June 07, 2016

Clinton-Sanders: Let that be your last battlefield

Sorry, couldn't, or wouldn't, resist the reference to Star Trek: The Original Series. Not saying who is Lokai and who is Bele. (Speaking of, the origin of the Lokai name seems obvious; I'm not sure where Roddenberry dug up Bele.)

Back to the non-Star Trek world.

OK, the lesser states are all chaff.

It's California and New Jersey.

Latest polling, per Real Clear Politics, as of Monday evening, had Clinton up just two points in the Golden State, but crushing it with a 27-point edge in the Garden State. Sorry, Sandernistas, I'm just reporting the numbers.

Who's Lokai and who's Bele? People like me would argue it's
just two flip sides of Democratic establishmentarianism.
Sanders has shown a fair amount of ground-closing in California. Before the last 10 days, taking all polls from the start of April through late May, and throwing out both the two closest and the two furthest, he was averaging about 10 points behind.

There's been a lot less polling in New Jersey, but per what RCP has, and throwing out one poll at either extreme, Clinton still has a 20-point lead.

Even if he wins California, he's not likely to swap superdelegates to his side if he loses New Jersey by 15 or more. That's especially true since New Jersey, like California is a "mixed" primary. No, not totally "open" but closer to "open" than to "closed." A California split plus a clear loss in New Jersey will not be a strong selling point. Given that New Jersey has more delegates on tap than all the "lesser" primaries tonight, I expect Clinton to expand her lead in "pledged" delegates by 50 or so.

And, in any case, the announcement last night by the AP that Clinton had apparently clinched the nomination won't help. That said, as written, per CNN, it's true. No, Glenn Greenwald, private phone calls to ascertain superdelegate voting plans is NOT "secret conversations," except in conspiracy-land. (Sidebar: This is why he's a quasi-journalist.) And, if not true Monday night, it sure as hell would be true after tonight's races. (Sorry, Sandernistas, but Clinton already has a lead in election-derived delegates and it will only increase tonight. Holding your breath until your face turns blue won't change that. And, you know what? In 2008, Obama didn't have a majority of total delegates from only his elected delegates total; he, too, needed superdelegates to go over the top.) And, as for the timing? Well, yes, it came just before a batch of primaries tonight. But, it came just after Puerto Rico's primary Sunday night. Is that supposed to be ignored?

And, speaking of polls, Bernie Sanders' other biggest enemy is Donald Trump. Yes, Sanders may still poll better against the Donald than does Clinton, but, as Trump enters new rounds of self-destructiveness, she too is expanding her polling lead against him. That, then, undercuts one of his last claims to try to get superdelegates to move to him (which ain't happening).

(Sidebar: I have nothing against closed primaries, or caucuses for that matter, and have said so in the past. In a parliamentary system, a party leader is selected entirely by a national caucus or similar.)

Now, what comes after that?

In 2008, Clinton officially (and suavely) conceded to Obama within a week after California.

As a Green-leaner, I'm fine with Sanders NOT doing that ... depending on how much he pushes for platform items in the party planks. That said, I'm no idiot; I know platform statements often aren't worth the paper on which they're written.

As someone venturing inside Sanders' head, I know that if he pushes too far, he'll be cut off even more than Ted Kennedy was in 1980. I've drawn parallels to that year's Democratic hootenanny before.

It's all Bernie's call.

Actually, per what I said yesterday, and have kind of said in a few blog posts of the last month or so — it's very much Jane O'Meara Sanders' call, too.

That said, I have multiple times in the last month said "Bernie's too good a Democrat to do X," with specific cases of "X" including saying he wouldn't sue the Iowa Democratic Party over the caucuses and he wouldn't mention the support of Hillary Clinton for the Honduras coup. Oh, sure, yesterday he halfway raised one eyebrow about the Clinton Foundation, but Ken Silverstein wrote a takedown on it seven months ago.

So, if backstory rumors are true, Bernie's private olive branches will (albeit a bit grudgingly) become public by, oh, June 15 or so. But, Clinton's going to have to do some outreach.

Meanwhile, I will continue to preach the gospel of Green to the Sandernistas.

At the same time, I salute Sanders for showing the true colors of others.

Like alleged left-liberal Todd Gitlin, comparing Clinton, and supporting the lesser of two evils votes, to LBJ 1964. And, opposing the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement against Israel.

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