, working-class voters, at least more so than the much more mainstream choice of Tim Kaine.
In the interview, Sanders pointed out that the Democrats had to move in a new direction if they were to succeed, saying:
"The hope is to understand that the Democratic party has stumbled very significantly in the last number of decades. It’s not just this election, Spike, as disastrous as it has been. It is the fact that the Republican party controls the Senate, controls the US House, controls something like two-thirds of the governor seats in this country, and that the Democrats have lost over 900 state legislature seats in the last eight years. What that tells me is that the Democratic party has got to very fundamentally rethink who it is and where it goes. It has to shed the current situation where it’s a party of the liberal elite, a party of wealthy people who give substantial sums – we can use that money, that’s fine, but it must reidentify itself as a party of working people. Whether you’re black, white, Latino, there are millions of people today who are working longer hours for lower wages, and they’re seeing almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1%. The Democratic party has got to say we are on the side of the 99%. Our party is not about having fancy fundraisers, it’s about going into union halls, veterans’ halls, farm communities, the inner cities. It has to bring people together around the progressive agenda and make government work for all of us and not the 1%”