Tagged: Hillary Clinton

The day after tomorrow

Unless there’s some untapped “vote” out there that hasn’t been polled, and if the Clinton machine turns out the vote, electoral demographics (the “Obama coalition”) are all in Ms Clinton’s favor. That’s what I tell myself to ward off bad dreams.

The “rigged media” has played it all wrong. After offering Mr Trump a free platform for twelve months with no investigative push back, it swung in the opposite direction of fact-checking every period and semicolon in his syntax-challenged utterances, which only continues to give Trump a free platform. If the media were truly rigged against him, it would not cover him at all (apart from Fox News). But, alas, he’s too good for ratings in a culture addicted to outrage.

Democratic convention, Act 4

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The final night is boring. Few big name speakers.

Overall, it’s been a staid affair. No invocations of Lucifer. No chants about jailing Mr Trump. No thinly-veiled bigotry. No overt bigotry. No Chicken Little syndrome. No emocons.

OK I wrote too soon. There’s Katy Perry without the left shark.

Ms Clinton says Mr Trump is a small man, stiffs working Americans, and can’t be trusted with nukes.

And she’s right.

Plus Hamilton.

Balloon drop.

It’s over.

Democratic convention, Act 2

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Roll call.

Utah, the beehive hairdo state! …

History made: Ms Clinton is the nominee, Mr Sanders departs the stage gracefully.

Cecile Richards’ appearance at the convention is a giant middle finger to Carly Fiorina and Fox News, and the Colorado Springs mass murderer who was inspired by both.

Lena Dunham and America Ferrara deal themselves in.

As this goes on, Berniebros are holding a cry-in at the media tents.

A Queens congressperson accuses Mr Trump of being a real life Bobby Axelrod (of Billions).

Howard Dean reenacts “The Scream” and appears tame compared to Mr Trump.

Bill Clinton spins an effective yarn, at odds with the meta-narrative of Mr Trump and Berniebros.

Glass ceiling smashed.

It’s over.

Democratic convention, Act 1

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Mr Sanders is learning first hand how politically naive his most fervent supporters are.

One person’s tantrums are another person’s heteroglossia.

Al Franken brings the comedy.

Sarah Silverman brings the rationality.

Can I just say, to the “Bernie or Bust” people, you’re being ridiculous.

Mic drop.

Mr Booker shouts, Berniebros bark.

FLOTUS announces candidacy delivers the goods.

Ms Warren questions what kind of a man Mr Trump is. Berniebros heckle.

Bernie endorses over tears of supporters.

It’s over.

Last judgment

The Republican Party platform has been updated for the nineteenth century.

Saul Alinsky was a labor union and community organizer.  There are community organizer training centers that are “Alinskyian.” I would even guess that some Alinsky tactics have seeped their way into political organizing. If Republicans aren’t careful, they may be accused of using Alinsky tactics!

Aside from last night’s association of Ms Clinton with Lucifer, the Republican Circus has been a rehash of the greatest hits against Ms Clinton spanning twenty-four years. To use a gun nut metaphor: the Republican subculture has empty its barrel and is out of ammo. Ms Clinton is still alive.

Peak Bern

A few months ago, Mr Sanders led Ms Clinton in both NH and Iowa, which spurred a lot of “Feel the Bern” love and raised hopes among his loyal adherents. Now, Ms Clinton leads Mr Sanders in Iowa (56% to 28.6%) and has drawn almost even with him in NH (40.4% to 41.4%). In South Carolina, which would never have been winnable for Mr Sanders, Ms Clinton’s lead is massive.

We may have reached peak Bern. First, he’s not a good retail politician. Second, his weakness in electoral demographics shows no sign of improvement. Polling in South Carolina (see below) is illustrative of the mountain his must still climb to become a viable candidate.

On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton continues to be dominant, getting 72% to 18% for Bernie Sanders, and 5% for Martin O’Malley. In September Clinton led Sanders 66/12 in a Biden-less field, so her 54 point advantage on Sanders has remained steady. Clinton’s up big with every segment of the Democratic electorate but what’s most notable are the numbers with African Americans- she gets 86% to 11% for Sanders and 1% for O’Malley. Those numbers really speak to the trouble Sanders may have in states beyond Iowa and New Hampshire that have considerably more diverse primary electorates. Clinton is also polling over 70% with liberals, women, men, and seniors while getting over 60% with moderates and younger voters. Her weaker groups, comparatively, are whites where she leads 56/25 and non-Democrats where she leads Sanders only 40/37. Those self identified Republicans and independents are the only thing keeping the race even within 60 points- among actual Democrats Clinton’s up 79/14.

Rachel Maddow’s forum in South Carolina last Friday looks to have been a success- 32% of Democratic primary voters in the state say they watched it. It mostly reinforced Clinton’s front runner status in the state- 67% who watched declared her to be the winner to 16% for Sanders and 6% for O’Malley. And although forum viewers said it made them view all three candidates more positively Clinton (61% more positive, 14% less positive) came out ahead of both Sanders (51/11) and O’Malley (38/18) on that metric as well.

The Democratic contest could turn out like the Leonard v Durán “No mas” fight if Ms Clinton sweeps Iowa, NH, and SC.

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Mr Sanders situation reminds me of Ron Paul and Rand Paul, whose campaigns were comprised of passionately vocal, young libertarian supporters. In the end, neither Paul was able to gain traction outside of this niche.

Of course, Mr Sanders faces specific institutional difficulties. He was never a member of the Democratic Party until he announced his candidacy. This plays a role in his lack of endorsements from Democratic governors (0) and members of Congress (2).

From Mr Sanders’ supporters one hears the hopeful refrain “unless she’s indicted,” which indicates how quixotic Mr Sanders’ campaign has become. Certainly, Fox News and Tea Party Republicans have been pushing for indictment. Unfortunately for this wing of the political universe, Ms Clinton unmanned Congressional Republicans during an 11 hour enhanced interrogation last month.

One also hears criticism of the DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for rigging the contest in favor of Ms Clinton. In 2008, a similar situation existed: the DNC was allegedly “in the bag” for Ms Clinton. What happened in 2008? Clinton lost to Obama. So the weight of the DNC is no guarantee of victory. What’s likely to be the difference this time around? Mr Sanders is not the candidate that Mr Obama was.

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During the second Democratic Party debate, Mr Sanders repeatedly talked about political revolution. That’s fine. But one can be the leader of a revolution without being President; one might be a more effective revolutionary leader if one is not a President. When he was asked “You say you want to put the private insurance companies out of business. Is it realistic to think that you can pull the plug on a $1 trillion industry?”, he demurred “It’s not going to happen tomorrow.” Then he went back to talking about being the leader of a revolution. Join the revolution, etc. After a while, this sort of rhetoric wears thin, especially against a skilled debater and policy wonk like Ms Clinton, who once again held up her end of the bargain. Mr O’Malley was diminished in this debate in comparison to his performance during the Rachel Maddow colloquium.

For Mr Sanders to gain any ground on Ms Clinton, he’ll need to master some details of policy that can match his soaring ideological statements, which, in any case, do not speak to the electoral demographics he desperately needs. Mr O’Malley remains a non-factor.

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Someone I know who worked for a Congressperson was given the following vision of the American polity: American politics at the national level is about the 60 percent in the middle, not the 20% on the left and right extremes. If Mr Sanders’ ‘campaign of principles’ has an interest in winning, he would do well to speak to more than 20% of the electorate.

One criticism of Ms Clinton from the Sanders’ camp is that she panders. In the primaries, Mr Sanders will also need to “pander” to (or, less pejoratively, speak to the issues and concerns of) women, blacks, and latinos in the Democratic Party electorate. His class-centric principles don’t come close to addressing the post-60s cultural dimension of American politics. Mr Sanders’ current political style would go over well at a national convention of SDS in 1966, addressing students, drawn from the top tier universities (Harvard, Berkeley, Chicago, etc.), who were well versed in Marxist theory and Thoreau, and were disgruntled with the anti-communist orientation of the Old Left. In 2015, his audience is more diverse and less likely to make politics the center of life.

Endghazi

After hours of questions from House Tea Party yokels, President Clinton hasn’t even broken a sweat.

Ms Clinton’s political presence towers over the Republican pipsqueaks.

Ms Clinton may have wrapped up the Presidency with a tour de force performance on Capitol Hill. No candidate running for the nomination now, Democrat or Republican, is a match for her.

It was such a political disaster for Republicans, Fox News didn’t cover it live.

Trey Gowdy (BA Baylor, JD University of South Carolina) was no match for Clinton (BA Wellesley, JD Yale Law School).