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Is it Over? (It’s Never Over)

Hillary Clinton came to Minnesota on Tuesday, ahead of Caucus Night. It was a good move, given that most of the states involved in Super Tuesday are primaries. As an evening caucus Minnesota was one of the few states not already voting but up for grabs. Coming here gave her something to do that was productive at the last minute. So why not?

Then again, Minnesota is strangely a key state at this point.

On a night where about 1/3 of the delegates are at stake it looks very bad for Sanders. Of the 12 states contested he is only sure of winning his home turf of Vermont. Key battlegrounds include Massachusetts, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Minnesota – all of which are places where Sanders has been putting newly received treasure into at an incredible rate. It may not be enough as polls in all of them save the Star of the North show Sanders behind.

This could be the last stop for the Sanders campaign – and the start of the long healing process ahead of the convention on 25 July.

We all know they are better together.

We all know they are better together.

It’s not as though Sanders will be officially out of the running after tonight. As long as a few states are close there will be room for a moral victory of some kind, at least. But there is little reason to see that the election is cruising to anything other than a Clinton victory at this point. No matter what, it will take a major upheaval to change the momentum – and if  11 out of 12 states go for Clinton the press will call this election over.

And it will be over – except for the allegations of establishment media bias.

If you read everything that comes through on social media, healing the party seems nearly impossible. Large numbers of people have said that while they are for Sanders they will never vote for Clinton for a wide variety of reasons. Some call her a “warmonger”, some “bought and paid for by the banks”, and some simply a Republican. It’s hard to see how this will work out.

But it will, at least to the extent that it has to.

Feel the Bern?

Feel the Bern?

Some of my more conspiratorial-minded friends have suggested that the entire Sanders run was just a big show in the first place. This theory goes that Sanders was there to try out left-populist plans that Hillary could either adopt once they proved popular or contrast herself from if they didn’t. It’s a neat concept but it’s unreasonable to think everything was planned out this thoroughly or indeed that Sanders is that much of a tool. That it’s coming down this way in practice is nothing more than an illustration of what a skilled politician Clinton is, taking advantage of the situation.

And there is little doubt that she is a better candidate because of Sanders – more populist and most experienced outside of her comfort zone than before.

"I got this."

“I got this.”

Her biggest problem remains a net favorable / unfavorable rating of about -8 to -10, depending on the poll. That’s nowhere near as bad as any Republican, but that has to move positive for her to win. Since everyone knows Hillary Clinton, or at least thinks they do based on the barrage of press that has defined her over 25 years, these numbers won’t move easily.

Everything, from party unity to opinions about Clinton, will come down to how Sanders brings it together before the convention and how strongly he endorses her against Republican opposition. Please do not be surprised by how strongly this will come down and how urgently he makes the case.  He may extract support for some key parts of his platform for his endorsement and that will be interesting.  But make no mistake – he fears the Republicans far more than anything else.

Robert ReichBeyond Sanders, there will be key players that should speak up. Robert Reich has sounded like a Sanders supporter for months but always demurred from endorsing him. He’s known Clinton for 50 years, after all, and probably didn’t want to cheese off a friend. Last week Reich finally did endorse Sanders – strange timing given how it must have seemed to a veteran poll like him that it was already too late. My guess is that Clinton herself would have been in favor of this because it puts Reich in a position to help heal the party – which is what Clinton needs more than anything in the next few months.

Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Sen Warren failed to endorse anyone, but she is also someone who can help keep the Sanders crew in the party. That will probably take some good words on banking reform from Clinton, but given what Minneapolis Fed chief Kashkari is saying and doing that should be very easy by now.

Funny how it came back to Minnesota. Perhaps we are the heart and soul of this party after all? (note: this country could do a lot worse, ya know)

No matter what, if this is the beginning of the end it’s really the beginning of the formation of a party that can stand up to Republican chaos and craziness with a solid team and a solid plan. That’s what has to happen, and it will.

Clinton’s experience will come through and there will be an active healing, one way or the other. Bet on it.  And don’t count out Sanders for some significant role going forward, too.

25 thoughts on “Is it Over? (It’s Never Over)

  1. I wonder why Warren didnt endorse someone

    Also what endorsements did MN politicians give on the Dem side.

    • Warren is interesting – I would love to have a coffee with her.
      Kieth Ellison, Minneapolis Rep, endorsed Sanders. Franken endorsed Clinton. I think the rest sat it out.

      • I’m watching Trump as he keeps pulling away from the crowd. Lindsey Graham said he feels that if Trump wins the nomination, then Clinton will win the election. What are your thoughts about this.

      • A lot of Republicans are more comfortable with Clinton than they let on. Wall Street sure is. I do think that Trump cannot get more than about 40% absolute top in a general election, probably more like 25%.

      • Wow! Graham said they would throw their weight behind Cruz if Trump continues to increase the way he has been. What do you think about Rubio? Should he close down his campaign as a result of losing his state?

    • Sanders is a good guy. He knew what he was up against all along and is making his point as clearly as he can. He’ll take what he can get and then stand very strong against the Republicans, who he knows are the real problem. I don’t see any reason why the leaders of the party can’t come together.
      The rank and file? It may not be so easy, but Bernie will lead the way.

  2. Sanders wins the under 30 vote. So he must represent youthful idealism and generational change. It’s fun to see a pre baby boomer leading the young ones.

    • It’s pretty funny, isn’t it? But he’s doing a good job of showing them what real leadership, at least intellectual / moral leadership, is all about. If only they had some appreciation for Clinton’s abilities …

  3. I’d like to see you write a blog about what you have liked about Pres. Obama and his accomplishments.

    I know you won’t do this, though. There is a tendency sometimes in life to not to want to do things that are requested. : )

    • Sanders seems tired. He is experienced and he knows where this is going. He’ll keep fighting but we can expect this to be more focused on defeating Trump and the issues he cares about. Clinton will do that, too.
      It is essentially over, yes, but it will be up to Michigan and Ohio to really seal it.

  4. Sorry for the comment delays – I see things were broken yesterday. It’s fixed now. If you tried to post and were frustrated please let me know.

  5. My hope is that we continue to have gridlock and divided government after this year’s election. I tend to like the results of divided government.

    One thing I like about Trump is that he wants more manufacturing jobs in the US. Manufacturing is important and is a theme of Barataria.

    Although I generally don’t like Trump, he does offer strong leadership. So he can energize Republicans, Democrats, Independents and non-voters who like the strong leadership stance.

    • “Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.”
      HST, 1994

  6. Pingback: Definitely NOT Over | Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

  7. Pingback: Still Not Over | Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

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