Hillary will be the Democratic nominee for president, the first woman in history to represent a major party in the quest for the White House. Bernie faces a choice that is simpler than most people think.

Months before the national media decided to report on Bernie’s self-admitted character assault against Hillary, we warned that his sharp detour into attack politics would damage him more than it damaged Hillary:

A funny thing happens to people who think they can take down Hillary Clinton by assailing her character: they end up with their own reputations in tatters. Just ask Trey Gowdy.

We followed up a two months later with this:

Going personal on Hillary, the most vetted human on the planet, is a high-risk endeavor. Bernie is learning the hard way that people who traffic in innuendo against Hillary end up damaging their own credibility.

Sure enough, months after our warnings, a spate of recent articles and editorials have decried Bernie’s apparent scorched-earth approach to the nomination process. Bernie’s brand is damaged. The only way to repair it now, assuming he wants to, is to help Hillary defeat Donald Trump.

And if he thinks his supporters will stick with a strategy that places his personal ambitions above the future of the country, he’ll find out soon enough how quickly they will abandon him. Voters are not stupid. They know what’s at stake with Trump.

A new CBS/NYT poll says that “72 percent of Sanders supporters would vote for Clinton against Donald Trump.” That’s more than ten points higher than the percentage of Hillary’s supporters who indicated they would support Obama in 2008.

Bernie’s voters are ready for Hillary.

He is certainly free to keep running until the last votes are cast, but the sooner he starts helping Hillary take down Trump — winding his people down instead of winding them up — the more likely he’ll salvage his personal reputation.

If it matters to him.

Thankfully, there are indications it does.

(Photo: Hillary for America)