Tuesday Reads: Hillary’s Triumph and Bernie’s Last Stand
Posted: April 26, 2016 Filed under: just because
Hillary in Philadelphia, April 25, 2016
It’s another super Tuesday, with five states holding primaries today. As always, we’ll have a live blog tonight so we can discuss the results–and celebrate! Hillary is looking very strong in all five contests.
From Penn.live, a recap of the highlight from Hillary’s MSNBC town hall last night: ‘I’m winning’: Hillary Clinton makes her closing argument to Pennsylvania.
In a town hall meeting sponsored by cable network MSNBC, the former Secretary of State drew bright line distinctions with her rival, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, on issues ranging from banking reform to college tuition assistance.
“I’ve been as specific as it’s possible to be in a campaign and i think voters responded to that,” Clinton told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. “People want to not just understand what the problem is, but what we’re going to do about it. At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about.”
Under questioning from Maddow, Clinton also stressed something else: “I’m winning.”
Ahead on both the popular vote tally and all-important delegate count, Clinton appeared to brush aside Sanders’ recent suggestions that his support, if he fails to win the nomination at July’s Democratic National Convention here, might come with conditions.
Clinton said she offered her unqualified support to President Barack Obama after it became clear that he’d win the presidential nomination in 2008.
“I nominated him at the convention in Denver,” that year, Clinton said. “I spent an enormous amount of time convincing my supporters to support him … I hope we see the same thing this year.”
Sadly, Sanders doesn’t seem capable of the kind of humility and party loyalty Hillary demonstrated eight years ago.
Hillary in 2008
Bernie last night:
Bernie diehard Greg Sargent actually deigned to write about Hillary’s response to Bernie’s nastiness: Clinton just sharply rebuked Sanders. She made some good points.
With Hillary Clinton almost certainly on track to large wins in Maryland and Pennsylvania today, both sides’ supporters are revved up in a big way over a sharp exchange she and Bernie Sanders had at last night’s MSNBC town hall meeting, in which they battled over how the endgame of this contest should unfold.
In a statement that angered Clinton supporters, Sanders seemed to suggest that it’s all on Clinton to win over his supporters if she becomes the nominee, arguing that it will be “incumbent on her to tell millions of people” who have “serious misgivings” about her that she will be better on goals that matter to them, such as universal health care and getting big money out of politics.
In her reply, Clinton reminded the audience that she worked hard to unite the party behind Barack Obama after a bitter, hard fought primary in 2008 that ended with Obama leading her by less than she currently leads Sanders. Clinton added:
“We got to the end in June, and I did not put down conditions. I didn’t say, ‘you know what, if Senator Obama does X, Y, and Z, maybe I’ll support him.’ I said, ‘I’m supporting Senator Obama, because no matter what our differences might be, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and Republicans.’ That’s what I did.
“At that time, 40 percent of my supporters said they would not support him. So from the time I withdrew, until the time I nominated him — I nominated him at the convention in Denver — I spent an enormous amount of time convincing my supporters to support him. And I’m happy to say the vast majority did. That’s certainly what I did and I hope that we will see the same this year.”
Sargent goes on to make a number of criticisms of Clinton’s behavior in 2008. I’ll let you go read them at the link if you care enough. I don’t. Sargent has been a blatant defender of the Sanders campaign throughout the primaries, and I’m tired of his attitude. From twitter this morning:
Who is “sneering?” Oh yeah, the Bernie bros. And Bernie has been successful with young *white* people, not young people of color. I’m getting so sick of the genuflecting to a group of people who don’t even vote in large numbers!
From the Daily 202 at the WaPo: he Daily 202: Down-ballot women hope to ride the Hillary Clinton train in today’s Acela Primary.
Arlen Specter came off as badly, if not worse, than any other senator during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.
The way he pilloried Anita Hill from his perch of authority on the Senate Judiciary Committee helped lead to “the Year of the Woman” in 1992. California, Washington and Illinois elected female senators. In Pennsylvania, Lynn Yeakel – the daughter of a former congressman – was able to capture the Democratic nod in a primary. But she narrowly lost to Specter.
That was the last time either major party in Pennsylvania nominated a woman for Senate or governor. Today all 20 members of the commonwealth’s congressional delegation are men
“All women candidates have different expectations placed upon them,” said Dana Brown, executive director of the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics. “One of the greatest challenges that women have running in Pennsylvania is the incumbency advantage. We have a long history of incumbents winning time and again.”
Read about the women who could ride Hillary’s coattails at the link.
Sanders could have made a difference for some downballot Democrats too, if he cared about anyone but himself. From another Bernie diehard who sounds a bit disillusioned here: The man that Bernie Sanders forgot. Will Bunch wonders why Sanders didn’t endorse and raise money for a guy named John Fetterman.
Ask John Fetterman, the Harvard-trained mayor of a once-comatose western Pennsylvania steel town who looks like a biker-bar bouncer, whether this is the year of the outsider. Because if that were the case, he’d be well on his way to becoming a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.
But he’s not.
Good politics is good storytelling, and Fetterman has a hell of a story to tell about himself. It starts with a great character, a guy who stands 6-8 and weighs over 300 pounds, campaigning in a black workshirt and boots — not a blow-dried politician because there are no hairs to dry. He didn’t plan on becoming a politician, but when he showed up in Braddock, an iconic mill town near Pittsburgh that was shrinking into oblivion, to teach underprivileged children, he knew he wanted to save it. His experiences as mayor of Braddock gave him unorthodox ideas on how to solve crime and end the so-called “war on drugs,” while his wife — Gisele, who was born in Brazil and came to the U.S. undocumented — inspired him to push for common-sense immigration policies.
The only people I know who aren’t interested in Fetterman’s story are Democratic Party elites — the labor unions and various interest groups that make endorsements, and the money people who do their money thing that pays for political ads that reach the 90 percent of “normals” — i.e., people who don’t obsess over the politics the way that we do. The unusually telegenic Fetterman has gotten a lot of free media, which has helped him raise some small donations, which has paid for some creative ads — just enough, basically, to get him to about 8 percent in the polls. Only a miracle could bring him victory on Tuesday against two humdrum Democratic establishment candidates (Google them, if you must.)
This is where Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who jolted the 2016 race with his brewed-in-Burlington blend of democratic socialism, comes in. Because that’s one more thing that’s unique about John Fetterman — unlike almost all of Pennsylvania’s Democratic go-along-get-along insider cronies, the Braddock mayor has endorsed Sanders for president. Why wouldn’t he? Fetterman’s promises to shake up Washington and to end big-money politics and the useless “war on drugs” are EXACTLY what Sanders is talking about when he calls for a “political revolution.” ….
Think about it. Although Sanders is probably also going to lose Pennsylvania on Tuesday, he’s also on track — if you believe the polls — to get anywhere from 40-45 percent of the statewide Democratic vote. Imagine if Sanders and Fetterman had toured the Keystone State as “a ticket,” if it had been Fetterman popping up on stage after Susan Sarandon or Rosario Dawson to introduce the Vermont senator. If Fetterman could just tap into most of that 40-45 percent of the Democratic primary vote…he wins.
Why wouldn’t Sanders support this guy? Because Bernie doesn’t give a shit about anyone but Bernie. Read the rest of the sad story at the Philly.com link.
Hillary and Bill will be in Indiana this afternoon, and the last I heard she’ll hold her victory rally in Philadelphia tonight.
The polls in each of today’s five primary states–Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Delaware–close at 8PM. We’ll get a post up sometime before that. Maryland could be a blowout; the others may take a little longer to call.
What are you hearing and reading?