Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Where to from here

So far on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton has won contests in South Dakota, New Mexico and New Jersey, while Bernie Sanders had won the North Dakota caucuses and Montana. California is still outstanding.

California finally got called about 6:15 this morning.  It went 56-43 for her and was never seriously in play as the returns came in.  Sanders was scheduled to address his supporters in Santa Monica at midnight, but ...

The Vermont senator arrived almost an hour late ... The crowd was as frenzied as ever and hung on his every word. Sanders basked in the adulation, with much of the rally made up of Sanders standing and shaking his head because he was unable to speak over his cheering supporters.

He was reflective.

“It has been one of the most moving moments of my life to be out throughout this state in beautiful evenings and seeing thousands of people coming out, people who are prepared to stand up and fight for real change in this country,” Sanders said.

So the path ahead still looks a little ... winding.   Rocky even, maybe.

Sanders, who spoke with Obama on Tuesday night, will meet with the president at the White House on Thursday. He also has a meeting planned with Senate minority leader Harry Reid, a Clinton backer.

Also on Thursday, Sanders will rally supporters in Washington, D.C., in preparation for next Tuesday’s final Democratic primary here.

And Sanders has said that he will at some point return to Vermont to "assess" the direction of his campaign.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that Sanders will be laying off a significant number of staffers. And Politico released an embarrassing report detailing the inner strife of what looks like the final days of a losing campaign. 

Pretty ugly.  Recriminations galore, as always, on the morning after defeats.  Chris Kofinis hits the right notes in this piece titled "Clinton hits magic number, here's why Bernie won't step aside":

Behind the scenes, emails and texts will undoubtedly flood top Sanders advisors, surrogate intermediaries will be used to carry messages to Sanders himself, and public pronouncements will be made by a host of political insiders, all in an attempt to prod, kick, or push Sanders out of the race (nicely, of course). Soon the chatter will begin: When will he endorse? When will he rally his supporters behind Clinton? Doesn't he realize how he is hurting her, not to mention emboldening Donald Trump? Etc., etc.

Maybe it will work, and Sanders will see the light, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Sanders to quit.

Tuesday night is only the beginning – if not for Sanders, at least for his supporters. 


While it is easy to believe that this is about the 2016 nomination – it is not. Sanders can do the math. He knows it is over. He knew it was over months ago, unless one truly believes that superdelegates will somehow change course at the convention (and, short of an act of god they won't). So, you may ask, why does he keep pushing for something he can't have? Maybe because it's about something much bigger than this one election.  

At 74, Sanders might not be of the fortitude to keep leading what's left of his revolution.  But as with most revolutions, who do you trust to take over?

If you listen to what Sanders is saying and has said throughout this primary season, this is about a revolution. And real revolutions only end when things have dramatically changed (i.e. those who revolt win) or when they are crushed by the powers that be.

Well, we are far from Sanders-like revolutionary change, yet the movement is far from crushed, so that leaves only one option – a revolution that needs fuel to grow.

While pledged and superdelegate math has foiled Sanders' 2016 presidential ambitions, what his campaign has sparked, he is determined to see continue. It will not simply be absorbed by a Clinton campaign, or appeased by a convention speech. Right or wrong, Sanders and his supporters want the party to move far to the left. And, if the goal is to move the Democratic Party to the left, that campaign has only just begun.

While the party hasn't gone "full Sanders," it's headed more to the left than it is to the center. From trade issues to the minimum wage, the party has moved noticeably more to the left now that it was twelve months ago.

Indeed, he's accomplished -- at least until Clinton pivots right -- all that was believed he could.  And quite a bit more.  For one thing, he changed the paradigm on how presidential campaigns can be funded.  (Vox lists four more ways.)

Does anyone really think this movement will now end on Tuesday?

Going forward, the huge challenge for Clinton is to embrace what Sanders is speaking about, not just to whom he is speaking to. In fact, in every political Democratic focus group my firm has conducted since 2015, Sanders' message moved people because it spoke to the economic anxiety people truly feel and the dramatic change they want – and that was true even among most focus group participants who supported Hillary Clinton.

In the coming weeks, the Clinton campaign must aggressively seek to tap this emotion and energy that has been unleashed. They can't take it for granted, even if it's logical to assume that most Sanders voters prefer her to Trump. Can they completely appease those who wholly believe in Sanders' vision of revolutionary change? Maybe, but probably not quickly. The most resolute Sanders voters will not be truly appeased unless the Democratic Party dramatically changes and speaks to their vision for the country and the world.

Regardless of when Sanders drops out, his supporters have only begun their fight to change the Democratic Party. And make no mistake: Sanders' supporters, and the others who want this "revolution," will be there watching and waiting to make sure that change happens – even if Bernie Sanders is in the U.S. Senate, and Hillary Clinton is in the White House. 

If Hillary picks Elizabeth Warren as running mate, be assured that there has been a real impact made by the Sanders run.  If she picks a Latino, the 2016 race galvanizes around the swelling opportunity that caucus presents for the Democratic party in future elections.  I think she'll stick to that, but am less inclined to think the choice is named Castro.  They're still too green for national politics (and much too conservative for my palate and certainly that of the Berners who might be on board with Warren).

Does Sanders lead the parade over to the Greens, or some other progressive party, perhaps one he starts himself outside the duopoly?  Don't think so.  His supporters might go that direction anyway, but he won't be pushing them.

So as we watch and wait for these developments to unfold over the next five months, Sanders gets to endure the second round of ad hominem from the poor sports among the winners.  As long as he's bothering them to some degree, be it minor or major, I can be happy.

Agitation remains the order of my day.

Update: Mother Jones has a nice look back at how we got to this point.


meme said...

She will go with Warren, assuming the replacement by a Republican governor does not hurt.

A two woman ticket is the strongest one that the Democrats can put together.

In 2008 Sanders went with Obama before Clinton had dropped out and she was much closer in delegate count then Sanders.

Politicians seem to think that they and only they can lead a revolution, the world will collapse if they are not there. A strange occurrence that happens when one accumulates power.

The world will go on and if there is a revolution in the making it will continue with or without Sanders.

Gadfly said...

1. It will hurt, Manny. Massachusetts law is clear and ironclad. Gov names her replacement if she is elected Veep.

2. While I like Warren, if that's the strongest ticket they can put together, they're in trouble.

2A. If you think that's the strongest ticket they can put together just and only because it's two women, that's tribalism.


A. Agreed 109 percent on your second-last graf, Brains. That was my skepticism yesterday. Bernie's been a real Democrat, and "too good a Democrat to ... " in this primary season and long before.

B. Also agree that, if she goes Hispanic, it's not a Castro. Too green, etc., plus from her own POV, Castros may be TOO young, and also, Texas ain't in play. A Hispanic nominee would come from Florida or Colorado, maybe New Mexico or Nevada, if one thinks in that general geographical area.

PDiddie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PDiddie said...

I'll answer that while we wait for Manny's response: I don't really know what the strongest possible Democratic ticket might be and don't much care, because I won't be voting for it even if Texas finds itself in play (the chances of which reside somewhere around riding a unicorn to victory in the Kentucky Derby, and Publishers Clearing House showing up at my doorstep this week).

I DO know that with the weakest possible running mate (somewhere between Ed Rendell and Claire McCaskill), she still wins the White House.

Unless she gets indicted.

meme said...

Amazing that I find that I am much liberal concerning certain things then the so called liberals. Two men have been on the tickets for over 200 years but it is tribalism if we were to find two women on the same ticket?

We live in a world that we did not choose, the rules are there and we have to play by those rules. Revolution does not come quickly unless there is a violent overthrow.

Not sure why Clinton would choose a Latino to run with her, Trump gave Latinos plenty of reason to vote against Republicans. At this point in time someone more to the left then Clinton would be more appealing to liberals. Besides Sanders was a phony has always been a phony but he is very similar to Trump in that he is a con man. A promise to deliver something that cannot be delivered is a con, fraud if you prefer.

Anyone can say that college should be free for everyone, who can deliver on that? Anyone can say that rich people should be made to pay more, do you honestly think that Sanders or anyone else can deliver on that while Republicans control one of the houses?

Clinton took the money from big donors, the laws allow that. Who among you would take two people to a baseball game if the game allows you nine players. One may not like the rules but one plays by the same rules if one expects to win. A perfect example of a person here in Houston that plays by his moral rules is not the city controller even though he was the best qualified.

I have voted Libertarian, Green, and even voted for LaRouche one year. I knew that the candidates would not win but the vote was in protest, but I was young once, and we are allowed to learn by our mistakes. I may vote for the Libertarian candidate, but I doubt it. In fact this year I will probably vote straight Democrat, something I have never done before to my recollection.

But I will ask come November does that mean that neither of you will vote for any Democratic candidate? If you will why them and not the person on the top of the ticket? Are some of the Democrats so much more to the left or socially concerned if you prefer? The judges wil you not vote for any Democrat? In city elections why support Democrats that are just like HRC?

PDiddie said...

A lot to unpack here and a short time at the moment to respond.

I'll say that I expect to vote for several Democrats down my ballot in November, as I have always done. James Cargas in CD-7 won't be one. Several Harris judicials and countywide executives are preferable to their GOP counterparts, like Ann Bennett over Mike Sullivan, despite Sullivan's fairly capable administration. Bennett was tubed by the insider clique in HCDP and survived.

But I'll vote for several Greens in statewide races, especially TXRRC.

And likely some Libs where they are the R's only opposition.

Gadfly said...

PD, agreed with your first response to me. I don't care either, other than the fun of a chess match mindset and an easy blogpost.


Manny, my response otherwise is basically the same as his. I'll definitely vote Green on the RRC, and Perry, don't forget CCA Place 5, where the Dems hauled in that last-minute carpetbagger.