Thursday Reads: Bye Bye Bernie


Good Morning!!

The end is near for the Sanders campaign, thank goodness. Yesterday Bernie began laying off hundreds of campaign staffers. He is still claiming he has a “narrow path” to the nomination, but he has no chance at this point. He would have to win each of the remaining states by an 80-20 margin to catch up with Hillary. Politico:

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Bernie Sanders’ campaign started letting hundreds of field staffers go on Wednesday, hours after five states in the Northeast voted and the Vermont senator fell further behind Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination, five people familiar with the situation told POLITICO.

It’s not the campaign’s first round of departures, but it’s by far the most significant, coming at a time when Sanders is signaling that he is looking to shape the Democratic platform at the party’s convention, but also insisting he will remain in the race until then.

Sanders trails Clinton by well over 300 delegates.

Staffers who were working in states that voted Tuesday were told by campaign manager Jeff Weaver to look elsewhere for work rather than continue on to the next voting states, according to people close to the campaign. The news comes as Sanders looks to spend more time in California, which is set to vote in June.

The New York Times noted yesterday that on the stump Sanders has begun talking more about influencing the Democratic platform than actually becoming the nominee.

Most likely those $27 contributions have started to dry up. How long has it been now since Bernie sent out a press release about getting millions in donations? His campaign spent $46 million in March, and had only $17 million on hand at the beginning of April. He outspent Hillary in New York and in the five states that voted on Tuesday. We’ll see what happens, but as of today it looks like Bernie is finished.

The *white* millennials, that is

The *white* millennials, that is

Of course Hillary will still have to respond to Bernie’s ridiculous demands for her to put all of his polices into the party platform. Gabriel DeBenedetti on What Sanders Wants:

Democrats close to Clinton’s camp saw Sanders’ post-results statement Tuesday evening as a tacit admission that his role at the convention would be in shaping the formal policy platform rather than contesting the nomination. That late-night missive specifically identified a carbon tax and opposition to “disastrous trade policies,” as well as support for a $15 minimum wage, universal health care, breaking up big banks, banning fracking and implementing tuition-free college — all points on which Clinton and Sanders have meaningful disagreements — as policies the party should adopt.

Yet the Vermont senator, who began laying off hundreds of field staffers on Wednesday in the wake of his Northeastern defeats, has also started regularly raising the specter of fundamental changes to the Democrats’ nomination process in recent appearances, including providing a greater role for independents.

He has added complaints about closed primaries — such as in New York, which doesn’t allow independents to participate — into his standard stump speech and interviews, including Tuesday, after he won the only non-closed primary of the night in Rhode Island. Making the case that Democrats need independents on their side to win general elections, Sanders has repeatedly suggested that more primaries should use an open format so the party can select the best candidate to beat Republicans in November.

I would be totally opposed to that. Why should people who are not Democrats have any say in who the party’s nominee will be. I think primaries should all be closed and caucuses should be eliminated entirely.


Historically has any losing candidate ever been permitted to tell the winner she has to capitulate to his demands? I hope Hillary lets Sanders have some input into the platform, but she can’t be expected to adopt policies that she doesn’t believe in. That’s just ridiculous.

Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast:

Another handful of Clinton wins in big states, and the margins grow. I’m writing before the full pledged delegate count from tonight is known, but she led by 244 coming into tonight, not counting super delegates, and that may grow by another 30 to 40. (Here’s a great delegate calculator; bookmark it.)

As for the popular vote, she led it by a lot coming into Tuesday night: 10.4 million to 7.7 million, a nearly 2.7 million-vote difference, or 57 to 43 percent, numbers that we call a landslide in a general election. She may have added a couple hundred thousand to that margin tonight. Depending on what happens in California and New Jersey, this could end up being close to 60-40.

So forgive me for being a little confused about why these margins give Bernie Sanders such “leverage” in what we presume to be his looming negotiations with Hillary Clinton over the future of the party of which he’s not a member. It is “incumbent” upon Clinton, he told Chris Hayes on Monday on MSNBC, “to tell millions of people who right now do not believe in establishment politics or establishment economics, who have serious misgivings about a candidate who has received millions of dollars from Wall Street and other special interests.”

F**k off, Bernie. He acts as if he’s actually running neck and neck with her when he actually has been way behind since March 15.

Is there precedent for the losing candidate demanding that the winning candidate prove her bona fides to his voters? I sure can’t think of any. The most recent precedent we have for this kind of thing is 2008, a contest that of course involved Hillary Clinton. Let’s have a look at how that one wound down.

Clinton did indeed run until the end, winning states all along the way. On the last day of voting, June 3, they drew—she took South Dakota, and Obama won Montana. At that point, depending on what you did or didn’t count (Michigan and Florida were weird races that year after they broke the DNC calendar to move their primary dates up, and the party punished them by taking away delegates), she was actually ahead of Obama on popular votes. But even excluding Michigan, where Obama wasn’t on the ballot, it was a hell of a lot closer than 57-43. It was 51-49.

Did Clinton carry on about her campaign of the people? Did she say it was incumbent upon Obama to prove his worth to her voters? Did she put her forefinger on her cheek for weeks and make Obama twist in the wind? No, of course not.

Four days after the voting ended, she got out of the race, gave the famous 18 million-cracks-in-the-glass-ceiling speech, and said: “The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand, is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States. Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him. And I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me. I have served in the Senate with him for four years. I have been in this campaign with him for 16 months. I have stood on the stage and gone toe-to-toe with him in 22 debates. I’ve had a front-row seat to his candidacy, and I have seen his strength and determination, his grace and his grit. In his own life, Barack Obama has lived the American dream…” and so on. She laid it on thick, and gave a strong and gracious convention speech later.

I doubt if Bernie will be able to demonstrate the kind of grace that Hillary did in 2008. Democratic leaders need to read him the riot act soon. He may find himself even more isolated in the Senate than ever and with no important committee assignments. As we have discussed here, perhaps the DNC could find a real Democrat to run against him in the 2018 Vermont primary. Bernie needs to get over himself or else face serious consequences.

The next challenge for Hillary will be dealing with Donald Trump, and it’s probably not going to be easy–especially since she will have to run against Trump and the mainstream media at the same time. Even considering the obvious danger of letting Trump get anywhere near the White House, I still expect many in the media will continue to enable his attacks on Hillary.

We got a preview of what we can expect in Trump’s ludicrous speech on Tuesday night when he attacked Hillary by calling her “crooked” and claiming she is using “the woman card.” Here’s the famous part of his speech along with Mary Pat Christie’s infamous eye-roll.

How anyone could even consider voting for that idiot I will never understand, but I do know that he’s not popular with women. Yesterday Trump “doubled down” on the “woman card” attack. NBC News reports:

When confronted about the sexist nature of his remarks during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday, Trump did not back down. Instead, he used an increasingly common line of attack on Clinton delivered mostly by her male critics — that she shouts too much.

“I haven’t quite recovered, it’s early in the morning, from her shouting that message,” Trump said. “And I know a lot of people would say you can’t say that about a woman because of course a woman doesn’t shout. But the way she shouted that message was not … that’s the way she said it and I guess I’ll have to get used to that over the next four or five months.”

Despite polls consistently showing Trump with historically poor approval ratings among women voters (69 percent unfavorable to 20 percent favorable), he predicted “we’re going to do very well with Hillary and with women as soon as we start our process against her.” He also suggested that it’s unclear whether Clinton will become the Democratic nominee because of her email server scandal.

“She’s guilty. Everybody knows she’d guilty but they don’t want to go after her,” Trump added, without detailing what crime Clinton has allegedly committed. ‘It’s going to be an interesting thing … because people who have done far less are sitting in jail cells.”


And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Trump will have no problem using sexual innuendo about Bill Clinton to attack Hillary. Some CBS writer named Will Rahn claims Trump could definitely beat Clinton.

The case against Trump’s electability is strong. But it is also perhaps overstated. The Manhattan billionaire does have a narrow path to the White House. In fact, he may be the GOP’s most electable option at this point, at least among the candidates who are actually still running for the job….

Trump…still has a few things going for him. His general election strategy, such as it is, seems to be predicated on two strategies: pivot left as far as possible and launch a scorched earth campaign against Clinton.

Let’s look at these one at a time. On the face of it, insulting your way to the presidency seems like a stupid, unworkable idea. Then again, Clinton has shown herself vulnerable to attacks on her character, not to mention her husband’s.

The reaction to Rosario Dawson’s in-passing reference to Monica Lewinsky over the weekend shows how sensitive the Clinton camp is to such things. Lewinsky is a sympathetic figure wrapped up in a sympathetic cause; Dawson only said that she agrees with her anti-bullying efforts. And yet still there were calls for Dawson to get off the trail for Bernie Sanders, that she had somehow crossed a line just by mouthing the word “Monica.”

What happens when Trump, after Hillary inevitably accuses him of sexism, says that Bill is a rapist, a serial assaulter of women, and that she is his enabler? What happens when he incorporates this into his stump speech? The upside, if you can call it that, to Trump’s refusal to act “presidential” is that he is the only candidate who will go that far. Trump, and Trump alone, is the only candidate who would not only resurrect all the Clinton sex scandals, but make them a centerpiece of his campaign.

I’m sure Clinton strategists have been working on how to counter this garbage for months now. Trump himself has plenty of baggage, include sexual stuff, and he is a lot more thin-skinned than Hillary is. I’d bet on her any day of the week. I also have to believe that women will not like Trump’s sexist attacks, but there’s no doubt it’s going to get ugly.

You’ve probably seen this before, but here’s a map that Nate Silver produced showing what would happening if women refused to vote for Trump.



It’s going to get interesting in the Fall. Right now, Hillary just has to set Bernie straight and finish winning the nomination. Then she can get ready to wash her hands of Donald Trump.

I have a few more links that I’ll put in the comment thread. What stories are you following today?

93 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Bye Bye Bernie”

  1. NW Luna says:

    Why should people who are not Democrats have any say in who the party’s nominee will be. I think primaries should all be closed and caucuses should be eliminated entirely.

    Hear, hear!

    Sanders has Hillary’s gracious (and politically smart) example from 2008, as you discussed above. However, his entire campaign has seemed to be more about style than substance.

    Hillary’s platform calls for debt-free 4-yr state college. She wants fair healthcare for all. Her economics plans are heartily endorsed by Krugman. I could go on and on, but the summary is that she not only dreams of an America with civil rights, justice, healthcare, equality, and clean environment for all, but has the specific plans to achieve this.

    Bernie has ideals which he doesn’t live up to himself, and no specific plans. More to the point — he’s losing big time. He not only has no substantial argument on his behalf in favor of influencing Hillary’s platform — he has no detailed ideas to offer either.

  2. dakinikat says:

    I saz. Nate Silver was projecting a massacre of Trump in the general. I’ll have to go search the link.

  3. Delphyne49 says:

    Dis you see this comment in the Wapo?

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hahahahahaha! I don’t think Trump will even be willing to debate Hillary. My guess is he will refuse to debate period.

    • NW Luna says:

      I’ve just about had it with journalists trying so hard to be even-handed that they misrepresent — “rancor on both sides” — come on, it’s far, far worse coming from Bernie and his ilk. Hillary has stayed above that. Just look at the “unqualified” smear from Bernie at one of the most accomplished politicians anywhere, compared with Hillary’s calm discussion of Bernie’s lack of foreign policy and economics background, and very small list of accomplishments over his career.

  4. janicen says:

    Bernie Sanders should not be allowed to go anywhere near the Democratic party platform nor the convention. I think he is intent on dismantling the party and has been propped up by the Republicans. The Obama/Clinton alliance has made the party stronger than ever and the only hope the Republicans have is to attack it from within. Bernie is their tool, I firmly believe that.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’d love it if they would just freeze him out and not even let him speak at the convention, but I doubt if Hillary would do that.

      • janicen says:

        If you watch the Race for the White House episode of the ’92 election there’s a scene from the Republican convention where Pat Buchanan (GHW Bush’s primary challenger) was allowed to speak and he went off script with his own agenda. Charlie Black is commenting on it and he said people were asking him (Black), “What the hell is he doing?” and Black responded, “He’s screwing us, that’s what he’s doing.”

        Bernie could and will likely do the same thing if allowed to speak freely. He needs to be tightly managed when it comes to the convention.

    • Fannie says:

      They think he is going to be giving a speech at the convention. No Way! No more screaming and yelling from Bernie Sanders. You either show up positive and help the party bring this country together. If he is not on the same page, he needs to back off, we aren’t going to allow his camp punish her for winning. We are talking about clearing the way for Hillary, not Bernie. That’s about coming together and being respectful.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    Bernie will not go quietly, A “bitter knitter” he will cause as much damage as possible.

    The man is not a Democrat therefore there is no party loyalty. At 75 he is going nowhere politically after this run so why bother to “play nice”? His seat is safe in VT and he has no doubt his senate seat is secure.

    Bernie is enamored of his sudden rise after 30 years as a “back bencher” and is unwilling to give it up.

    He is in it until the end no matter the damage he produces along the way. Bernie is in it for Bernie and could not care less about the nation under a GOP president.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    John Boehner really unloads on Ted Cruz, calls him “Lucifer in the flesh.”

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Amazing! This is a party who wants to withhold voting rights; stamp out unions and collective bargaining; eradicate contraception; punish gays; reduce women’s access to healthcare; rewrite history; and substitute the bible for the constitution. And the sad part is that half the country agrees.

      The only hope we have is a Dem in the WH who can at least staunch some of this insanity via the Supreme Court along with the presidential veto.

      Without a Dem congressional majority we are doomed.

    • Fannie says:

      ooh….ooh, that hit a nerve.

      • MsMass says:

        My gut feeling is that Cruz is some kind of pedophile. That video of him trying to kiss the young girl makes me want to vomit. There’s more to the story from Boehner than he’s just a “son of a bitch.”

  7. Jslat says:

    Last night Joy Reid of MSNBC was interviewed by RM about Sanders’ platform demands. Joy said that realistically he might be able to influence changes in primary rules but not large party platform planks changes. She discussed the Jesse Jackson 1988 campaign and that he was able to push a change to stricter proportionality in pledged delegates. He was not successful in making any significant platform changes.

    I’ve now watched more cable news in the past couple of months than I have in the past 8 years UGH! I was surprised to find that I enjoy and respect Joy Reid’s comments and reporting. Late last Tuesday, in particular, after NY primary, I watched her shut down Chris Matthews when he started his Hillary schtick (not popular, no excitement…) She interrupted him with exit poll data and stated that Hillary has worked harder and more successfully and the demographics and vote count show that. Andrea Mitchell jumped in and supported her! If more media pushed back and reported things as they are, the ridiculous and sexist anti-Hillary droning would die. (IF ONLY!)

    • bostonboomer says:

      I love Joy Reid. I can’t stand to watch Rachel though.

      • Jslat says:

        I agree- I was curious about RM reaction to Hillary’s big win the night before (of course, there was very little.)

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Joy Reid has really stepped up in this election. She hasn’t shown favoritism, she’s merely not allowed people to say things about Hillary or the state of the Election that aren’t true. She hates the sexism that’s been thrown at Hillary and she isn’t afraid to say so.

        Rachel and Chris Hayes, on the other hand, haven’t been able to hide their Bernie love. Chris Matthews is so afraid of being supportive or even complimentary of Hillary that he falls off the cliff in the other direction.

    • Ron4Hills says:

      I agree Joy Reid has pushed back against some of the Clinto9n Derrangement but explain Donna Brazile? Why is hse so determined to never say a positive words about Hills?

  8. janicen says:

    Trump should not be taken lightly. He is an oligarch and he must be kept as far away from the White House as possible. This article goes into depth about Trump’s handler, Paul Manafort, and how he has successfully put oligarchs in power all around the world. These men do not care about government or its citizens, they live to line their pockets with billions of dollars.

    Here’s an interesting line that jumped out at me about the effort to put an oligarch in power in Ukraine…

    To be fair, Manafort was hardly the only American in Yanukovych’s orbit. Bernie Sanders’ consultant Tad Devine went to work for him in 2009.

    Also from the article…

    Manafort has spent a career working on behalf of clients that the rest of his fellow lobbyists and strategists have deemed just below their not-so-high moral threshold. Manafort has consistently given his clients a patina of respectability that has allowed them to migrate into the mainstream of opinion, or close enough to the mainstream. He has a particular knack for taking autocrats and presenting them as defenders of democracy. If he could convince the respectable world that thugs like Savimbi and Marcos are friends of America, then why not do the same for Trump? One of his friends told me, “He wanted to do his thing on home turf. He wanted one last shot at the big prize.”

  9. jackyt says:

    This piece by Melissa McEwen over at BNR speaks to me and for me much more eloquently than I ever could.

    and this piece @ TPM lays out the numbers.

    I saw a clip of Bernout this am doing his new stump speech, enumerating why no one will vote for Trump. I think he’ll be ashes blowing in the wind faster than any of us could have imagined.

  10. bostonboomer says:


    • Jslat says:

      Don’t you just love her title? MARRIED TO SEN. BERNIE SANDERS.

      Please excuse me, but for some reason, “Married to the Mob” jumped into my head. And, then, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”.

    • purplefinn says:

      “She has a good relationship with the African-American community that goes back decades. So that hurts us, helps her.” Stating the obvious, the logical, and whining about Clinton’s positive relationships. A campaign based on envy?

      • NW Luna says:

        That stood out for me. Why is she angry that someone has a “good relationship with the A-A community”? Hey Jane, you and Bernie could have that too, if you’d lived differently.

    • Ron4Hills says:

      Anything and everything that benefits or is favorable to the Clinton’s is also and therefore illegitimate and sinister.

      If it advantages the Clinton’s it is evil and it is evil because it advantages the Clinton’s.

      So, Hill’s has longstanding loyalty to and from blacky?

      Obviously that is somehow dirty pool against Weakened @ Berinie’s, and should not be misunderstood as Hillary being a good and unprejudiced public servant who has worked hard for her constiuents and never had elitist or racist or cynically mercenary self serving relationships to minorities, oh no,

      In Berner World it is more proof that she is a cold and calculating bitch who has bewitched the simple black folks into supporting her even though the much better Great White Father Socialist Messiah is standing right in front of them.

      Sorry folks I am no longer entertained by the cult of Bernie.

      They can kiss my black a$$.

      • NW Luna says:

        Yes! That whine of Jane’s is incredibly disrespectful of everything that POC have to live with. Makes me boil. She wants to turn the experience of millions of people into something trivial that drags down her and Bernie. Intelligence does not relate to skin color!

        Wow. If anyone needed another clue that the Sanders’ campaign ignores racism, this says it all.

    • Very disappointed in this Torch/Burn Earth approach to ending a campaign.

  11. ANonOMouse says:

    As for the Open Primaries, Bernie blaming the Open Primaries for his losing is ridiculous. Bernie lost because he isn’t the choice of the majority of the people voting. THE END!!

    Here are the open Primaries/Caucuses and it totally contradicts Bernie’s open primary theory

    Arkansas – Hillary big win
    Georgia – Hillary big win
    Illinois – Hillary win
    Indiana – Not voted yet
    Massachusetts – Hillary win
    Michigan – Bernie win
    Mississippi – Hillary big win
    Missouri – Hillary win
    New Hampshire – Bernie big win
    North Carolina – Hillary big win
    North Dakota – Bernie win
    Ohio – Hillary big win
    Oklahoma – Bernie win
    South Carolina – Hillary big win
    Tennessee – Hillary big win
    Texas – Hillary big win
    Vermont – Bernie big win
    Virginia – Hillary big win
    Wisconsin – Bernie win
    Rhode Island – Bernie win / RI actually has what is called a mixed Primary. You don’t have to register as a Dem or Rep to vote, but once you cast your vote in a Presidential Primary you become a member of that Party.

  12. Jslat says:

    Do you remember Campbell Brown? She has a great piece at Politico about the media election coverage. Blame the cable TV media for Trump.

  13. Jslat says:

    Huffington Post has peculiar and cynical article by Seth Abramson. Sanders’ set to win all of the remaining primaries…. Since he mathematically can’t win the nomination, everyone whose heart has been for him can now vote for him….. GIVE ME STRENGTH!!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Seth Abramson is a whack job like HA Goodman and Shaun King. He has zero relationship to reality.

    • Jslat says:

      From comments on this article: “So we should all vote for Sanders so Clinton can lose all the remaining states, look wounded, lose all momentum and give Sanders folks reason to fight against her at the convention. Real cute but thanks for the advice. Think I’ll stay with the winner.”.

    • RalphB says:

      That guy is just batshit insane.

  14. Jslat says:

    Hillary campaign now has Woman Card for supporters. Get yours now and stop the Drumf!

  15. bostonboomer says:

    CNN: Sanders’ lone Senate backer says he should drop out before convention if he’s losing

    In an interview with CNN, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley argued that the party should be united heading into the July convention. And that if Sanders has no viable path to the nomination after the final round of primaries in June, he should concede to Clinton at that point. He said that Sanders should follow the model employed by Clinton in 2008, who dropped out in June of that year and pledged her support to Barack Obama.

    “Secretary Clinton, then senator, said, ‘OK, I had the discussion across America. I’m ready to pivot and work together.’ And Obama reached out, and she reached out, and that should be a model for us to follow,” Merkley said outside of the Capitol on Thursday. “I think after California, June 7, is about the time it would be appropriate — all states will have weighed in by then. It will then give them five weeks to work together” before the convention.

    Asked if that meant he believed Sanders should drop out if he has no viable path to the nomination after the June primaries, Merkley said, “Yes.”

    Hahahahaha! I’ll bet Jeff Merkley is wishing he never endorsed Bernie.

  16. bostonboomer says:

    Jane Sanders Goes On Fox and Asks FBI to Speed Up Hillary Email Investigation

  17. Jslat says:

    Newsweek profiles Huma Abedin. It is such biased hit job of an article. starts with Huma and Monica Lewinsky arriving as interns the same year. Calls Huma a glorified ladies maid, obedient, servile. Then hits on Hillary as her “wounded master.”. And much much more.

    • Fannie says:


    • NW Luna says:

      Hundreds of other interns started the same year, too. “wounded master?” That journalist has issues big-time.

      Would this have been written about a male intern and a male candidate? No effin’ way!

      I’ll just trot out that Tweet from a Hillz supporter. BTW I printed this out and wore it to my caucus.

      Nothing says “Sexism is Dead” like a woman voting for Bernie.

      …not sure if they could figure that one out or not.

  18. janicen says:

    Quick quiz: Guess which candidate got the most negative and least positive press coverage?

    Yeah, you guessed right.

  19. Jslat says:

    Why I never warmed up to Bernie. @Mother Jones by Kevin Drum

  20. janicen says:

    Tim Kaine says he’s not going to be Hillary’s Veep…

  21. Jslat says:

    Saw this link at Melissa McEwan’s blog. Great Intro to Hillary Clinton! Lots of stuff I remember & stuff I didn’t know or had forgotten.

    • Jslat says:

      This is a must read! It blew me away.

    • NW Luna says:

      “She was simply never intimidated by anyone, partner or client, and that in itself is often intimidating to others.”

      Exactly. This is what many conservative (and some not so conservative) men can’t stand.