Despite the media spin, after his meeting a few days ago with President Obama, Bernie Sanders clearly stated that he is in this race through to the convention. The video is barely 5 minutes long. See it if you have not seen it yet.
Sanders’ insistence that he will continue irritates the hell out of the Clinton contingent.
Sanders is talking democracy, and the Clinton crowd calls it sexist, egomania, insanity…
It is democracy. And even Pres. Obama, through his press secretary, said that Sanders has “earned the right” to make his own decision on whether or not to stay in.
So why is this a problem for the Clinton wing of the Democratic party?
Why, if Mrs. Clinton is the “official” Democratic nominee, does she even need Sanders to drop out?
What difference could his staying or going possibly make? This begs examination.
Simply put, If Clinton has the required number of delegates, as she claims she has, then what’s the fuss? All that will happen is that the convention will hold ONE public round of voting and she will be the nominee.
Cue the deluge of Red, White, and Blue balloons!
🎵 🎵 Happy Days Are Here Again! 🎵 🎵
Blow those horns! Shout! Scream! Cop a feel from the delegate nearest you!
But if this is what will happen, because Clinton has it locked up (right?)… why must Sanders drop out? Isn’t it worth it to the furious “Withers” to humiliate Sanders by making the grumpy sexist egomaniac sit through the whole Megillah, festooned with Clinton’s victory balloons? Does he not have this coming?
Let’s try to find out what is really back of this bizarre demand that a person who has lost… should quit. To that end, I will entertain an exercise in ratiocination.
What is it that is looming in the near future that Sanders will be involved with but that worries Clinton?
Certainly not the DC primary on June 14th. Piffle!
Is it the final California count, which is inching to a close?
These are minor things.
It simply has to have something to do with… the convention.
Something about the convention isn’t quite going “With Her”… What is it?
Let’s Examine the options.
THE CONVENTION PLAYS OUT
Let us say that – as was the case with candidates in the past – Mrs. Clinton, thoroughly convinced that she will be the next president, views the televised convention as the first big, splashy public moment in that presidency – rather than the simple insider nominating process it actually is.
In this case, the convention would assume a larger place in her mind than such a routine process actually holds. It will become crucial as part of a larger plan.
Clinton, clearly, sees an urgency in stage-managing the convention to salve her own needs, not the needs of the party and not the needs of the system.
A well-oiled coronation will provide Clinton with a Niagara of adoring video clips and sound bites for the coming general election, which in her mind she also has locked up, just like she locked up the nomination. But slick advertising will always be needed – and what is better than images of a cheering, weeping-for-joy throng at the convention?
So what, as things stand now, will the Democratic convention look like?
The delegates from the 50 states and the several territories will place names into nomination and then pledged delegates will be given alphabetically, state by state, territory by territory. You know the drill:
Each state/territory will have its moment in the sun, on national television:
“The great state of Wyoming, gateway to… Wyoming. Home of… Wyominganians… The state that Milt Kamen said does not really exist, DOES exist and casts its delegates – CLINTON 43 (cheers) SANDERS 55, (sustained cheers)!”
Oops. That doesn’t look so good on TV for Clinton, does it.
And on it will go. State by state, territory by territory.
A DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS
SANDERS! SANDERS! SANDERS! SANDERS! will ring out time and again, from each delegation because the democrats didn’t have a “winner take all” primary system (which you can bet the farm they WILL have by 2020).
At three minutes for each geographic location and its delegates, plus interstitial applause and spontaneous cheering, this first round of voting should take no less than three hours. On TV.
SANDERS! SANDERS! SANDERS! SANDERS! will be repeated over and over, as will the spontaneous peals of BERNIE! from the crowd.
For Hillary, who has already claimed the nomination and treats it as a fait accompli, this democratic process will not be just poor optics, it will be the death by a thousand cuts – even if she wins. But she won’t win because:
One by one, the states and territories will mete out delegates and after all that time – Clinton will have gathered more than enough pledged delegates to be declared, under the DNC rules, a “WEAK FRONT-RUNNER.”
Not the nominee. But a “WEAK FRONT-RUNNER.”
Yes, after the first ballot, Hillary Clinton will go down in the history books as the first American woman to ever be declared, by a “Major” Party… a WEAK FRONT-RUNNER.
More than three hours of this on international television, beamed around the world and even up to the International Space Station, and at the end of the voting Hillary Clinton, “presumptive” nominee will not have won.
No Balloons… and Happy Days Are not quite here yet.
At this point, Clinton’s claim to have the nomination all sewn up will evanesce, as it is revealed to be premature, at best – and arrogant for sure, since Hillary Clinton arrogated the convention’s responsibility by assuming the mantle of nominee, as though it were a $12,500 Armani coat.
And then following that first round of votes… but after an interminable break for talking heads all over the TV spectrum to say over and over what lousy optics this is for Clinton and how un-leaderly it seems – another round of votes will ensue.
Only, not right away.
More time. A meal break, during which Clinton will avoid the media – something at which she excels considering that as I write this in June of 2016 she has not had an open press conference since December 4, 2015. She will chew on a burger, and chew out her staff in one of her notorious fits of anger. You know what it is like if you saw Clinton bite the head off a Greenpeace representative who asked her a simple question.
For at this stage of the process, after the first vote and with no nominee selected, the Super Delegates we have heard so much about will vote. This is their moment. This is what Super Delegates were created for: To reevaluate the qualities that led the front-runner to be such a weak front-runner that the nomination is could not be given out on the first ballot.
These Super Delegates, there to protect the party from a weak candidate who only manages to scrape together a small majority, have the power to vote for whomever they deem strongest against the Republicans – and you can be sure that the cheering and demonstrations for each candidate seen during the initial vote will influence the process. It is meant to. That is participatory democracy at its finest. Liberals LOVE democracy and free speech right? Right?
And now, the arm twisting and horse-trading will commence. None of this will look good for the “presumed” nominee around the globe – or in outer space – ON TELEVISION.
Clinton may emerge as the nominee at this point, but only after floor fights and demonstrations and maybe with a smaller margin than she had imagined possible given her “inevitable” status. But get this part perfectly straight: if there is any screwing around with the process all hell will break loose, as it damn well should. Remember, despite unbelievable obstacles, Bernie Sanders has won the support of HALF OF THE DEMOCRATS. The other half loses sight of that at their own peril.
But the convention process – an open and democratic process – apparently does not assuage Clinton’s personal need to seem inevitable, a need so clearly evinced since last year when the DNC named Hillary and Hillary alone as their choice.
Long before a party nominee is selected, the process will show Clinton for exactly what she is: A WEAK FRONT-RUNNER.
Unless, DRUMROLL, Sanders retreats. Throws in the towel. Capitulates. If he does, then the convention becomes the Hillary Show, unfettered by democracy and untainted by the opinions, beliefs, and principles of half the Democratic party. Good luck with that in November. Keeping Sanders in may be bad for Hillary’s grandiose vision of her place in the world, but it is good for democracy and will be needed to maintain the goodwill of half the party.
And the hypocrisy is… after quashing democracy (if Sanders quits) or having failed to quash it (as seems the way it is going for her) and going the long way around, Clinton will speak of unity as though she were a Great Healer (the speech is already written, you better believe)
This is why, to Hillary, Sanders has to go. And why, to America, Sanders has to stay.
Hillary’s optics, arrogance, ego, neediness will do her in sooner or later.
For her, it is not enough to win. Everyone else has to be wiped out. Now, where have I heard that before?