Monday, March 07, 2016

A bounce-back weekend for Bernie

But a last hurrah as well.

Sunday's debate brought a little more clarity to the state of play for the Democratic presidential nomination; our favorite mensch got the best of the exchanges between he and Hillary Clinton last night, and that dovetailed with the news that he had prevailed in the Maine caucuses, after winning two other caucuses -- Kansas and Nebraska -- on Super Saturday (Clinton won Louisiana's primary in a walkoff).  This continues the pattern of Sanders winning mostly Caucasian states that caucus (no pun intended), and Clinton running up large leads in Southern states that vote the usual way.

Sanders' good weekend is just not going to be enough.

While the crowd seemed to be with Bernie, and some punches were landed, he did not deliver the knockout punch many pundits said he needed to turn around his prospects for a Michigan primary win this coming Tuesday.’s most recent report of polling within Michigan shows Clinton leading Sanders by an average of 20%. While Michigan’s 148 delegates will be allocated proportionally, a loss of that magnitude would be devastating for Bernie. 
Enthusiasm may get a candidate votes; the right number of delegates gets a candidate the party nomination.


... short of a new scandal or the worsening of an already existing scandal, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

More from Politico, including some unsolicited advice.

With Sanders now having won a total of seven primary or caucus contests to Clinton’s 12 (he lost even liberal Massachusetts, his neighboring state)—he is sailing into ever-more challenging electoral waters ahead. Party operatives have begun gaming out just how and when Bernie should say “when.” He doesn’t want to give up too easily. Nor should he stay on so long that he severely harms Clinton—now more than ever the likely nominee—in the fall. 
In his election night rally in Vermont on Tuesday, Sanders declared that his campaign was, among other things, “about dealing with some unpleasant truths that exist in America today and having the guts to confront those truths.” 
The big unpleasant truth is this: Sanders may have already changed things in this campaign as much as he ever will. By credibly challenging Clinton in the early days of the race, Sanders moved the needle—and Clinton herself—on the issues he cares most about, from trade to Wall Street regulation to expanded access to health care. If history is any judge, there is only so much more that Sanders could expect from a victorious Clinton, or that she would be willing to give him. It seems all but inconceivable that she’d choose him as her running mate ( he is too old, and too unpalatable to too much of the country). She would not offer him the one Cabinet post he might covet (say, Treasury Secretary?) and it’s unlikely he would trade his perch in the Senate for one she might proffer (say Labor or Health and Human Services). 
At 74, Sanders knows this is it for him. He’s too old to run for president again, and his small-donor fundraising base makes him immune to the sort of establishment pressures that might induce a more typical candidate to drop out. (On Tuesday morning, his campaign announced he had raised $42 million from 1.4 million contributions, averaging $30, in February alone.) 
“At the end of the day, what does he care if he alienates Hillary Clinton?” asks Anita Dunn, a longtime Democratic strategist who worked on Bill Bradley’s ill-fated challenge to Al Gore in 2000. “He’s got an 80 percent approval rating in Vermont. He’s still going to be a senator, in a closely divided Senate, and if he walks out on the Democratic Caucus, he could cost them control, so he is pretty untouchable. But the real thing to think about is why he is running to begin with—which is his message, his belief that the progressive wing of the party was not going to be represented in the process if he didn’t run, and all that speaks to me of the place he may really want to use his accumulated delegates—that is, the platform.”

Read on there about the Democratic Party's past platform negotiations, the comparisons to Jesse Jackson's quixotic '88 bid, the conciliatory plum of a speaking slot in prime time during the convention, and ... that's it.  A little more unity hoo hah, and then "it's time to GTF on the bandwagon, you dirty hippies".

The same old song and dance every four years from our shitty corporate Democrats.

Speaking only for myself, I'm not falling for the banana-in-the-tailpipe, Kucinich/Jackson/Dean head fake any longer, even when it ultimately comes from Sanders himself.  No matter the hugs and kisses and browbeatings about the Supreme Court that will eventually replace things like this ...

That's what passes for the Clinton campaign's outreach today.

I'll pass on standing with folks like that.  At any time in the future.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Yeah, it's looking more and more like "Second Tuesday" may be it. I don't think he'll "suspend" at that point ... maybe something like "cease active campaigning," however expressed.

At the same time, if Hillz pushes him too hard, or the DNC does, he's got a lot of money to burn.

And, yeah, I'd have to take about 8 cold showers after even trying to stand with people like that. And, the thought processes they represent.