Clinton Campaign Goes on Tilt as a Result of Dead Heat With Sanders in Iowa

The New York Times, despite its fealty to the Clinton camp, caught its operatives at a vulnerable moment as the Iowa caucus results rolled in. And the picture that emerges is consistent with that of Hillary herself: elitist, out of touch with the needs of actual voters and presumptuous about what it ought to take to win them over.

The story, Hillary Clinton Campaign, Unnerved by Iowa, Braces for New Hampshire, at points reads like self-parody. And you can see similarly rattled nerves elsewhere. Brookings, which likes to depict itself as detached, had as its lead story in its AM email, “How Hillary Can Move Past Iowa,” with the subhead, “After Iowa, Hillary should take advice from the “West Wing” and skip New Hampshire.” Sounds a tad desperate, no?

We’ll go through the New York Times story in detail. The opening paragraphs depict Clinton staff and supporters expecting a comfortable win of several percentage points and Clinton having prepared only a victory speech that focused on Republicans. As the results streamed in, the mood darkened:

The outcome in Iowa — which at least until Tuesday afternoon appeared to be effectively a tie with a far left senator from a small New England state — dealt a jolting psychological blow to the Clinton campaign, leaving volunteers, donors and aides confused throughout the night, and then crestfallen. They had hoped that the former secretary of state would garner a decisive victory here and put to rest any doubts about her strength as a candidate.

You can see the Clinton blind spots on display. The “former secretary of state” isn’t merely elegant variation in drafting. The Clinton machine has been unwilling to see Sanders as more than an upstart, even as his gains in polling have been showing otherwise. They are invested in the SS Clinton: Hillary as national, indeed international figure for over two decades, versus Sanders as a pol from a the frosty hinterlands. And “far left” translates into “unsound” and “unable to get big corporate backing.”

In fact, as NC commentor Richard Kline pointed out in 2012, these supposed “far left” positions are in fact middle of the road. The elites in the US have managed to get away with governing well to the right of the center of political gravity in this country via election bait-and-switch (Obama being a particularly vivid case study) and adept messaging to make policies sound more average-voter-friendy than the really were. From his post, Progressively Losing:

….let’s dispense with several basic misconceptions regarding why progressives are presently so unsuccessful.

“Progressive goals are not popular.” Even with the systematically distorted polling data of the present, this is demonstrably untrue. Inexpensive health care, progressive taxation, educational scholarship funding, curtailment of foreign wars, environmental protection among others never fail to command majority support. It is difficult to think of a major progressive policy which commands less than a plurality. This situation is one reason for the lazy reliance upon electioneering by progressives, they know that their issues are popular, in principle at least. Rather childishly, they just want a show of hands then, as if that is what goes on really in elections.

Now one might wonder why Sanders has been able to overturn this sorry history of progressive (for want of a better term) failure. I don’t pretend to have a definitive answer, but these factors appear to go on the list:

In the words of the more famous Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Bill said that the most important responsibility of Democrats was to generate jobs. Obama blew that duty off, resulting in large-scale erosion of the Democratic seats in Congress, large of Blue Dog Democrats aligned closely with Obama. Sanders, as a dissident within the party, can effectively call out the party for failing to live up to its brand promise.

Media fragmentation. The old assumption that you can buy the presidency with a billion dollar of ad spending may no longer hold. News and information consumption is far more fragmented, which makes getting ad messages in front of a broad range of voters more challenging. And that’s likely to be even truer of young voters, who are likely to be less attached to mainstream media brands as validators than older voters.

The menu is not the meal.. As Lambert likes to say of Hillary, “The dogs won’t eat the dog food.” Let us face it: Sanders is not exactly a compelling politician. But he has an extremely compelling message, and he keeps hammering at it. By contrast, the implicit message of Team Hillary is that the public should trust her for her supposedly broad experience, and for women, for representing women’s interests. I’ve been put off by Hillary’s repeated references in the debates to “I have a plan…” and John Cassidy makes a broader observation along those lines:

Speaking on CNN as it got late, David Axelrod, President Obama’s former campaign manager, made an acute point. One of Hillary’s problems is that her campaign is largely about her—her experience, her electability, and her toughness. “I will keep doing what I have done my entire life,” she said in her non-victory speech. “I will keep standing up for you. I will keep fighting for you.” Sanders, on the other hand, rarely mentions himself in his speeches. His campaign is all about his message of taking America back from the billionaires. And, as Axelrod pointed out, it is often easier to inspire people, particularly young people, with an uplifting theme than with a résumé

And that resume, despite having lots of glitzy titles on it, has either no or negative accomplishment associated with these roles. Plus it’s hard to buy the notion that she will “keep standing up” for anyone other than her monied backers. And she’s not likeable. She projects as hard and cold. Sanders is not warm and fuzzy, but he’s at least sincere, so he beats Hillary in that category, save for voters who come from a social strata that predisposes them towards technocratic sheen.

Elitism and entitlement. Clinton is having trouble faking being a woman of the people. From the New York Times:

Mrs. Clinton re-entered politics last spring after four years as secretary of state, noticeably rusty after her time away from the trail. Although she improved as a retail politician over 10 months of campaigning, in the end, to many voters, she could appear detached, too shrouded in layers of staff and security.

On her trip to the Iowa State Fair in August, Mrs. Clinton’s staff and security team had mapped out a route so she could admire the prizewinning stalks of corn, see an exhibit on agriculture and pick up a pork-chop-on-a-stick before climbing into a black S.U.V. to catch a private flight to Martha’s Vineyard.

These aren’t the only off-putting incidents. Recall the widely-reported incident where she walked through a town with a big cordon around her? The resulting videos were of someone who didn’t want anywhere in her vicinity. Or how about the recent story in Iowa, where she showed up two hours late for a rally, gave a mere five minute canned speech, and wasn’t apologetic? Anyone on a campaign is going to have the occasional bad moment, but hers are far too frequent, particularly for someone who knows the Presidential campaign drill.

The movie The Big Short and the upheaval in the financial markets. The public is getting an in-its-face reminder that Wall Street wrecked the economy, got bailed out at public expense, and got away with it. Needless to say, Clinton is uncomfortably close to Wall Street.

Corruption. As lawyers like to say, res ipsa loquitur.

It’s also not a good sign for the supposedly professional Clinton campaign machine that they misread the state of play in Iowa badly enough to be convinced of a win. Or worse, was this entitlement syndrome preventing key staffers from presenting an accurate picture, meaning warnings? And the article points out that there were demands to demote “Robby Mook, her young data-driven campaign manager.” A spokesperson denied that any change was in the offing. But Mook appears to be in a shaky position, and mid-course changes in campaign staffing (or de facto changes by bringing more points of view into decision-making) often make matters worse rather than better by creating more inside-the-tent power struggles and making it harder to implement action plans.

The Clinton campaign tries to understand, or dangerously, rationalize, what happened:

The question the Clinton campaign confronts is whether the first two states are simply demographically unfriendly to Mrs. Clinton, as many analysts believe, or whether her lack of connection so far in Iowa and New Hampshire indicates a deeper shakiness underlying her candidacy.

As Li put it, “Yes, they were demographically unfriendly. They were people.”

More accurately, the Clinton camp is trying to see the failure as a “white state” issue, when the real story is a split by age group, with an unheard of 60+ point advantage to Sanders in the under 29 year old group and the preferences shifting in close to linear manner among older age cohorts. And quelle horreur, Sanders made inroads in Iowa among Hispanics.

And the supposedly sure-footed Bill is apparently unable to see that Hillary’s problem is a policy and credibility problem, no doubt at least in part because he was the architect of the policy changes that sold out the middle class, policies he has continued to represent to great personal profit at the Clinton Foundation. Again from the New York Times article:

Former President Clinton had been among those who have attributed his wife’s poor performance more to her campaign’s muddled strategy and lack of a clear message than to Mrs. Clinton’s own failings.

This is nonsense. The problems with Hillary’s branding are very much problems with Bill’s branding: that of having implemented pro-finance, pro-multinational policies that (with the help of the Internet tail wind) produced the economic equivalent of a sugar high and left the middle class with a case of diabetes. The “muddled messaging” results from Sanders having dented the inevitability myth, forcing Hillary to get out of tissue paper and out in the open, and discuss policy positions, where her barmy claim that she wants to be a President for everyone is not holding up to the light of day. The increased awareness of income inequality, a point Sanders pounds relentlessly, means you can’t credibly be a candidate for the 1%, particularly the 0.1%, and everyone else.

In fact, Brand Clinton is not what is used to be:

Mr. Sanders drew three times as many people as Mr. Clinton as the two men held dueling rallies last Wednesday night.

Mind you, this isn’t even the full list of Hillary’s shortcomings. The article finishes with this one:

Some 47 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said that they felt Mrs. Clinton said what voters wanted to hear, rather than what she believed. Sixty-two percent said they believed Mr. Sanders said what he thought, according to a New York Times-CBS poll released Nov. 12.

If anything, the picture is worse than that. Clinton’s favorability ratings have kept falling the more she has campaigned. Gallup released on the eve of the Iowa caucus that Sanders had just moved in front of her in terms of net favorability among Democrats. And many polls show that Sanders outdoes Hillary among independents.

Now with all of that said, the Clintons hope to turn things around in Nevada (another caucus state) and most important, South Carolina, which will supposedly demonstrate that black (and by extension, other minority voters) represent her firewall. But some Democrats are starting to question that too:

“Yes, they have a firewall, but how much asbestos is really in that firewall?” asked Robert Shrum, a strategist for Democratic presidential candidates, including Al Gore, Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry. “Do people start to take a second look?”

Indeed, as of about two weeks ago, Clinton’s approval ratings among black voters in South Carolina had fallen from 79% to 54%. As of then, Sanders had not turned this decline into conversions to his campaign, but small focus groups suggest those voters are receptive to his message. So South Carolina could be more in play than it appears on the surface.

However, Clinton still has two huge advantages that this article fails to mention. The first is the control that she has obtained over the Democratic party apparatus. She has a lock on the superdelegates unless Sanders makes big inroads quickly and undermines her legitimacy as a candidate. The second is that the Clintons are famously ruthless. Obama has been charged in two independently produced movies of stealing the Texas caucus. It’s not hard to imagine the Clintons, if they started to feel desperate, are capable of doing that and more.

So while Sanders has done a fabulous job of exceeding expectations in going from a quixotic outsider to a real contender, he still has an uphill battle before him. One can only hope that the more Hillary is forced to show her true colors as a result of the unexpected Sanders challenge, the more voters realize that even more than most politicians, she is out only for herself.

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193 comments

  1. Pavel

    Great analysis, Yves — thank you.

    My pleasure at the “virtual tie” (which despite Team Clinton’s faux and contrived triumphalism is an astonishing Sanders victory, all things considered) is tempered by your warnings:

    However, Clinton still has two huge advantages that this article fails to mention. The first is the control that she has obtained over the Democratic party apparatus. She has a lock on the superdelegates unless Sanders makes big inroads quickly and undermines her legitimacy as a candidate. The second is that the Clintons are famously ruthless. Obama has been depicted in two books of stealing the Texas caucus. It’s not hard to imagine the Clintons, if they started to feel desperate, are capable of doing that and more.

    Hill and Bill have proven themselves to be absolutely ruthless and willing to throw anybody under the bus. They will play nasty (indeed, have already done so — cf putting Chelsea out there to cast aspersions on Bernie’s health care plan).

    What is baffling is that there is now a 30 or 40 year chronicle of Clinton malfeasance and corruption, as detailed in the NYT and WaPo and elsewhere, but those same media ignore it all now and endorse Hillary.

    Many people noted HRC’s luck with the coin tosses and likened it to her infamous cattle futures “fortune”. She started as a grifter and will end as one. Let’s hope not in the White House.

    1. RabidGandhi

      I don’t think rolling out Chelsea to lie about the Sanders HC proposal is particularly “dirty”– or at least Team Clinton is capable of tricks that are clearly much dirtier (aka “illegal” for those of us in the lower income brackets).

      The key will be to see how this plays out in the future. How will the overwhelmingly pro-sanders youngsters react in 8-12 years if they saw HRC win because she cheated to deep-six their candidate?

    2. Malcolm MacLeod, MD

      Pavel: I also enjoyed Yves’ analysis, and your comment supplied the rest
      of an excellent meal.

    1. sleepy

      This is her plan to help the middle class, from a flyer in my Iowa mailbox. Tax credits is about it, and they’re not particularly generous or far-reaching. I imagine your average repub candidate offers more.

      “MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS
      Give middle class families a raise by increasing take-home pay and giving tax relief that helps them deal with rising costs

      Help families offset up to $6000 in caregiving costs for their elderly family members allowing caregivers to claim up to $1200 in tax relief every year.

      Provide help for families struggling with major health care costs with a tax credit of up to $2500 for individuals and $5000 for families.”

      Oh, yeah, up the minimum wage to $12/hr.

      The nation of course needs structural change. Sanders gets that, I think. What is heartening is the fact that so many people now see through the neoliberal economics championed by Obama and Hillary and are able to call the bullchit for what it is. And this despite the greatest propaganda machine in the modern world–the American MSM.

      1. Jim Haygood

        “MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS”

        That’s what Hillary’s consort “Bill” promised in the 1992 campaign.

        Then he got into office and discovered that the budget situation was worse than he’d been told. So he had to pass a retroactive tax hike instead.

        Fool me twice, shame on … we won’t get fooled again!

        1. sleepy

          In my opinion, the middle class needs far more than tax cuts. While delivering on a campaign promise of tax cuts is a promise kept it doesn’t mean the cut is effective policy.

          The middle class needs jobs, a reduction in college costs, and universal healthcare. Healthcare which includes in-home eldercare is far superior than some patched together neolib tax credit that Clinton proposes.

          1. Pat

            Might I make an adjustment to your statement?

            The middle class needs jobs with middle class wages and benefits. They do not need living wage jobs or gigs or even minimum wage jobs with no benefits – they need the kind of jobs that Bill Clinton helped eliminate in America with trade deals designed not to promote trade but globalization. They need the kind of jobs where the wages are enough that one can save beyond scrimping for a rainy day. They need the kind of jobs where being sick is not something you hide to avoid a pink slip. They need the kind of jobs where they have time to spend with their family and enough income to do that rather than take a second or third job to pay the bills.
            For me one of the problems with Clinton supposedly fighting for those of us who are not CEOs, financial hucksters, etc is that she apparently doesn’t get that part of that is fighting to make sure that our current business leaders finally get that Americans are not and should not be ‘competing with third world countries and should get used to that lifestyle’ but are the people who have been bilked out of their share of corporate profits and productivity gains since her husband was in office.

            1. jrs

              Why only the middle class then? Why shouldn’t EVERYONE have those jobs (or guaranteed income equivalent)? Though a true living wage would suffice.

              1. hunkerdown

                Because the working class is for whipping into competition for the few spots in the middle class to which society’s “benefactors” might elevate them.

                What the middle class NEEDS is to be humbled until they cry.

        2. JustAnObserver

          As an alternative, or complement, to “America” as Sanders’ campaign song maybe they should start playing the Who’s “Won’t get fooled again”.

          Should resonate nicely with the boomer demographic.

      2. flora

        this bit: “Give middle class families a raise by increasing take-home pay and giving tax relief that helps them deal with rising costs…” in the past has meant lowering the FICA tax. This translates into lower SS inflow, and that lower inflow is offered as a reason to cut SS benefits or raise retirement age. Lower inflow supposedly meaning SS insolvency. Unless Hillary explains exactly what she is proposing in detail, my guess is this is an attempt to undermine SS. (see Robert Rubin and The Third Way.)

      1. sharonsj

        I already tried that with Ralph Nader. The system is rigged against third parties–that’s why Sanders had to run as a Democrat.

  2. par4

    “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Mike Tyson (former heavy weight champion)

    1. Barry Fay

      Actually it was Joe Louis who said “Everyone has a plan until they get hit” – a great insight that was then stolen and made more crass by Mike.
      Yves – great analysis! If Bernie could actually get the nomination one might be forced to believe in democracy again. (Is my cynicism showing?)

      1. diptherio

        If Bernie could actually get the nomination one might be forced to believe in democracy again.

        Wow, you have really low standards for “democracy.” If Gilens and Page do another study and find that popular sentiment actually has an effect on policy, I might be forced to believe that democracy actually exists in America again.

  3. inthemoment

    “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” von Moltlke (19th C. Chief, German General Staff)

  4. teri

    Too bad that we have such a contrived form of democracy that one has to rely on coin tosses (for God’s sake!), Super Delegates, and the whole easily-rigged electoral college system.

    And too bad the powerful Democrats and DNC, aided by the media, have put the country in the position where, once the bribing and rigging is finished and the war-pig Clinton is declared the Dem. nominee, the Republicans will trot out the whole ugly Clinton pay-to-play scam (where Hillary gave preferential deals to foreign countries and corporations while SoS if they donated to the Clinton’s foundation), which they are so far ignoring. They are saving it for a rainy day. And there is a lot of “there” there, as the FBI investigators are finding. Having deliberately tossed Sanders, and any other possible Dem candidates off the bus, the Clinton Foundation shit along with the e-mail issues will cause the Dems to lose any shot at the WH and trickle down to hit the D candidates in the lower races. We have not learned the worst of Clinton’s crimes, but it will start to come out. I think the Republicans – and possibly even Obama and the DoJ – are just waiting until she’s declared the nominee, so they can slap her with it then.

    Of course, that may be the DNC/blue-dog plan anyway. It worked really well during the last midterms, where they fielded bad candidates and spent no money on the few good ones, or on voting issues, and tossed everything from the federal gov’t to the state houses over to the Republicans.

    It’s really a one-party country; we just vote for personalities.

    1. Pavel

      This is it in a nutshell. The email server (scandal though it be) is just the tip of the iceberg, covering up the Clinton Slush Foundation payola. Does anyone really think Hillary sent 30,000 emails about “yoga” and “wedding plans”?

      the whole ugly Clinton pay-to-play scam (where Hillary gave preferential deals to foreign countries and corporations while SoS if they donated to the Clinton’s foundation), which they are so far ignoring

      1. andyb

        Its called treason; an especially inimical virus that has spread throughout all branches of government, including SCOTUS. Surprisingly, even though Yves has provided oodles of sunlight into the subtle wording of the proposed trade agreements, there is little analysis of the ultimate agenda of those promoting this treason; i.e. world totalitarian control.

      2. Jim Haygood

        “I will keep doing what I have done my entire life,” [Hillary] said in her non-victory speech.

        Exactly: lining her pockets.

        Where’s the ol’ stoner James Carville when we need him?

        “It’s the corruption, stupid.”

    2. Barry Fay

      The idea that Obama is waiting in the wings to subvert Hillary is far fetched, to say the least. He is, after all, a Democrat and very competitive by nature and by now he must hate the Repugs more than anybody, even Hillary. And the idea that the Dems throw elections is also strange. It´s about power, and NOBODY gives that away!

        1. gsach

          That’s not a fair characterization. Obama has also been competitive when trying to pass the TPP or when eliminating single payer and the public option from health care reform.

          1. Lord Koos

            I wouldn’t characterize those actions by Obama as “competitive”, he’s just carrying out his orders.

      1. dk

        Campaigns are heavily donor driven. Donors can, and do, throw elections. They hedge by giving just enough to demand input, while withholding enough to throw a race.

        When money can buy either side, the money can’t lose.

      2. nippersdad

        While the idea that Obama would throw Hillary under the bus seems outlandish, he will, after all, need someone from the Washington Consensus team to do the now traditional pardon after he exits stage right, that Dems throw elections is no longer in dispute. Steve Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz routinely made a practice of it. Call it the iron rule of institutions, but I don’t think that increasing the size of the Republican caucus in any way hurt the bottom line of corporatist Democrats. It is about power, and one need only see how the establishment is circling the wagons against Sanders to see that they are not prepared to give it to such as he.

    3. jrs

      I don’t’ think the Iowa Dem caucus even determines how the Iowa Dem delegates vote. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it non binding? So at best it expresses the will of those who would vote Dem in Iowa. It’s about as important as an online poll.

      1. jrs

        The Iowa Dem caucus determines nothing even for Iowa.

        from the Washington Post (though I first saw this alluded to in the NYT):
        “On caucus night, Iowans in each precinct elect delegates to their COUNTY conventions, but the winner of the caucuses will be the candidate who accrues the most STATE delegate equivalents. State delegate equivalents are calculated using a ratio of state to county convention delegates. In other words, the ratio determines how many delegates the candidate would receive for the state convention based on the number of county convention delegates a candidate receives.”

        Yes it’s more confusing than the tax code at this point (is there the equivalent of turbo tax for it?). But things are not what they seem, even in the not very democratic to begin with caucus system.

  5. Torsten

    Wal-mart is a readily indictable object lesson the general public can readily understand. A lot might hinge on whether or not Bernie can get a town hall audience member to connect the dots between the Clintons and Wal-mart and put the questio at point-blank range: “Hillary, do you still work for Wal-Mart?”

    Bernie doesn’t want to get too explicit himself, and the MSM will remain mum on this facet of the issue as long as it can.

    1. nippersdad

      Or, “Why would you hire actual Nazis to subvert a popularly elected government allied to a nuclear power?” She would be like shooting fish in a barrel, but the media would be sure to vet out any question that might get under her skin.

      1. theinhibitor

        Those same people that complain about a Walmart leaving probably don’t remember the time when their parents campaigned against Walmart arriving to the detriment of every small retail business in America.

        1. Carolinian

          As the New Yorker story points out Walmart mostly displaced crappier versions of itself.

          But just to the political question I’d say one of the left’s problems is that it tends to pick the wrong targets. One doesn’t have to defend Walmart to say that a wonkish argument against its supposed evil isn’t going to get you very far in a general election.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Agreed. The working class shops at WalMart because the prices are low. Some even park their RVs in the Walmart parking lot when they travel out of town.

            Picking on Walmart is stereotypical behavior of eastern elitists who shop at Gristedes and Whole Foods. It sends the flyover folks flocking to the R party to thumb their noses at the patronizing bicoastal Democratic elite who gave them Obamacare.

            Doesn’t everybody have $6,000 handy for deductibles?

            1. GlobalMisanthrope

              Hold on. First of all, Walmart isn’t really cheap, specifically because it forces its customers to over-consume and to “eat what’s put in front of them.” My wife’s done the math. Savings from shopping at Walmart rather than our neighborhood HEB are in pennies. (And if you figure in the HUGE tax on time it represents…) Same with Costco.

              If you’re massively over-consuming already and are willing to accept lowest price as the only purchasing criteria, then you can “save” by shopping at these places, but really they’re just ripping people off by making crap people don’t need “affordable.”

              As far as the article goes, I read it and it’s terrible. It’s riddled with all kinds of unsupported claims and assumptions. And as far as “Walmart’s replacing crappier versions of itself,” that definitely is not true in the small communities in area where I live.

              Now, you’re right about the air of superiority that often permeates in liberal circles. But just because they’re snobs doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of yobs out there falling for the Walmart/Costco/Trader Joe’s savings canard.

              1. odswartz

                I like Costco. They have low employee turnover. Some of their stores are unionized. It’s a warehouse store so you expect warehouse deals. I like Trader Joe’s. Although not unionized, employees get fair pay and benefits. They LIKE working there and you can sense it in every store I’ve been to. Walmart fights unionization, keeps their employees underpaid and sends them to the government to make up the difference. I have gone there a couple of times and that was enough. Cheap goods that look cheap. Employees who look frantic or unhappy. Greeters who are there to make sure you don’t steal anything. No thanks. If you can’t see the difference, you are beyond help.

            2. Minnie Mouse

              I shop at Goodwill myself. You can actually find a few items with “Made in USA” tags still on them.

        1. andyb

          Being the son of depression era folks,I learned early in life how to stretch a dollar. With Walmart, there are legitimate and meaningful savings on some items that I consider necessities, although I wouldn’t drive 20 miles and eat up any savings with gas consumption. Luckily, I’m within 2 miles of a Walmart and 5 miles within 2 others. But other than the few necessities, the rest is made-in-China(Indonesia, Vietnam) crap.

          1. jgordon

            A couple of years ago I bought a spoon from Walmart. The first time after I left it in the sink with water, when I pulled it out it had holes in it. True story.

  6. Glen

    Yves, good post.

    I will vote for Sanders, but not Hillary says this fourty year Dem voter (actually, I voted Green last time so maybe that’s no longer true.)

  7. P

    Very good article. One other thing to note though: Clinton is not a strong candidate nationally. Sanders beats Trump by more than Clinton according to current polls. And many polls show that Clinton is behind Ted “Let’s Return to the Gold Standard” Cruz — who just came out with a surprise win in Iowa.

    If the Dems don’t take advantage of the populist upswing, the Republicans will. What the wonks and pundits are really missing is that Clinton is a very weak candidate nationally. For all the reasons Yves laid out above, she could actually lose a general election to a wacko like Cruz.

    And yet she is selling herself as the “realistic” candidate and a lot of Dems are buying into this clear nonsense. Clinton is playing a very dangerous game. So is the establishment.

    1. direction

      You outline an important point and one I would like to see strategy around. Clinton is not a strong candidate, but plays one on TV. Clinton has the money and has been buying front page coverage for a long time now, so most folks that I have talked to outside my own circles parrot the “general understanding” that even though they like Bernie better, he’s “not electable” because he’s “too radical.” It is rather telling that the tally in Iowa never reported a single moment where the two might have hit a tie in the polls which would have erupted in the headline news (see today’s links). If people do not read Naked Capitalism and see only lamestream media, they are only seeing the message Hillary has already paid for: that Bernie can’t win on the national level. So how do we reach mainstream americans who now seem to get their news via LOLcatposters on Facebook, that Bernie is not “too radical” for voters?

      (For the record, if she wins the nomination, she’s not getting my vote as “the lesser of two evils” candidate, I’ll throw to the Greens)

      ooh, I’m actually excited about my LOLcats4Bernie idea. Can one of you make me some? Maybe we could have a contest. Post your entries here. Any other grass rootsy implementable ideas out there for cheaply undercutting Hillary’s big messaging?

  8. Dino Reno

    For the past 35 years the Clintons have been a rolling scandal, and for some reason or another, it’s never their fault.
    Along the way, they have become fabulously wealthy. This pretty much sums up the country’s recent history.
    Now they’re back for more despite being old, bitter and in poor health. In their minds, they’re not done with us. Please Bernie, make it stop.

    1. YankeeFrank

      As the line from House of Cards puts it (the original, not the US crapfest version): “tainted by a thousand tawdry scandals”. To me, that line defines the Clintons.

    2. Davidraph

      Yes, Bernie is just a vehicle for getting rid of the Clintons and their schemes for attaining the presidency. For more than 40 years, the goal of being president has driven their marriage and every facet of their lives.

  9. steelhead23

    Perhaps it is too early to share my concern, but Mrs. Clinton’s superdelegate supporters should consider her electability. Yes, Sanders carries the S brand sure to disqualify him in the minds of some voters, but Clinton is not squeaky clean either, from disastrous foreign policy blunders to stupid management of communications. Like it or not, she is vulnerable to attacks on both fronts. Further, she, like Obama, is a stasis candidate, while the GOP has effectively channeled voter anger into seats in Congress. One of the dumber points Clinton supporters have made is that Bernie could not get his policies enacted into law due to having to deal with a conservative Congress. The party needs to look carefully at why that is – Obama won big, why didn’t he have coattails? Might it have something to do with the party’s failure to support the 99 percent? Sanders would be a strong brand and clearly supports the 99 percent. He would bring out voters and truly could change the make-up of Congress. Clinton won’t.

    1. Uahsenaa

      Well, he did have coattails in 2008; Dems made gains in Congress over and above what they made in 2006. He had a Democratic majority in both houses and what did he do with it? The ACA…

      2012 had no coattails, yes, but as an election it wasn’t exactly a sweep. Add to that the incompetence and hippy punching tendencies of the DCCC, who refuse to run candidates people will actually vote for. As the losses for the most part have come from Team Blue not the actual progressives in the caucus.

    2. hunkerdown

      Superdelegates seem, for the most part, to comprise city councilpersons, local real estate tycoons and other small-scale oligarchs. Why would they ever vote for someone who does not exalt “bizniz” and affirm their privileged place in the order? They’ll sooner throw the election to a right-winger of either color livery, as they have in the past, than lift a finger toward an economic non-rightist.

    3. odswartz

      Why did all those superdelegates give their support so very early in the campaign? What was the rush? I am sure none of them examined Sanders’ platform because he was “fringe”. Now that he clearly isn’t, what? I was incredibly upset and wrote many e-mails expressing my concern/anger over the NEA endorsing Clinton. They did not ask their constituents!

  10. nippersdad

    Excellent article, Yves! What is most surprising to me is the defensiveness we are seeing on the part of the political establishment. Sanders has really managed to get under their skin, and it will hopefully only get worse (he typed, gleefully).

  11. Dave McCrae

    After Iowa, I’ve changed my support to Bernie. I’ll be voting in Texas as a D instead of an R. If Hilary wins Texas by ONE VOTE, and wins US by ONE STATE, of Texas, because Bernie didn’t get my ONE VOTE, this would be truly intolerable, and I believe I’ll be leaving the US and go live on my boat SOMEWHERE ELSE. Hawaii, maybe. smile emoticon

  12. Brooklin Bridge

    I think the traditional media, including their non trivial presence on the net, is still an additional “huge advantage” held by Clinton as the establishment candidate. Issues with voting, with illegal email server, with behavior in the Middle East, with espousing of Bill’s neoliberal policies, conveniently disappear or have the hard edges softened to nothing.

    Sanders has the exact opposite dished out to him and make no mistake, while many people are so put off by this that it boomerangs, overall, it still has a huge negative effect.

    Hillary did not have this advantage last time round. The media quickly picked up on the fact that Obama was a good neoliberal and more than willing to do the bidding of the corporate elite so it was a far more even race in that regard. By these same media moguls, Sanders, on the other hand, is considered the devil himself, someone who actually has integrity, the worst of the worst, and he is being treated accordingly.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Ah, but you are ignoring the fact that the media are thoroughly untrusted by the vast majority of Americans these days. Just read the comments to any of the anti-Sanders hit pieces in the Times, NYMag, the Atlantic, etc., etc. The more they pimp for Hilary and dig at Sanders, the more popular he’s become.

      And I’d like to add, on a media-related note, that the Daily Show has been doing its damnedest to smear Sanders and make him look ridiculous, while propping up Hilary as hard as they can without being totally overt. That show became a neoliberal apology comedy tour years ago I know, thanks to Jon Stewart selling his soul (threadbare as it may already have been). But now that they installed an elite worshiping South African neoliberal in his place, its gone from bad to worse. Just compare the Daily Show to the shoe-string budgeted Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, which is on fire and hysterically funny, and its hollow canned “funny” is all too apparent.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Yes, Jon Stewart and his threadbare soul. Well put and couldn’t agree more.

        Alas, I’m not so sure about the jujitsu or boomerang phenomenon being the ONLY reaction to brazen media bias. A lot of people are still influenced negatively -as intended- and the media is not always so brazen. They have developed many techniques over time and all of them work to some degree. The problem is corruption of the media works just the same as corruption of corporations. It creates an environment for the rest where it always pays a little more to cheat or in the cases of the media, to lie, to obscure, to hide, to dissimulate, to lie outright and then retract once the damage is done, and so on. It adds up and large swaths of the population are still very susceptible to it.

        1. TedWa

          Bernie has talked about the media as a monopoly that needs to be broken up, just like the banks. Definitely the right idea

          1. RUKidding

            I’m all for that if it can be accomplished. The media stinks in this country.

            Try watching tv in Australia (and that’s another NeoLib fiefdom presently with a Goldman Sucks PM). It’s a whole different world.

            My mates downundah are exceedingly GLAD that Sir Rupert became a Septic, so they don’t have to acknowledge him as a citizen. Best thing to happen downundah in a long long time.

      2. RUKidding

        Tossed out my tv ages ago but interested to hear about the continued devolution of the Daily Show. While Jon Stewart was at the helm, I concede that he could be hysterically funny and sometimes right on target. But Stewart is and always was a Court Jester – high born and beholden to the PTB. A lot of rubes never got it that Stewart was a master a playing them. I only watched DS sparingly and not at all lately.

        My rule of thumb: trust almost nothing on M$M. It’s all propaganda all the time.

        1. YankeeFrank

          Check out clips of the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Its surprisingly down to earth, honest, moral and follows up strongly on important stories like Flint and Sanders. Oh, and its also very funny in that sharply biting way you just don’t normally see in the MSM.

      3. Christopher Fay

        Without doing actual counting, when I do read into comments on something NYTimes there do seem to be 3 or 4 pro-Sanders comments in a row with an occasional you’ll come back to the grownups comment.

        And at some point we’re bound to see the Jeb-donor complex of questioning why put more money into a loser.

        And the daily show host looks great! Esquire material.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I wonder though if the media will keep minding Clinton’s back if she stumbles badly. Sometimes the media is like a hunting animal, attracted by blood. If Clinton looks genuinely wounded and Sanders starts to look like a winner, certain elements of the media might well decide its time to put the boot in (no doubt many individual journalists would enjoy this), not to mention hitch a ride with a winner.

      Not to mention that the sheer weight of hostile commentary from readers outraged by the constant schilling for the Clintons might force them into an appearance at least of ‘balance’. I don’t really think the media likes Clinton, they just like being seen to be on the side of ‘one of us’ and a winner.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        What it looks like to me — from flyover country — is that the upper echelons of the newsmedia fear the Clintons and admire their power in about equal measure. If the fear subsides a bit because she loses market share……… it may affect coverage in Sanders favor in some venues.

        Don’t expect the New York Times to ramp up its Sanders coverage, or improve its tone. The Clintons and those who either admire them (or fund them) are their subscriber base. The Times allows people to register and comment online without paying for the paper. Their commentariat is not their bread and butter. Those who are paying to keep the paper afloat are a different demographic.

        1. trinity river

          I know that it is late in the day to comment but I totally disagree with this comment, “The Times allows people to register and comment online without paying for the paper.”

          You must have commented w/o paying so tell me how you did this. I’m really curious.

  13. GlobalMisanthrope

    @Yves Smith

    I can’t thank you enough for reading and analyzing the NYT piece so I don’t have to. You say

    Obama has been depicted in two books of stealing the Texas caucus.

    I wasn’t aware of those allegations, though I’m not surprised. The Texas system is designed to permit that to happen. Still. As a Texan, I’d like to read the accounts you refer to. What are the books?

    Thanks!

    1. Lambert Strether

      Here’s a primer from Corrente on the caucus system generally, and the 2008 Texas caucus fraud in particular:

      A source that I have good reason to believe is trustworthy supplied the information below to Wampum and Corrente — which I’ve suitably anonymized — on issues with the TX caucuses. I think there’s a story here; interested journalists may contact me for a referral. Regardless, the story should have a thorough airing; my source is said to be in possession of affidavits (the missing piece in the story as covered).

      Example:

      At the Precinct Convention, _____ said the Chair asked for a “show of hands” of how many people wanted to be delegates and then the Chair appointed “7 delegates to Obama and 6 for Clinton.” The Obama captain called in FALSE results. She said the actual results were 74 Clinton and 33 Obama (total votes) which translates 9 for Clinton and 4 for Obama of 13 delegates. Obama supporters did not allow Hillary supporters to review the results of the count or participate in the math.

      Example:

      The election judge left early and gave the packet [of election materials] to an unidentified individual. No Clinton chair was present. Our captain and volunteers were not allowed to participate in the calculation of delegates or in the reporting and the unidentified individual called in the results, which ______ believes should be Clinton 13 and Obama 0. It is uncertain what was reported.

      Example:

      _________ reports she saw an Obama person writing “Obama” as a preference for HRC voters where there were blanks in the sign in sheets. The Obama person also tried to turn her away because she did not have a voter card. Temp chair was with Obama. Perm chair is an HRC supporter. People left as Beckie argued for 15 to 20 minutes that the precinct log should be checked. The Obama person shouted an announcement that anyone without a voter card should leave.

      Example:

      Precinct 61, a 19 delegate precinct: Voter ________ reports that the delegate calculations were not correct. A “young guy with glasses,” was somehow appointed chair. BHO people dominated the convention despite being heavily out-numbered. Supporters numbered: 89 HRC, 16 BHO, 1 Richardson, 2 uncommitted, but the initial delegate calculation was 16 delegates for HRC, 16 delegate for BHO. A coin flip somehow converted two uncommitted voters into BHO delegates to break the “tie” of 16 delegates each. _________ believes the reported results were 16HRC/18BHO but should have been 16HRC/ 3BHO.

      Example:

      At 7:05pm at the Precinct Convention, all of the voting for the primary was complete and all of the caucus goers were seated. ________ reported that the Obama chair waited an hour and said “we did not expect this many people so we will have to move” when no move was necessary. The chair said “just sign your name and address and then you can leave.” When asked “what about our presidential preference?” the Obama chair replied “we don’t have time for that…just write your name and address.”

      Example:

      At the Precinct Convention, Obama supporters told 70-100 Hillary supporters to leave and the majority of them left, including a number of elderly people. Obama supporters took over the packet and the convention. These people are believed to have signed in and to have cast their presidential preference.

      That’s part of the unreported record; I selected incidents reported by voters, not party or campaign operatives.

      As mentioned above, there were two (small, independent) movies made. Here’s part one of “We Will Not Be Silenced:

      And part two:

      And part three:

      The second is “The Audacity of Democracy,” by Brad Mays and Corrente poster Basement Angel (Lorenda Starfelt). The Texas caucus fraud was not the theme of the film, but a segment about it was included.

      * * *

      There’s a good deal of the history of 2008 that’s been erased, this included. Since it would be irresponsible not to speculate: One might ask why the affidavits were never made public, and why the regular Clinton campaign made no issue of it? My own theory is that the Clintons felt they affidavits were more useful as blackmail, and that was one reason they were able to cut whatever deal they cut with Obama in Denver.

  14. YankeeFrank

    As my lovely and brilliant wife says, “Hilary Clinton has anti-charisma”. Charles Pierce noted something similar a few days back when he talked about Hilary’s anti-gun speech with Gabbie Giffords in Iowa: she had the room about halfway through, and then completely let all the air out of the balloon with her laundry list of “plans”, etc., leaving everyone feeling sad and lonely. Some may say this type of statement is misogynist, but then they also say any criticism of Obama is racist. I don’t have patience for either one. Hilary Clinton is an entitled, elitist snob with absolutely no common touch, who plans to continue the economic policies of her husband and Obama. I find it unsurprising that her campaign is faltering.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Hilary Clinton is an entitled, elitist snob with absolutely no common touch.’

      This is fundamental. Whatever his blemishes may be, her consort “Bill” is a masterful people person. Making connections with people is what he does, 24/7.

      By contrast, Hillary is a cold, calculating ideologue who sees people as chess pieces to be moved around the board to facilitate her goals.

      She has learned to act the part on TV of a fully-formed personality with empathy and humor. But folks sense that Hillary’s agenda is all about her.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I’ve had the chance to shake hands with Bill on two occasions and I can report that it was a full-body erotic experience (and I’m a straight man), he looked into the depths of my soul and connected on a level I thought was normally reserved for shamans and demi-gods. I didn’t know mere mortals were capable of that, the charisma bubble surrounding him as he walked away down the golf course was visible to the naked eye, rustling branches and flattening the grass like a helicopter was passing by.
        No wonder he was so toxic, who could resist? Too bad there was nothing but perfidy and greed for power at the core of his being.

      2. sierra7

        Do I (you) want to see Bill C. for the next 4 years “biting his lip” whenever he gets his salami caught in the wringer????
        HELL NO!

        1. hunkerdown

          The only possible upside of a Hillary Presidency is that the Clintons will come out as consensually non-monogamous and yet another idiotic Protestant relic will be deservedly cast into the dustbin of history. Well, that and dancing may only be 4 years away….

  15. Jim Simmons

    What if Elizabeth Warren endorsed Sanders after a strong win in NH? This endorsement would be give Sanders the national credibility he needs. Won’t happen? Warren would be screened out of any influence in a Clinton Administration in any case. She has nothing to lose.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      If Elizabeth Warren endorsed Sanders, I doubt there would BE a clinton administration. I suspect the wasserman-schultz reign of terror would be over as well.

      1. alexis soule

        Thanks, Yves, as always. If links are allowed, here’s one to an article by Glen Greenwald in the Intercept about Wasserman-Schultz’s primary opponent, Tim Canova– I’m trying to follow through on Bernie’s idea that we need to elect progressives everywhere. I’ve never spent anything like I’m spending on politics this year– mostly on Bernie, $5 here $15 there, but also on other candidates, and organizations which support them. I figure I can give 1% to defeat the 1/10th of a % — https://theintercept.com/2016/01/19/meet-debbie-wasserman-schultzs-first-ever-primary-challenger-tim-canova/

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      No, you don’t understand how the party apparatus works. It controls a lot of $, like research dollars, that is very useful to a Congresscritter. Not having it puts you at a real disadvantage. And I am just about sure that a Congresscritter can’t use fundraising $ for their regular budget.

      The Democratic party is playing nice with Warren despite her breaking china because she is a big fundraiser for the party. The Clintons go to extreme lengths to reward followers and punish opponents. For instance, they gave important posts to people who were utterly unqualified for the job up and down the line because they’d been loyal donors. The #2 at Commerce would say that openly, which did not mean he was being particularly candid. It meant it was known all over DC and he felt he had nothing to lose by saying it (and giving other generic example of people getting jobs they were not even remotely qualified to hold). So you can bet they’d punish Warren any way they could if she dared to declare for Bernie.

      Plus I have no doubt Warren is aware of the superdelegate issue and figures she can to more to force Hillary to the left by withholding her support, which allows the egotistical Clintons to fancy that they’ll get it from her any sooner than the later of when Hillary has the race locked up or after the Democratic convention.

      1. Steve H.

        This does show one Johnson County Hardin Township precinct for Sanders:
        iowademocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-IDP-Final-Precinct-Caucus-Results-PrecinctCandidateResults1.pdf

    1. RabidGandhi

      I made an exception to my NYT Op-Ed Avoidance Rule to read that article and I duly paid the painful price. Bruni mopes about HRC not being want he wants, but then as per usual manages to get more digs in at Sanders, who’s “not charismatic”, “unable to turn his oratory into remedy”, has “minimal name recognition outside of Vermont” yadda yadda.

      The only thing that made reading it worthwhile was schaudenfraude at the MSM panic.

      1. MikeNY

        I think Bruni is right about Bernie’s lack of name recognition heretofore, and about Bernie’s not being ‘charismatic’ in the usual political sense.

        But Bernie appears to say what he actually believes, which is to say, he tells the truth. And that exudes its own rare ‘charisma’.

        1. RabidGandhi

          This is exactly my beef with Bruni and the bubble-encrusted pundit class behind him: Sanders is running a campaign based on real economic issues crucially important to the everyday lives of most the population. But for Bruni and his colleagues, those are not the issues, so they do not get mentioned. Instead it’s charisma, “electibility” (in the beltway bubble definition), whether the candidates are “inspiring” in their rhetorical style…. anything but the actual issues.

          I agree with your original point that it was refreshing to see the NYT run an article that varied from its usual shilling for HRC, but (as Yves’ post notes) they are only doing so because they were forced into retreat by the SS Clinton smacking into icebergs in Iowa. And even when they do run a marginally critical article of her, it still manages to take low jabs at Sanders. Not impressed.

  16. Chris in Paris

    “The problems with Hillary’s branding are very much problems with Bill’s branding: that of having implemented pro-finance, pro-multinational policies that (with the help of the Internet tail wind) produced the economic equivalent of a sugar high and left the middle class with a case of diabetes.”

    Thanks for the great writing and analysis, Yves. This is why I come here every day.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Yes, that line is particularly good! like all of Yves’ analysis.

      Thank you Yves for the great stuff.

  17. Uahsenaa

    I’ll just throw this out there, since I have an unhealthy obsession with watching C-SPAN.

    They showed a number of live Republican stump speeches, including Rubio and Cruz, who both mentioned Sanders by name as a candidate they can beat. Clinton was mentioned as well, of course, but this is the first time I’ve seen him name dropped as a potential nominee in a stump speech.

    Clearly they think he’s a threat, and given how Rubio now has the establishment money behind him, the fact he went on at some length about how he can beat Sanders demonstrates a shift in the campaign where people have realized the “ignore him and he’ll go away strategy” is never going to work.

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    Mrs. clinton had better watch her step, in my opinion.

    She may “win” the democratic nomination based on “victories” like iowa and superdelegates. But she will need to depend on the endorsement Bernie promised at the beginning of this campaign for virtually HALF of the democratic voters, many of whom were shouting “liar” at her the other night when she appeared on television.

    MR. clinton is out this morning stressing how DIFFERENT hillary is from Bernie. Howard Dean is actually on tv this morning asking what policies she espouses that make her a hawk!!! Sanders may decide that keeping his promise of support is just a bridge too far, especially given repeated clintonian mischaracteriztions of his positions and proposals, and her scorched earth support of an untenable status quo.

    Unless I’m mistaken, in a general election every voter can write Sanders in, and she would be toast. That would be my plan.

    As an aside, I was unpleasantly surprised to see Randi Weingarten supporting hillary on behalf of the teachers. I can certainly understand why some don’t want their union dues used to support political candidates.

    1. cwaltz

      They might want to consider the fact that many of his supporters are independent. Just because Bernie would support her as the nominee doesn’t mean his supporters will. Most of us understand that Bernie did the pragmatic thing by running as a Democrat, that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten that they’re the party with the AT&T gift bags after a FISA vote thrown to AT&T.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Hopefully yes, most Sanders supporters are independents. But the Ds most powerful tool is yelling “Vote for us or Republican Apocalypse will come!” and at crunch time, most of Team Blue and plenty of others fall dutifully in line.

        A microcosm of this is the way leftist support has gravitated toward Sanders. Before going face to face with HRC, outlets like Jacobin and Counterpunch were mostly tepid toward Sanders due to his rightwing foreign policy record. Now that the choice is either Bernie or eight years of Republican Hillary Inc., many of those voices have died down (although not completely). One could easily envisage the same shift/compromise if the race comes down to say HRC vs Ted Cruz.

        The Overton window in action.

        1. nippersdad

          It is the numbers that shock, though. Roughly: Only a third of the electorate votes anymore. Forty three percent of that third are independents. Of the remainder, the split is fifty fifty between the D’s and R’s. Fourteen percent of the Democratic leaning Indies and Democrats have already vowed never to vote for Clinton under any circumstances. IOW, they are already losing the election.

          Given these numbers, the Democratic Party elites have decided on a political strategy of openly insulting the fifty percent of the Iowa caucus members who came out in the snow to vote for Sanders; most of whom were the very (admittedly undependable) millennial voting demographic that they will be depending upon to heave Hillary over the finish line “when her turn comes”.

          This just seems politically suicidal to me. Rather than enlarging the universe of potential voters, they seem dedicated to a policy of narrowing it. When the call comes to rally ’round, they may find that they have burned too many bridges for anyone who might care to reach them in time.

          1. flora

            Part of the neoliberal tactic in both parties is reducing voter turnout to keep outsiders – ie. non-neoliberal candidates – from winning seats. See Trump’s candidacy on the GOP side. Just my 2 cents.

          2. RUKidding

            This is the standard MO of the D elites. They hate, loathe, detest and despise the f*cking r*t*rded DFHs. I am quoting directly from Rahm Emanuel. Gibbs said we all needed to be drug tested because of our outrageously LIEbrul view points and demands.

            These NeoLibs do NOT want our votes. Of that, you can rest assured, so the automate reflex is to diss Sanders voters. No surprises there.

            The less voters, the better. Only NeoLibs need vote, as far as they’re concerned. Figure it out. If the R Team wins, then the D elites can continue to blame the DFHs, as usual, and they’ll work hand in glove with the PTB to make sure they get their payola.

          3. Titus Pullo

            The thing about Sanders turnout was that is was in terms of popular vote most likely had the majority. The delegates are apportioned to give extra weight to rural areas. It was fascinating that none of the media tried to even explain or reverse engineer the system.

            To me, the lack of some kind of actual popular vote on the Democratic was glaring. The whole fixing of the game. But my political attention is abnormal, so . . .

        2. James Levy

          I will not vote for Hilary but that does not mean that I believe that the Republicans holding White House, Congress, and Supreme Court isn’t an apocalypse. It will be catastrophic. These people are running a slash and burn, pump and dump operation with not only the USA, but the planet. The depraved indifference of a Cruz or a Trump or a Scalia is mind-numbing. Clinton will only hide, delay, mitigate, or conspire in the depravity–she will do nothing to avert or reverse it. Which is why she will not get my vote. But the Dems are correct–Republicans running this country at this juncture is a recipe for disaster.

          1. sierra7

            When a bodily “pustule” needs to be eliminated it is best to bring it “….to a head” sooner than later.
            That’s what another Republican administration will do..along with collusion from the ugly Neoliberals……bring to a head the pustule type politics practiced in this country for too many decades.
            Bring it to a head; lance it; heal it.
            Nobody said it would be easy.

    2. Uahsenaa

      I have to agree with cwaltz. Even if Sanders were to do the honorable thing and endorse Clinton after a loss, the toxic nature of the campaign itself may have already been enough to turn a large number of his voters off.

      1. alexis soule

        I’m an active volunteer in the Sanders campaign, on a local level. In my small town, north of Boston, the day Sanders announced, I sent him $10. Then decided to make it monthly. I had one of the 3500 house parties, last July 29th, with 4 people — we are now about 30, and 12-16 of us make it to meetings every two weeks to work together on the campaign, and we usually have several campaign activities in between meetings– AND most of us are over 60, though we range from 17-87).

        We are continuously reminded that Sanders does not want a negative campaign, and we try to stick with it, as difficult as that is, sometimes. Most of us Will vote for HRC if she gets the nomination, because we know that there are 4 supreme court nominations coming up and conservative, theocratic Republican nominees would be a disaster…. and that Bernie’s campaign has already won by forcing HRC far to the left– she has adopted plank after plank from his house– however, I have not heard whether she will endorse him if Sanders is nominated.

        BUT I, and we, will continue to work very hard for Bernie because he is the one we want, because he is saying what needs to be said, and his record indicates that he will continue to work for these humane policies. He has / we have already come so far– that it makes us hopeful that we will continue, even with the enmity of the Democratic establishment. Some of us are also working with other organizations to support specifically progressive Democrats, and get the obscene amount of money out of the system… Represent.us and the AACA http://anticorruptionact.org

        1. jgordon

          The problem with supporting Hillary because her campaign was forced to the left is that she is a known liar, and has even herself acknowledged that fact. You simply can not believe anything she says.

          Trump may be crazy, but at least you know what your getting with him. Hillary is the kind of slimy snake who’ll change her positions on a dime for some perceived momentary advantage. And that’s much worse that Trump. I would support Trump over Hillary if it comes down to it.

  19. Sammy Maudlin

    Great post, Yves.

    Despite all of the rainbows and sunshine coming from the public face of the Clinton camp and their allies in the MSM the day after the election, all I kept thinking was: they know.

    That comfortable win that Clinton was supposed to get? A trained dachshund could have gotten 30% of the delegates with the massive DNC/MSM/celebrity culture thumb that was on the scale. Inside the campaign (and in the offices of her squillionaire backers) they know that she should have gotten that comfortable victory. That is, if she were at all digestible to anyone who isn’t blinded by identity politics or the notion that Sanders can’t beat a Republican that they are willing to look past her obvious flaws as a candidate, and ultimately as a leader.

    That’s why they were shocked. The refs were paid, the other team’s bus got a flat tire, and she was staked to a 30 point lead at the opening buzzer, but she couldn’t cover the spread. The Big Dog can spread blame around all he wants but it comes down to it, she’s got some serious problems as a candidate.

  20. RUKidding

    I was never ever a fan of the Clintons. I held my nose and voted for Bill the first time, just as I did with Obama. And with both Bill and the Barackstar I refused to vote for either the 2d time.

    Hillary, if anything, is worse for the commoners than her husband. Bill has *become* a completely entitled sh*thead since leaving the WH, but I do think (maybe I’m only fooling myself) that he had a tiny shred of compassion for the rubes way back when. Hillary? Never!

    Hillary is a NeoLiberals dream combined with being a super Hawkish NeoCon. I cannot fathom why so many are so enamored with her. Yes, a total grifter, and like all of these parasitic grifters these days, they never ever ever have enough money. They just want more and more and more and more.

    I visit a variety of blogs, many of them left leaning, and it continues to astonish me how some citizens, who clearly consider themselves lefty/progressive/whatever, are so willing to completely bury their heads in the sand about who and what, exactly, HRC is. I get the same lectures I’ve gotten vis Obama: that change can only happen incrementally, that it’s childish to think that some truly progressive politician (which Sanders really isn’t all that… his progressivism is marginal but looks huge in this upside down world we live in) can actually get anything done because of the way things work. And similar nonsense, and often I’m told that I need to stop expecting sparkle ponies that sh*t rainbows.

    Sheesh.

    And that’s not getting to the fact that Clinton is seriously flawed, and there’s a distinct possibility that the R-Team can truly SINK her big time with all the sh*t maneuvers she and Bill have pulled. Benghazi is merely idiotic red meat tossed to morons on the right who are easily distracted by sheer barking bullsh*t. The Clintons stink, and that stench could really be put to good use by the Republicans. That so many Clintonistas outright REFUSE to countenance this is a serious serious failing on their part and could easily result in one of those fascistic Talabangelicals winning the POTUS race… with the House and Senate firmly in control by the Rs.

    Not a good thing to contemplate imo.

    I hope Sanders is up to the task is all I can say.

    1. Andy

      A certain penchant for Balloon Vendors comes to mind reading your statement.
      I too am sick of the “We have to have a candidate that can win the general election” meme.
      They have one, and he needs their support.
      If all true Progressive/Dems would take a look at 60 years of transgression they should be jumping for joy at an actual Democratic nominee.

      1. RUKidding

        It’s not just balloon vendors, though, it’s a lot of others, as well. HRC definitely has her fan-dom, most of whom appear to me to be living in Fan-Fic land.

        But bring up reality at your peril.

        At least Trump’s fans mostly say straight out: I don’t care who he is, what he stands for, or what he can accomplish. I just like that he’s a big old bully. So there!

        Somewhat more grounded in reality. Not a Trump fan, don’t get me wrong. Just saying…

    2. Roquentin

      Benghazi is merely idiotic red meat tossed to morons on the right who are easily distracted by sheer barking bullsh*t. The Clintons stink, and that stench could really be put to good use by the Republicans.

      This was both very true and straight up hilarious.

  21. NotTimothyGeithner

    I seem to recall a few articles about Democratic leadership assuring large donors that 2014 was just a had cycle and that Hillary would save them in 2016. If this is true, the 2014 donors, nothing brings out donors like the October before November every four years, want better bang for their buck. Seeing Hillary flounder might mean they believe they need to step in.

    I’ve tried a few different sets of searches, and I can’t find what I remember.

  22. Mogden

    Hillary is a terrible candidate who grows more tiresome the more one is exposed to her. Sanders is an economic ignoramus. Good times ahead!

    1. Lord Koos

      When it comes to the economy, I don’t see how Sanders could be any worse than the neo-cons and neo-liberals who’ve been running the show for the last 35 years.

    2. Colonel Boggs

      “Sanders is an economic ignoramous.”

      Spoken like someone trained (indoctrinated?) in a U.S college economics department, nearly all of which are wedded to neoliberal economic doctrines.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Absolutely there is more to her! She’s full bore for the Industrial Military Complex as well and there is nothing in education, no help for the needy, not a red cent for infrastructure that will ever get in the way of military spending if she becomes chief CEO and death maestro. She Love, Love, LOVES presidential authority to kill people remotely with no judicial review and never heard of a bill she wasn’t for to increase spying on US citizens (among others). She will cut up Social Security and other remaining vestiges of the social safety net faster than a chef can slice and dice tomatoes. And I haven’t even touched on what she can do for political and international sleaze, but a spoiler alert is that she would make the mess we have created in Ukraine look like a Sunday picnic by comparison.

      So of course there is more to her than just corporate sleaze. When it comes to corruption of just about any conceivable kind, she is quite possibly the most well rounded candidate running.

  23. optimader

    And that resume, despite having lots of glitzy titles on it, has either no or negative accomplishment associated with these roles. Plus it’s hard to buy the notion that she will “keep standing up” for anyone other than her monied backers. And she’s not likeable. She projects as hard and cold. .

    My original observation about HRC …

    She presents as a CV of job titles, not accomplishments. At least in the private sector in my experience, those are the resumes filed “circularly”. One of her fatal bubblicious flaws is that she’s deluded into thinking she’s smarter than she is because she has persisted like a tick long past her freshness date.

    1. Vatch

      She presents as a CV of job titles, not accomplishments.

      Yes! What did she do in the Senate? She voted for the 2001 version of the nasty bankruptcy “reform” law, which she likely would have also voted for in 2005 (when it finally became law), except hubby Bill was having surgery for a collapsed lung. She voted for the Patriot Act, the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, the Iraq war resolution, and the reauthorization of the Patriot Act in 2005. With the exception of a small number of social issues, he is a right wing Republican’s dream candidate.

      Sanders’s votes were the exact opposite of Hillary Clinton’s votes on each of these bills (or their counterparts in the House, since he was a Representative before he became a Senator).

      1. Vatch

        he is a right wing Republican’s dream candidate

        Oops. I meant to say

        she is a right wing Republican’s dream candidate

        Freudian slip or just a typo?

  24. flora

    Great post! Hillary seems to believe her political machine is invincible, so why worry about what voters think. As far as the MSM: they will not talk about Sanders’ issues. Must. Not. Question. Status. Quo.
    Thanks for this post.

  25. Christopher Fay

    Carly Fiorina has a heck of a resume. Have you taken the time to look at the other woman war monger candidate?

    1. YankeeFrank

      Good lord she’s awful. Did you hear about how Fiorina shanghaied a bunch of very young kids on a field trip for her televised anti-abortion speech? Many of the parents were not amused when they found out. And she is still crowing about Planned Parenthood selling baby brains even though the Texas grand jury exonerated PP and instead indicted the right wing smear merchants that manufactured this faux scandal in the first place. Oops.

  26. Jerry Denim

    “This is nonsense. The problems with Hillary’s branding are very much problems with Bill’s branding: that of having implemented pro-finance, pro-multinational policies that (with the help of the Internet tail wind) produced the economic equivalent of a sugar high and left the middle class with a case of diabetes. ”

    +++1000!!!

    Ha! Definitely the case for readers of your blog and other informed citizens Yves, but just how many Americans are wise to this reality? Almost everyone I meet from the 95 income percentile down seem to agree the economy sucks, but due to a massive misinformation campaign pushed by the most sophisticated propaganda machine the world has ever seen, most Americans have a very foggy grasp of why, or worse yet, wrong-headed Republican conspiracy theories that are at odds with hard data and history. Eight years after the housing bubble and stock market crash that led to a no-strings tax payer bail out of Wall Street there’s still enough Americans that believe in “free market economics” as a policy prescription for Ted Cruz to deem it ‘stump-worthy’ in his Iowa victory speech. No doubt Americans are wising up, but are enough of them wise for Sanders to win with his message this year? I have hope but I have doubt as well.

    Regarding Clinton’s alledged edge among African American voters, it’s way overhyped as an issue. She may have a slight edge based on name recognition and 90’s nostalgia but it’s not like she is going to mobilize a massive black voter turnout in the primaries or the general. Clinton was trounced by Obama in the 2008 South Carolina primary by a 2:1 margin, but let’s put that aside because of the special dynamic of that race. There’s five states in the Union that are more than one-quarter black: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. All five states are located in the deep south, all five states have tiny populations with minuscule delegate counts in the single digits, except Georgia with its whopping 16 delegates. All five of these states are solidly and reliably red states that voted for a white, Republican loser instead of the massively popular black Presidential candidate in 2008 and 2012. Does anyone believe Hillary is going to mobilize more black voters than the popular, charismatic, historical black candidate was able to in the deep south? I don’t. Her edge among black voters may be real but it is slight, luke-warm and fading fast. It’s abundantly clear HRC isn’t going to be flipping any red states in the deep south, so my question to the Hillary supporters regarding her edge among black southerners is: “So what?” If it even exists it’s a non-issue for the real election. HRC as a national candidate is even more weak and vulnerable than she is as a Democratic primary candidate.

    1. Dr. Roberts

      I wonder if black voters will get tired of people like Bill O’Reilley condescendingly assuring everyone they will vote for Clinton. I just think there’s a gap in recognition, and once that’s closed by vigorous campaigning Clinton’s lead among Black voters will all but disappear, especially if Bernie comes into South Carolina with some momentum.

      1. Jerry Denim

        “I wonder if black voters will get tired of people like Bill O’Reilley condescendingly assuring everyone they will vote for Clinton.”

        I’m sure they would if they ever watched Fox News. I can’t imagine a more painful show to watch as a black person. Nonstop commentary from ignorant talking heads dripping with racism and bigotry. Then almost without fail, the show will trot out one self-loathing Republican black guy willing to parrot the right applause lines for a pay check so the conscience of the white racist audience members can be absolved of their secret worry that they might indeed be true racist assholes who enjoy watching hours of nonstop racist commentary. I can’t stand it. I can only imagine how painful it must be for a black person who has to deal with possible friends and co-workers that believe O’Reilley is socially acceptable entertainment.

    2. RUKidding

      I really don’t know and haven’t researched it, so: take with a pallet of salt.

      I keep reading/hearing how Sanders is somehow reviled by AAs and other minorities, whilst HRC is the darling of minorities who are gleefully tossing rose petals at her feet… or something.

      I realize that there were true issues with AAs for Sanders early on, where he was confronted at a rally by BLM, I think. There may still be some issues for Sanders with Hispanics and AAs, of which I’m unaware.

      However, I suspect (but cannot prove) that this allegedly giant schism between Sanders and minorities is something trumped up (take that any way you want) by Clintonistas, who seem to think that Hillz is magnificently riding on the coattails of Bill, the first “Black” Potus. I’m not so sure that Hillz is viewed as all that and a bag of chips by minority voters. And I’m equally not so sure that minority voters dislike Sanders as much as is touted.

      Time will tell, of course, but seems like sour grapes to me.

  27. Howard

    Wonderful post Yves!

    For the life of me I can’t understand why HRC did not spend the years after her Secretary of State gig to do some real charity work a la Jimmy Carter. How much money does one need?

    Will there be a debate this Thursday?

  28. TedWa

    Great article and great comments. The MSM is a monopoly that needs to be broken up – Bernie Sanders. I can get seriously get behind that ! Bernie Sanders, trustbuster in the famous republican Teddy Roosevelt vein.

    Why don’t people seem to get that because Bernie is running without Wall St money that if he wins he’ll only be beholden to the American people??? Do they really want another Wall St candidate??? It’s baffling to me how many still would vote against their own best interests. Maybe things aren’t bad enough for them yet? It’s still early, we’ll see. E. Warren needs to step up…

  29. Kremlinology

    The last point is all that matters. Clinton’s control of the party nomenklatura will purge Sanders long before the convention. But take heart. The threshold for reform in the USA is what happened to the USSR, and what happened there had nothing whatever to do with elections. The most Sanders can do is point the way to eventual reconstruction based on human rights and rule of law.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Perhaps. I do think think the Democrats had any inkling of how bad the real economy is and despised they are. The Democrats made compromises with how Obama dismissed liberal activists under the expectation that young Hispanics would bail them out. 84% of women under 30 voting for Sanders in any state is a sign that there strategy might be a bit of a problem. In 2014, the only issue Democrats ran on was a theoretical pledge to support the right to choose to get young women to vote.

      I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if Hillary lost people if Sanders has a strong showing in South Carolina or even crushes her in New Hampshire. It should be clear by now Hillary won’t be a popular President. That should worry the Democrats.

  30. Paul Hodgson

    After tipping a bit into your tip jar, I can only concur with those who say “Brilliant writing and analysis Yves”. Many thanks.

  31. Roquentin

    This is the best essay I’ve read on the results of the Iowa Caucus, bar none. I just thought I’d chime in and say that.

      1. hunkerdown

        “Nobody said you had to buy one,” as they say in upscale boutiques where fine Presidents are sold.

  32. grayslady

    Yves: Any idea why Hillary’s campaign team is refusing to participate in a debate if the debate location is in New York?

    1. Terez

      My guess is that 1) Bernie suggested Brooklyn, which is his home turf (far-removed though it may be); and 2) Hillary doesn’t need the exposure in NY. Bernie does. She’s only debating where it benefits her, and the DNC will back her up on that.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Wellie, the Clinton office is in Brooklyn and full of hipsters.

        However, the issue may be even more basic. I think Hillary wanted only the NH debate. She’s so far behind Sanders there she has more to gain than lose, much more. He’s willing to concede that only if he gets her in front of audiences where he has something to gain. NYC is probably a twofer, in terms of it supposedly being her home turf (although she way overestimates how well liked she is here) and a huge media center (so lots of reporters would attend).

  33. alex morfesis

    Breakfast at the metropolitan club…senator sanders needs to quietly have a very early morning mammonite prayer breakfast with the klownz that be in the next two weeks and then remove the parties to a meeting room for a 15 minute chat…

    “I can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. I will deliver 3 percent unemployment, and a growing, stable and strong US economy. I dont give a hoot about other countries and lending them american jobs in the name of national security.

    If you are willing and able to make that happen today…without smoke and mirrors tax arbitrage nonsense…without waiting for the right moment…no bean counting expenses and renegotiation banter…now…today…then you tell me what you need to make that happen and it will get done.

    But those of you too lost in your golf game to care because your too happy or IBGYBG thinking…well we are probably not gonna get along too well…

    Last I checked there are no statues of jack welsh at mt olympus and no temples near delphi praising the thinking of that immortal.

    You have run out of 3rd world slave wage countries as china is wage inflationed out and the panamax plus vessels you keep funding not only cant function in your “other options”, none of the existing major ports in asia have the room to grow into a feeder depot from smaller ships.

    So the cut and burn theology of captain jack is over…like it or not…

    Most americans dont care how much money you make or how many lives and wives you can afford. I want you to make more money then you have ever made in your lives…as long as you are taking care of Americans First…

    Period end of story.

    Those of you willing to care more about keeping Americans happy and successful than keeping the chinese red army in power can meet with me again here in three weeks with concrete proposals no matter how much you might think I will disagree.

    Those of you who cant be bothered should consider residency in panama.

    I will be your best friend or your worst nightmare…you get to decide…unlimited prosperity for Americans means unlimited profits for you…if you cant be bothered…start packing your bags…

    See you in three weeks.”

  34. Jeff W

    Following 30 years of neoliberal policies and increasing inequality, there’s a candidate who promises “Hope and Change” in 2008. Whether people are fooled or not, that candidate proceeds on the same domestic and foreign policy path as his predecessors. With a bit of a delay, it begins to dawn on people—regular Americans who before never would have this particular thought—that the problem is not one president or another, or one party or another—the problem is the system: the oligarchy, the two-party duopoly, money in politics, media concentration, “the 1%,” working as a hegemonic whole. Occupy occurs in 2011—over 150 encampments spring up spontaneously around the US, again this in a country where people are usually disengaged and sedated watching Dancing with the Stars—and is almost as quickly crushed. The 2012 election promises nothing more than the status quo.

    So, in 2016 campaign, while the pundits and insiders are making the same predictions, based on the same tired (and wrong) assumptions, the voters are looking for and doing something different. On the Democratic side, one candidate, who herself embodies much of the critique regarding “money in politics,” supported by her surrogates, the pundits and the insiders, is telling people that what they want is not realistic, can’t be done, isn’t possible; the other candidate, who, throughout his career, has assiduously avoided taking financial contributions from those other than the voters themselves, tells people that what they want is possible (and other countries have done such things) and should be done—at least he’ll make an attempt (with people mobilized behind him) to get them done. And Hillary Clinton and her political advisers are surprised that Bernie Sanders did as well as he did?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think the Washington establishment especially on the democratic side has bought the propaganda around the “Obama economic miracle.” If you tell a lie love getting enough, it becomes true. The idea a crank like Bernie railing again post the current economic policies would play well is incomprehensible.

      For Team Blue, universal health care/single payer is a treat, not a necessity in today’s economy.

      1. Lord Koos

        I think that some of the lines being drawn between Clinton and Sanders may be as much about income as much as about the age of the voter… older Baby Boomers are better off generally than younger Millenials. Those Democrats and “liberals” that have made money in the last 10 years, or who remain comfortable financially are more likely to support Hillary, while those who are hurting economincally are probably not so keen on more of the status quo.

  35. Oregoncharles

    ” a far left senator from a small New England state ”

    And there’s a big tipoff. Sanders is a long way from “far left.” He’s significantly to the right of the Green Party, though you have to look, and we’re moderates by most standards. He isn’t calling for real revolution, he’s running for a legacy party, and he isn’t even calling for government ownership of the means of production.

    In reality, he’s an updated Great Society Democrat (that was LBJ). Which makes it very revealing that the Dem apparatchiks are so shocked, and that ANY reporter would call him “far left.”

  36. kayjay

    Hillary Clinton, despite being an unsavory, crooked, elitist jerk, my question is: who would you vote for in November, 2016? Trump/Rubio/Cruz or Hillary Clinton. Abstaining is a choice. I shudder to think of voting in a Republican. Truly, I am afraid. & afraid for this form of government which has become so detached from both the people and reality

  37. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you, Yves, for an excellent analysis of the state of play on the Dem side. Particularly appreciated your inclusion of Richard Kline’s observations back in 2012, which remain timely. I also agree with your observation regarding Sanders’ compelling message.

    As others here have said, we have been burned in the past by the successful marketing of charismatic individuals running on “Hope & Change”, only to subsequently experience their and their handlers’ bait-and-switch tactics and more of the same. I think it is unlikely that at age 74, Sanders will be corrupted or intimidated. I support Sanders progressive POLICIES and am pleased to see his candidacy gaining traction in the face of a corporate media blitz and opposition from the party leadership.

  38. Pat

    First off, besides apparently being a misogynist woman for finding Hillary Clinton to be corrupt, lying, elitist slime I also apparently don’t understand how hard it is to be a woman in this society especially a powerful one. I don’t understand how she has to swing her imaginary dick. Well as a woman who has not been powerful her entire life, that may be true. But I also have had a long time of walking among the bull crap to begin to understand when someone, and/or their supporters, keep claiming that one of the world’s most powerful women doesn’t have ‘options’ because of her gender I’m walking in a blizzard of manure.

    I’m beyond tired of people who cannot begin to explain to me how a woman who has done the expedient thing to fuel her ambitions most of the time in the 24 or so years she has been in the public eye is going to hold the Republicans to task and get more things done in her administration with a Congress that despises her. One that has a rabid constituency that despise her more than they do and want them investigating everything she does waiting for the day when it sticks and a Clinton goes to prison. Because she knows how things work better than a guy with more administrative and elective experience than she has? One with better judgment and more character who has actually been right about things more than she has? The reason I’m tired of their lack of explanation for this is that I’m being told I’m the one who believes in sparkle ponies and unicorns for supporting a guy who has actually recognized that Americans are fed the hell up with a government that is no longer interested in Americans having real jobs with real incomes and real futures because that cuts into the profits of about three hundred people. One that understands that Americans do not want to have health care that costs a whole lot more and provides worse outcomes than Cuba. One that thinks that powerful people who defraud the public should go to jail NOT be given interest free loans which they can use to play the stock market. Meanwhile they are supporting a woman who has been running for President for over 15 years and in the process has alienated as many people as she has supporters, one who currently has three Congressional committees investigating her, and doesn’t understand that people who have access to two million dollar book deals are not broke in the traditional sense of the word. And they think I’m not pragmatic and realistic.

    Oh, wait it is only because I hate women. Sorry. I forget that having been one for almost six decades and a far stronger supporter of equal rights, reproductive rights and education for women then the woman they want me to vote for.

    1. Kfish

      Agreed. Apparently ‘feminism’ means that Wall Street’s latest candidate has a vagina. Should women have voted for Margaret Thatcher for the same reason?

      1. Pat

        From something I’ve read earlier today – the answer is yes. I don’t get it, but apparently any woman regardless, although they do admire Clinton.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          For a number of low info voters, it’s exciting going Hillary is a woman, but the whole woman excuse is a deflection. Hillary is an obvious clown, and there are much better women who don’t receive the rabid support Hillary does.

          The real issue is Bill and Hill are such obvious grifters no one wants to admit they were scammed. The women excuse is so outrageous it more or less ends any kind of discussion about Hillary and Clinton supporters can ignore how they were scammed.

          This is why Hillary supporters become hostile when confronted with Hillary’s record. Deep down, they know the record, but the should have acted earlier. The Obots are no different.

  39. oho

    “Or worse, was this entitlement syndrome preventing key staffers from presenting an accurate picture, meaning warnings?”

    W.A.G./hypothesis, you don’t become a member of Clinton’s inner circle by pro-offering a dissenting opinion or by being unconventional.

  40. KFritz

    The Iowa results raise some interesting future scenarios worth putting on the back burner.

    Now that there’s a faint glimmer of hope for a Sanders nomination, in the event, the Republicans will brandish the “Socialist” label viscerally to prey on the prejudices and fears of the lumpenelectorate (not to mention a Jewish Socialist). It would certainly be reminiscent of the anti-Upton Sinclair campaign crafted by Irving Thalberg for the 1936 California gubernatorial election. Someone among the Dems ought to be thinking about a response yesterday.

    There’s now a decent possibility of the Republicans fielding a Two-Hispanic ticket (including one actual human being). The elephants in the room could exploit identity politics to siphon off otherwise predictably Democratic votes.

  41. mattie

    Reading these comments is like watching BBC’s adaptation of Graves’ ” I Claudius”, the 21st century sequal.

    Please print out a hard copy for burial in some undisclosed location.

  42. Pat

    As nasty as I think this is going to get, hell is already getting, that is nothing to what will come if Sanders somehow gets the nomination that should be his by virtue of being the only candidate who wants to actually represent the Democratic voter base. One thing his supporters need to get, and I think get quickly, is that Sanders is not just threatening the Clintons and the bankers, he is threatening the gravy train for almost every elected Democrat, their staffs, and every person who whose ‘job’ is supposedly getting Democrats elected.

    Yes it is disappointing that Sanders has no endorsements, it is especially disappointing that long term relatively progressive Dems have toed the line and endorsed Clinton. Now Yves explains this in the comments when talking about Warren. But there is a whole bunch of our current Democratic Party who aren’t just beholden to the Clintons, they are acolytes. They want the same pay out. And Sanders would endanger all of that.

    I really do believe that they would rather lose the Presidency than have a President that is not with the agenda. We are supposed to know our enemy, unfortunately it is not just the oligarchs, the Clintons, and the Republicans. For all the sturm and drang about whether Sanders supporters will support Clinton and the man himself, there is every reason to have doubts about the support Sanders might receive if he gets the nomination. There are differences between the Lieberman/Lamont situation, but that doesn’t mean that people should forget what the support of the party looked like after Lamont had the audacity to win. And remember Lamont wasn’t really threatening anything but their egos.

    When Sanders says this is a long fight, he is not wrong. Those of us desperate for a say in our governance need to find ways to make it clear that not only do we not accept the ‘party line’, we won’t stand for it remaining the party line. And that if we succeed despite the Clinton machine, machinations, and the media, we will demand and accept nothing but support. And that we will have long memories.

    Might I suggest that Sanders supporters take a long look at https://timcanova.com and decide if they also like him and can support him. Not just because we need more people who understand, but also because primarying out the head of the DNC and top Clinton supporter is a strategic move that sends a very large message beyond that Wasserman Schultz is just not good enough. It makes it clear that down ticket is important to the people who want the Democratic Party to represent people not just super pac donors and they would rather you go be a lobbyist if you can’t do that.

      1. Big River Bandido

        I generally hate teevee and teevee ads, but Lloyd Blankfein’s interview could be made of great help to Sanders. Just because banksters don’t endorse Clinton doesn’t mean they can’t harm her; Blankfein just gave Sanders perfect fodder for a brutal campaign ad, which is even more valuable.

  43. MichaelC

    As ever, Yves analysis is spot on and prescient. Kudos.

    One of Hillary’s Achille’s heels (she has more than two ,methinks) is her lock on the super delegates, so I’m thrilled that Yves is bringing the attention it deserves so early in the game.

    Hillary’s entire campaign is predicated on that lock. It matters not what the voters ( and that’s us,fellow citizens) want. The D electors (super delegates) are already on board, so Hillary (and the DNC and the Third wayers and the Rubinistas) haven’t lost a moments sleep. Till Iowa.

    She can confidently (and perhaps legitimatley) claim she won Iowa because she already had 8 Iowa superdelegates in her pocket.

    The fact that she’s already bought 16% of the convention delegates, before any actual plebian votes have been counted (http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curtis-houck/2016/02/02/cbs-touts-hillarys-big-lead-super-delegates-still-made-history) should play right into Bernie’s ‘She’s bought and paid for” strategy.

    From where I’m sitting, Bernie simply needs to broadcast to his base that this game is cynicaly rigged, if they stay home. Iowa proved that the rigged game can be beat. Those naive voters believed they had a voice. And they proved that they actually do! Imagine that!

    This is going to be a close race for the D’s. Bernie is clearly the most representative voice of the real Democratic citizenry of this country. Hillary is the cleverest, most organized usurper of that bloc..

    At the next debate it would be lovely to see Bernie ask Hillary, ‘Why should we continue this primary/caucus charade if you’ve already bought such an influential bloc of the deciders for the D nomination? Has the D party already concluded that the American citizens votes are irrelevant?’

    Voters won’t stay home after that question. I like to hope.

  44. Art project

    Idk. I want to see a woman president in my lifetime…. the problem is I want a good one, NOT one who will leave our patriarchal and privileged systems completely unchallenged other than being potus in a skirt.

  45. Quantum Future

    That Hillary Clinton can even run for President shows how much our Republic has been destroyed. The country is bankrupt and is a total caste system now. Princeton has stated clearly it is an Oligarchy. Whoever is President will have to raise taxes while cutting benefits, whatever carrots offered will be rotten.

    But perhaps we can at least cut the crap on the PNAC globalization shit which just reverted the world into a feudal emlire run by the BIS and CFR. Some nationalism would be good right now as long as the xenophobia can be minimized.

  46. Big River Bandido

    An outstanding analysis and a fun takedown on a broken former journalistic enterprise.

    Although I’m not sure whether the warnings from the biggest losing consultant in Democratic history (Bob Shrum) should make me worried or laugh.

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