Hillary’s Clean Sweep and the State of the Race
17 Mar 2016
Hillary made history again last Tuesday, taking the primary contests of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina by huge margins, and unexpectedly scoring narrow wins in Illinois and Missouri. Instead of celebrating her clean sweep, beltway media by and large pretended it wasn’t happening, focusing on “how well” Bernie did, or — in the case of major pundits/reporters Joe Scarborough, Brit Hume, Glenn Thrush and Howard Kurtz — told Hillary to “smile.” Hillary is running to be Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and leader of the free world. She has, from the beginning of this campaign, offered a comprehensive, progressive platform. Her victory speech was an invigorating, inclusive call to arms. In a frustrated attempt to distract from the trail she is blazing, pundits pretend she’s running for Miss Congeniality, but her momentum cannot be denied.
For the intellectually dishonest, in the press or otherwise, who pretend Hillary Clinton is not already our de facto Democratic nominee, or that she is somehow “subverting” the will of the people, Secretary Clinton currently leads Senator Sanders by more than 2.5 million votes. She is also 323 PLEDGED delegates ahead of him. SUPER delegates (comprised of 718 senior party officials) are not even at issue at this point, but currently support Hillary 479 to Sanders’ 26.
Senator Sanders this week admitted he ran as a Dem for publicity reasons. Long critical of the Party, he chose to co-opt its apparatus to gain visibility for his campaign, which means he cannot now be a Party of one and must play by their rules.
After his losses Tuesday, Bernie trumpeted the possibility of swaying Super Delegates from their support of Hillary — even though he first fought against Super Delegates being part of the equation at all. Were he to attempt such an action under these circumstances, that would be subverting the will of the people. Sadly, it’s also a tacit acknowledgement by Sanders’ campaign that there is no way he can catch up to Hillary’s pledged delegate or popular vote lead, particularly with the upcoming delegate rich states of New York, California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and more, that surely favor her.
That said, if Sanders wishes to continue his run, he should. But the negative attacks against Hillary’s character must end. This is not only about what hurts Clinton as a candidate in the general election, but Senator Sanders is marring his own brand by turning his back on his promise to stick to the issues and “not go negative.” An argument can be made that he has already hurt his popularity and standing by doing so.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton got more votes than anyone in primary history, about 200,000 more than Barack Obama. He narrowly beat her in the pledged delegate race, however, to the tune of about 130. Super Delegates then ran to him. Despite the closeness of their contest, Hillary acquiesced to Democratic Party rules, released her delegates at the Convention and proposed that then-Senator Obama be nominated by acclamation. Afterwards, she made 180 campaign appearances to help elect him, later serving faithfully as his Secretary of State. At no point in the 2008 contest did Barack Obama have anywhere near the formidable lead Hillary does now.
For Senator Sanders to continue to run on issues dear to him is valid, but his campaign might want to consider being honest about the way the Democratic nominating contest works. To pretend his campaign can overthrow the popular vote and delegate counts is dishonest to his loyalists, taking campaign contributions on a whim that will not come to pass.
Hillary Clinton is a lifelong Democrat who has been fighting for progressive causes since her years working for the Children’s Defense Fund. As a New York Times opinion piece just offered “Clinton’s bipartisan governing tradition may not be stylish, but it is highly effective.” She marches onward with a diverse, dedicated and enthusiastic (sorry, corporate media) coalition of voters.
Despite the cringe-worthy behavior of sexists like Joe Scarborough or anchors like Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow, who continue to humor Sanders’ creative delegate postulations, Hillary Clinton is doing what Donna Brazile said:
Hillary’s march toward the nomination has been slow and steady. I’m sure the slow part annoys her, but the steady is impressive.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) March 16, 2016
I don’t know that Clinton is annoyed. After all, slow and steady wins the race. That is what she is on track to do – win – regardless of those who would blunt her history-making run to keep the click bait going or the money flowing.