FIX: Sanders says he will stay in the race through the convention. Is that a mistake? Why or why not?
Dean: It depends how he "stays in the race." If staying in the race means continuing to raise policy issues and attacking Trump while quietly negotiating over the platform, future rules, speaking slots etc., I don't think there is a big problem — although of course it would be easier if he endorses Secretary Clinton next week.
If "staying in the race" means attacking the Democratic nominee personally and complaining that the process is unfair, he will quickly diminish himself in addition to making it harder to beat Trump.
FIX: Describe the psyche of a candidate who comes from nowhere to have a chance and then loses. How did you process that sort of boom/bust cycle in your 2004 race?
Dean: Losing a presidential race when you have been as successful as Bernie has is very difficult personally. Politics is a substitute for war, and this war is over who gets to hold the most powerful office in the world. War by nature is never fair. So the loser feels cheated; the loser feels that they have let down their supporters, and that they should rightfully have won. But there is no reward for complaining. You eventually have to come to terms with the loss and see what you have gained from it so that, to quote Bernie, "the struggle continues."
FIX: What role do people like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and other major figures in the party have to play in negotiating the end of this race?
Dean: President Obama has the greatest stature, given his position. He will likely tell Bernie that he is going to recognize Secretary Clinton as the presumptive nominee after the D.C. primary. Bernie should beat him to the punch.
Hillary needs to be conciliatory and gracious as she has been.
In the end, the Clinton campaign and the Sanders campaign need to negotiate how the next phase goes, with Clinton embracing clear parts of Bernie's platform, and Bernie actively going on the road to rev up his troops to support Hillary. This may not happen until much closer to the convention.
FIX: Have you talked to Sanders of late? If yes, what did you tell him? If not, what would you tell him?
Dean: I have not spoken with Bernie. If I did I would recommend the above course of action.
FIX: Finish this sentence. The lesson the Democratic Party should take from the Sanders presidential campaign is _______________. Now, explain.
Dean: There is a large number of voters who have lost faith in our system of government and believe democracy has been corrupted by powerful interests who do not understand or care about the vast majority of Americans, but only about their own wealth and privilege.
If the next president does not address this belief and actually do something about it by getting rid of Citizens United, changing the tax code to favor investing in infrastructure, housing and education instead of pushing derivatives, interest rate swaps and collateralized mortgage obligations around in a giant gambling casino, the next election will make this one look polite by comparison.