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Bombshell: Top Dem leaders are planning to stop Bernie Sanders at the convention, says NY Times
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Bombshell: Top Dem leaders are planning to stop Bernie Sanders at the convention, says NY Times

'People are worried'

Despite Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying she would be "comfortable" with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as the party's nominee in the upcoming presidential election, a bombshell New York Times report says that a growing group of DNC superdelegates and party leaders are planning to stop the democratic socialist at the nominating convention in Milwaukee this summer.

Based on dozens of interviews with party leaders and 93 superdelegates, the Times reported that a significant contingent of top Democrats are secretly planning to stop him at the Democratic National Convention this summer, even if it risks damaging Democrats' chances in November.

"This article is based on interviews with the 93 superdelegates, out of 771 total, as well as party strategists and aides to senior Democrats about the thinking of party leaders. A vast majority of those superdelegates — whose ranks include federal elected officials, former presidents and vice presidents and D.N.C. members — predicted that no candidate would clinch the nomination during the primaries, and that there would be a brokered convention fight in July to choose a nominee," the Times, which also spoke on-the-record with various top Democrats, reported.

There's 'a vibrant conversation' about whether anything can be done to stop Sanders

"We're way, way, way past the day where party leaders can determine an outcome here, but I think there's a vibrant conversation about whether there is anything that can be done," Connecticut Congressman and superdelegate Jim Himes said.

The Times noted that only nine of the 93 superdelegates they contacted said that Sanders should become the Democratic Party's nominee if he arrives at the convention with a mere plurality of delegates.

"I've had 60 years experience with Democratic delegates — I don't think they will do anything like that," superdelegate and former Vice President Walter Mondale said. "They will each do what they want to do, and somehow they will work it out. God knows how."

A Stop Sanders super PAC?

The Times noted that since Sanders emerged as the party's clear front-runner after winning the Nevada caucus, four large donors have contacted former Congressman Steve Israel of New York to ask if he knew of someone who can help them build a super PAC aimed at stopping Sanders. He declined.

"People are worried," said former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, who once led the DNC and is endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden. "How you can spend four or five months hoping you don't have to put a bumper sticker from that guy on your car?"

Top Dems want Obama to get involved

Democrats are so anxious about Sanders potentially being the party's nominee that some are urging former President Barack Obama to get involved to broker a truce either among the remaining "moderate" candidates or between progressives and the DNC establishment.

At least one DNC member has even floated the idea of former first lady Michelle Obama being nominated as vice president as a way of unifying the party.

"She's the only person I can think of who can unify the party and help us win," William Owen of Tennessee told the Times. "This election is about saving the American experiment as a republic. It's also about saving the world. This is not an ordinary election."

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