Saturday, December 19, 2015

Is Tonight's Dem Debate Going to be About Data and the DNC?

Bernie has his data back though reportedly he's still going to push forward with the lawsuit against the DNC.

The debate tonight certainly had little attention and was low profile enough being on a Saturday night, but this whole blowup has at least gotten Bernie some attention, though it's a mixed bag. Though he's playing the victim it was his campaign that accessed and saved Clinton data and not the other way around.

Sanders will come out swinging. Clinton will punch back, maybe harder. That much is clear.

"The underdog’s aides are open about the fact that Sanders sees his brawl — and lawsuit in federal court — with the DNC as an opportunity to fire up his loyal backers and to persuade any liberals who are still uncertain about Clinton. The front-runner has the DNC’s leadership — including chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz — in her pocket, Sanders will say, and their relationship endangers the integrity of the party."

"Clinton, meanwhile, won’t shy from the fight: her allies are saying that the data stolen by Sanders staffers was worth millions of dollars, and members of her political team were genuinely shaken by the revelation on Friday. Look for the former secretary of state — backed by almost the entire Democratic establishment — to lay into Sanders and what her staff sees as his dishonesty, and his campaign’s theft. His team went way too far, she will likely say, and now the senator is trying to distract from that."

"In other words, expect more real anger than we’ve seen so far on the left of the 2016 contest."

Read more:
Hm. So this is actually going to be the focus of the debate? I think Michael Tomasky gets to the nub of the issue here:

"The Sanders movement really has seething contempt for the Democratic Party, and the feeling’s pretty mutual. Which stands to reason—Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat! So why’d he run as one in the first place? I don’t completely know. I do know that when Sanders was holding his very first meetings with a close circle of folks and deciding whether to run, the question of whether he should run as an independent or Democrat came up, and Sanders instantly said as a Democrat. He probably felt he and his issues would get more coverage this way, and he probably didn’t want to risk going down in history the way Ralph Nader has, peeling off 6 or 8 percent and helping to give the country President Cruz."

I agree, you can give Sanders credit for not going third party spoiler who won't win but could end up another Nader who seemed to really go out of his way to screw Gore-and the country. Though it also raises his profile. You could argue that if he were to go third party his support might have been less from the start-certainly his coverage would have been. So it was in his interests as well.

"It was clearly the right call, for him and for the country. But something like this was inevitable from that moment. The Sanders people have long suspected that the DNC really wants Hillary Clinton to win. And of course they are absolutely correct: The DNC really does want Clinton to win. "

"I mean, debates on Saturday nights; seriously, people."

"Point two: That said, the Sanders team went way overboard with the self-pity. What the DNC proposed was no “death sentence.” The Sanders people, no doubt playing on their supporters’ inherent contempt for and distrust of the DNC, went around Friday kinda-sorta letting confusion grow around the notion that the DNC was banning them from using data for weeks. That was never going to be the case. And it’s my understanding that unless the Sanders campaign is really incompetent, which they’re not, they would have duplicated at least some of those files anyway and still been able to canvass. "

"But the larger point is this. If this Bloomberg piece is correct, the Sanders campaign stole data: “According to an audit obtained by Bloomberg, Sanders staffers exploited a temporary glitch in the DNC's voter database on Wednesday to save lists created by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” Save lists? That’s stealing. And okay they fired the one guy, but what about the others? And his guy Jeff Weaver goes out there and acts all wounded and sanctimonious? Please."

"And they’re raising money off it? I guess any campaign would do that, but yuck."

Right with Weaver running around claiming that the Sanders' campaign is the victim of 'theft' rather than the opposite. Now, here is a point I made to Tom and also in my earlier post. What if the roles were reversed? Would we then still be hearing Team Sanders whining that 'the punishment doesn't fit the crime?'

Of course, this also obscures that this wasn't a punishment, it was an audit.

"Point three: If this situation were reversed, and four Clinton campaign staffers had made 24 “intrusion attempts” into confidential Sanders voter files, the media would make this into a massive scandal. I mean one that could well be fatal to her campaign. And people would be thundering their way across your cable screens today, demanding to know what Clinton herself knew and when she knew it, and so on (demands I don’t see anyone making about Sanders, and reasonably so, because I’d reckon he was busy with other things). But Sanders will likely skate away from any such scrutiny. Clinton Rules in effect."

I'm sure Bernie would be fundraising off that too.

Tomaksy then points out something I earlier called the David and Goliath principle. People root for David not Goliath.

"Point four: Clinton should realize that although she has a very legitimate beef here, she can’t really win this one publicly. She’s the overwhelming favorite to win this primary. People aren’t sympathetic to overdogs. To most people, Clinton’s campaign carrying on about this is probably going to look like Alabama complaining that Temple stole their playbook. Temple happened to be good this season, and maybe the Owls could beat the Tide on a fortuitous day; but my point is that even if Temple was guilty, ’Bama wouldn’t be winning many sympathy points."

"Clinton is going to win. Unless there’s some huge scandal, she’s going to be the nominee. She needs to act like the presumptive nominee here—the person who, by next summer, is going to have to unite the party around her, persuade angry Bernie people that they can make their peace with her."

"Which brings us to tonight. Clinton should be magnanimous, probably more magnanimous than Sanders deserves. When asked about this she might say something like: “Well, first of all, we shouldn’t be spending too much time on this. The people watching us tonight want to know what we’re going to do about jobs and wages and terrorism and climate change and many other issues, not what we think about voter files. There’s an audit ongoing, so let’s see that play out. But in the meantime, if Senator Sanders, who is my friend and was my colleague in the Senate, can look me in the eye here and now and assure me that his campaign has retained none of those records, that’ll be good enough for me, and we can get back to criticizing the people we ought to be criticizing and talking about the things voters want to hear us talk about.”

"That’s unimpeachable moral high ground."

Sounds like a good speech. Only question is how much Bernie tries to strum the violins.

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