Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bernie Overplays His Hand

Benchmark Politics asks the question:

Is Sanders even relevant anymore? Early backers supporting Clinton and Clinton is thrashing Trump in polls. Sanders lost lots of leverage."

It's true, he has. Certainly he lost not only leverage but a good deal of respect for the way he didn't show for the Dems marathon gun control filibuster.

As BM says, Hillary's numbers have soared since she wrapped up the nomination last Tuesday.

Harry Enten:

Polls taken since Clinton clinched the nomination are +6 Clinton, +12 Clinton, +7 Clinton, and a +5 Clinton. Average 7.5."

Here's the beauty of it. She hasn't even consolidated the Bernie support yet.

Nate Cohn:

Trump is falling into the 30s in almost all of these polls. Clinton still hasn't gained and/or consolidated Sanders support.

Clearly Hillary is doing ok without Bernie's explicit endorsement. Cohn again:

He's also a very poor loser and a sore one at that.

"A fun thought experiment: imagine Sanders winning but Clinton refusing to endorse unless he adopted her views, etc"

True, she would like to lock up most of the outstanding Bernie voter support.

But she has time, and if worse comes to worse, there is always Elizabeth Warren for Veep.

Meanwhile, Bernie's attempt to be Kingmaker isn't seeing much traction just yet.

"Sanders’s revolution faces primary setback as MoveOn congratulates Clinton"

"As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was meeting with Hillary Clinton in D.C., bad news for his "political revolution" was brewing three time zones away. The senator had endorsed, and been endorsed by, three candidates in Nevada's Democratic primaries. The highest profile belonged to Lucy Flores, 36, the first Latina member of Nevada's legislature. She appeared in a campaign ad for Sanders, and he backed her bid for a swing seat narrowly lost by Democrats in 2014."

"Lucy Flores is exactly the kind of person I'm going to need in Congress when I am president," Sanders wrote in a news-making April fundraising email. "And we can help get her there."

"Flores handily lost a low-turnout primary, running 14 points behind State Sen. Ruben Kihuen, who is now the slight favorite to head to Congress. It was the closest of the routs against Sanders's candidates, and it was telling for how little "the establishment" candidate differed from the candidate of "the revolution." While Sanders backed a 36-year-old progressive Latina legislator, the Culinary Workers union and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) backed a 36-year-old progressive Latino legislator. Kihuen was the sponsor of a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, a major Sanders objective. Flores had badly lost her 2014 bid for statewide office; Kihuen offered a fresh face and similar policies."

This is Bernie's problems. His convention demands are all about him: he did better in open primaries so open primaries are inherently better. He did very well in caucuses so he doesn't see these as unfair even though they clearly suppress the vote to a fraction of a primary vote.

He is against Debbie Wasserman-Schultz because he's convinced himself she wasn't fair though he has no proof whatsoever. A few Saturday night debates proves nothing as the GOP had those too. One of the more absurd moments was when Jeff Weaver praised Reince Priebus as somehow a much fairer party chairman.

He's against Chris Murphy who led the filibuster for gun control Bernie missed yesterday because Murphy is a Hillary supporter-no other reason.

None of these demands are self evidently about making sure the process is fairer. They are all self-centered. Whatever procedure seems to be better for his campaign is therefore fairer.

So now he urges all his followers to send money to Lucy Flores. Why? Because she supported him. Meanwhile her opponent was just as progressive-he even supports the $15 MW.

Bernie's support for Ms. Wasserman-Schutlz's opponent also looks quixotic. This is a district which voted for Hillary at about 70 percent.

He overestimates his own leverage. He was the runner up but he was not-as he's suggested before-one of the closet runner ups ever. That was Hillary in 2008.

Gary Hart was close in 1984. Bernie is not all that close, losing the popular vote by over 12 points and losing by close to 400 pledged delegates and 4 million votes.

At the start of his campaign he warned not to underestimate him. But I think maybe Bernie overestimates himself. Certainly he and his campaign underestimates Hillary Clinton and have done from day one.

Remember when Jeff Weaver said the only reason she swept the South was because she was the former First Lady of Arkansas.

He not only disrespected her by talking not of when she was a politician in her own right but First Lady, but he even reduced her further by mentioning Arkansas First Lady over America's First Lady in the 90s.
In any case, those progressives who supported Bernie are ready to Move On. 

" is officially congratulating Hillary Clinton on her historic, hard-fought, and successful run and being the presumptive Democratic nominee for president," Sheyman wrote in a Medium post this morning. "We’re so grateful to Bernie Sanders for the historic campaign he’s run that’s tapped into a powerful movement of millions of Americans who demand a government that works for all of us, not just corporations and billionaires. Bernie Sanders has pledged to do everything he can to defeat Donald Trump this November, and MoveOn is proud to stand with him in this fight."

"Both Merkley and Sheyman attended this past week's meeting of Sanders supporters in Burlington. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who also attended the meeting, did not say that Sanders's campaign was over. In an interview yesterday, he echoed Sanders's comments to reporters in D.C. about the party reforms his delegates would demand in Philadelphia."

However, Senator Grijalva has since endorsed Hillary.

1 comment:

  1. This 8th grader does a pretty good Bernie:
    (Bernie is the last one he does).

    His Trump isn't bad either. He takes a stab at Obama, Cruz and Clinton as well. Bernie is his strength though.