Tuesday Reads: Super Duper TuesdayPosted: March 15, 2016
Sorry to be so late in posting today. I’m really struggling with a sinus/chest cold and I don’t have much energy these days.
Today’s primary elections will actually be bigger for the Democrats than Super Tuesday was. The media is playing up the possibility that Sanders could win in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri; but even if that happens, which I think is doubtful, Clinton should win handily in Florida and North Carolina. She will most likely end the night with an expanded delegate lead.
Trump will probably sew up the Republican nomination, especially if he beats Marco Rubio in Florida, which looks likely.
The attacks on Hillary Clinton are escalating as she gets closer to becoming the first woman presidential nominee of a major political party.
It’s kind of difficult to remember now, but at the beginning of the primary campaign, Bernie Sanders promised to run a positive campaign focused on the issues. It’s been quite awhile now since he switched to attacking Hillary Clinton personally and using innuendo to question her integrity. NBC News examines his move to negative campaigning.
The candidate who went out of his way to avoid attacking his rival throughout the summer, fall and winter has relentlessly unleashed on Clinton for three straight weeks, focusing on familiar talking points now strung together as a fixture of his stump speech.
“Now let me say a few words about some of the strong differences of opinion that I have with Secretary Clinton,” he now normally begins one portion of his speeches before hitting her on a litany of issues. The go-to critiques include trade, the Iraq War, and Clinton’s use of Super PACs.
Boos and heckles quickly arrive from his supporters as they outwardly delight in hearing the differences between their candidate and the Democratic frontrunner.
Sanders no longer makes any effort to tone down his followers’ abuse of Clinton and her supporters–whether in rallies or on social media. Instead, he encourages it.
Depending on the day, Sanders also has dinged Clinton on her and her husband’s support of the “homophobic” Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and her support from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
“I do not want Henry Kissinger to ever praise me!” he roared during a Michigan rally at Grand Valley State University near Grand Rapids.
The shift in tone has been drastic. In 2015 and early 2016, even uttering Clinton’s name would draw headlines—then unwanted by the candidate himself.
“I cannot walk down the street—Secretary Clinton knows this—without being told how much I have to attack Secretary Clinton,” Sanders told NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell during the NBC’s January Democratic Debate, “Want to get me on the front page of the paper? I make some vicious attack. I have avoided doing that. I am trying to run an issue-oriented campaign.”
He still emphasizes issues, but things have changed since that debate.
They certainly have. Sanders has become just another dirty politician shouting lies and half-truths about his opponent. In on-line forums, his followers have taken his behavior as encouragement for stunningly sexist and racist attacks on Clinton. The similarities between the Trump and Sanders campaign are growing as time goes on. I don’t like to think what will happen if Sanders loses in Illinois or Ohio tonight.
Go to the NBC link to read the rest. It’s a long piece.
The media has found another gaffe to hang on Hillary. In her “town hall” with Chris Matthews on MSNBC last night, she said that “we didn’t lose a single person” in the 2011 Libyan intervention. Naturally, that is being interpreted to mean that she has forgotten the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and four others in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2012. Politico:
“Libya was a different kind of calculation. And we didn’t lose a single person. We didn’t have a problem in supporting our European and Arab allies in working with NATO,” the former secretary of state said during an MSNBC town hall on Monday night.
Clinton may have been referring strictly to the U.S.-backed overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, which indeed saw no loss of American lives and cost just around $1 billion. But her comments ignore the 2012 attacks at the U.S. mission and CIA outpost in Benghazi, which killed four people including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Right. After years of being attacked and blamed for the deaths of four people, Clinton has probably just forgotten all about them. Good grief.
The Sanders campaign committed a far worse gaffe yesterday.
Jane Sanders appeared with racist, anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona and actually let him lead her on a tour of his “tent city.” It’s not clear the campaign planned this meeting, but why didn’t they hustle her away immediately when Arpaio showed up?
Channel 12 News: Jane Sanders meets with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, tours Tent City.
Jane Sanders wasn’t planning a tour of Tent City on Monday, but Sheriff Joe Arpaio made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.
Sanders planned to view Tent City from the fence, with the help of Puente leader Carlos Garcia. But Arpaio hustled over here from another news conference and the two of them talked policy, politics and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Sanders also asked inmates about the conditions and why they were in Tent City.
And of course, we know that Sanders surrogate Ben Cohen told Fox News he didn’t know if he could vote for Hillary Clinton in November. Jane Sanders later tweeted that she wasn’t expecting Arpaio to show up, but the damage was done.
As an antidote to the Clinton bashing from Sanders and the media, I suggest reading this post by Peter Daou at Blue Nation Review: Hillary Clinton Is (By Far) the Most Trusted Candidate in 2016.
Let’s define “most trusted” in its literal — and most measurable — sense: More people trust X than anyone else.
And let’s further refine that definition to an act of trust, such as a vote or public endorsement….
Hillary has been endorsed by a greater number of respected public figures and organizations than any other candidate. And more importantly, she leads all other candidates in the popular vote….
Take Bernie Sanders. He had the opportunity to vote against Hillary’s nomination for Secretary of State. After all, he voted against Tim Geithner for Treasury Secretary. Instead, he voted to confirm her, an affirmation of his trust in her ability to represent America to the world….
Think about the numerous political leaders, public officials, organizations, and labor unions who trust Hillary with their future. President Obama, John Lewis, Emily’s List, Lilly Ledbetter, Dolores Huerta, Jim Clyburn, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, Julian Castro, Brady Campaign, Eric Holder, League of Conservation Voters, Tammy Baldwin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Claire McCaskill, Cory Booker, Sheila Jackson Lee, Bernice King, and countless more….
NEARLY 5 MILLION VOTERS HAVE PLACED THEIR TRUST IN HILLARY.
That’s more than any other candidate in the 2016 election.
Let’s see what the media is saying about the possible outcomes of today’s primaries.
Although this Tuesday will be less frantic than Super Tuesday two weeks ago, when 12 states and one territory held primary elections, it’s just as important. By 16 March, the race for the White House could look very different depending on how Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio vote.
That’s partly because the delegate numbers in those states are so high – in total, 367 Republican and 792 Democratic delegates are available on 15 March. That brings us significantly closer to the finish line of having just two presidential candidates: at the moment, 33% of Democratic delegates have been pledged but by the time the polls have closed on 15 March, that number will rise to 50%. For Republicans, pledged delegates will jump from 46% to 61%.
Those percentages just mean that playing catch-up gets harder from here. Hillary Clinton is still on track for the nomination – to change that, Bernie Sanders needs to pick up at least 326 of the pledged delegates (in the Democratic race there are also 712 “superdelegates” who are not pledged to a specific candidate based on primary results, so they’re less relevant here).
On the Republican side:
The Republican contest is also likely to change significantly. If, for example,Marco Rubio fails again to pick up a single delegate (and polling suggests that’s a real possibility), his pursuit of the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination becomes futile – even if he were to win every single remaining delegate after 15 March. That’s partly because, unlike Democrats, Republicans do not always distribute delegates in proportion to votes. In fact, four states holding Republican primaries on 15 March will be the first in this election to assign delegates on a winner-takes-all basis, which is why this date is such a turning point in the 2016 political calendar.
Check out some interesting charts as well as detailed discussions of each state’s demographics at the link.
The Washington Post: March 15 primaries: Will voting in 5 states cement front-runners?
Voters are casting ballots in the five states across the Midwest and Southeast holding primaries Tuesday — contests that could shore up the two front-runners or breathe new life into the lagging campaigns of their challengers.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) was working to pull off more come-from-behind wins in states where voters feel damaged by globalization, allowing him to claim momentum from Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state enjoys a sizable lead in delegates but has not been able to seal the nomination.
The contests are especially important on the Republican side, offering a chance for billionaire Donald Trump’s remaining rivals to finally slow his march to the nomination with two winner-take-all contests that have particularly high stakes for a pair of favorite sons, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
This one is a long and interesting read. I suggest you check out the whole thing at the link.
Rubio, who began his White House campaign 11 months ago as a hero of Florida Republicans, now faces the prospect of defeat in his home state. For years, Republicans believed that Rubio was destined to be a presidential nominee and that even if he fell short in 2016, he would be well-positioned to run for governor in 2018.
But polls suggest Rubio might not just lose Florida — but get thumped here. A Quinnipiac survey released Monday found Rubio trailing Trump by 24 points in his home state.
A loss of that magnitude could be devastating to Rubio, and leave him in a tough spot if he ever wanted to seek public office again.
Quite a comedown. It will be interesting to see what happens when the polls close in Florida.
Florida’s polls close at 7PM ET (8PM in the Panhandle), North Carolina’s and Ohio’s at 7:30 ET, and Illinois’s and Missouri’s at 8PM ET.
So . . . what are you hearing and reading? Let us know in the comment thread, and please stick around for an exciting day! I’ll add a live blog later on for discussion of the returns.