Bernie Sanders on Track to Endorse Hillary Clinton Next Week

More than a month after Democrat Hillary Clinton secured her party’s presidential nomination, rival Bernie Sanders is expected to endorse her at an event Tuesday in New Hampshire, people familiar with the matter say.

Plans aren’t final, and a Clinton campaign advisory announcing the New Hampshire event made no mention of Mr. Sanders.

But the two campaign managers—Robby Mook for Mrs. Clinton and Jeff Weaver for Mr. Sanders–have been talking for weeks about how to bring the pair together. Wednesday’s announcement that Mrs. Clinton was adopting a central element of his college tuition plan was a major step toward winning Mr. Sanders’s support, officials said.

This weekend, the campaigns will debate a range of issues at a meeting of the Democratic Party platform committee, but Mr. Sanders’s endorsement doesn’t hinge on the outcome of any of those debates, a person familiar with the discussions said.

On Thursday, Mr. Sanders suggested in his clearest terms yet that that a Clinton endorsement is coming.

“We have got to do everything that we can to defeat Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton,” he told Bloomberg’s Al Hunt. “I don’t honestly know how we would survive four years of a Donald Trump” as president.

Another Clinton concession is expected on health care. There are three potential policy moves here. Mrs. Clinton may more formally articulate support for creating a government-run health program to compete with private insurers on the new health care exchanges, known as the “public option,” and she may clearly state backing for allowing younger people nearing retirement to buy into Medicare. She also may come out for increased federal funding for community health centers, a long time Sanders priority. All three ideas would result in more Americans having access to government-supported health insurance, as Mr. Sanders would like.

The Clinton and Sanders camps are likely to be on opposite sides on a range of issues that will be debated at the platform committee meeting in Orlando, Fla., on Friday and Saturday. They include a dispute over whether the platform should come out against a pending Asian free trade agreement that both candidates oppose but which is being pushed by President Barack Obama.

The White House doesn’t want the party to be on record against one of the president’s top priorities.

Mrs. Clinton has already wrapped up support from other party leaders. She campaigned with Mr. Obama on Tuesday and will be with Vice President Joe Biden on Friday. She’s also won the enthusiastic backing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who shares Mr. Sanders’s populist outlook and support.

New Hampshire is a logical place for Mr. Sanders to give his support to the presumptive nominee. He beat her in a landslide in the New Hampshire’s primary, and the state is set to be a battleground this fall.

Mr. Sanders has been under increasing pressure from Democrats to get behind Mrs. Clinton. At a closed-door meeting with House Democrats on Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers shouted “timeline, timeline” and said “answer the question” when Mr. Sanders was asked when he would endorse Mrs. Clinton, according to a Democratic aide.

As a result of the negotiations, Mr. Sanders is set to get a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic Party Convention later this month in Philadelphia.


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