Archive for category Hillary Clinton

The Super-delegates Will Decide

Not Me Us

This year’s Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia July 25–28 will be the first in which super-delegates will make the decision on a presidential nominee. The questions that will be asked: (1) Are super-delegates supposed to choose the most electable candidate? or (2) Were super-delegates given the job of making sure the establishment-chosen candidate wins over an insurgent?

What is a super-delegate? From Wikipedia:

[A] “superdelegate” is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention who is seated automatically and chooses for whom they want to vote. These Democratic Party superdelegates include distinguished party leaders, and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors. … Because they are free to support anyone they want, superdelegates could potentially swing the results to nominate a presidential candidate who did not receive the majority of votes during the primaries.

Why does the Democratic Party have super-delegates?

The super-delegate story begins with the traumatic 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, which resulted in the nomination of then Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey (President Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for re-election that year after being challenged by popular anti-Vietnam War candidate Rep. Eugene McCarthy). There was widespread dissatisfaction among the voters because Humphrey did not compete in any primary elections. Humphrey lost the general election to Richard M. Nixon.

A commission headed by South Dakota Senator George McGovern and Minnesota Representative Donald M. Fraser met in 1969 and 1970 to make the Democratic Party’s nominating convention less subject to control by party leaders and more responsive to the votes cast in primary elections. The rules implemented by the McGovern-Fraser Commission shifted the balance of power to primary elections and caucuses, mandating that all delegates be chosen via mechanisms open to all party members. The number of state primaries increased from 17 in 1968 to 35 in 1980.

Despite a huge increase in the level of primary participation, McGovern’s 1972 presidential run resulted in a landslide defeat for the party. The same thing happened in President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 race against Ronald Reagan. Party leaders established another commission in an attempt to balance the wishes of rank-and-file Democrats with the collective wisdom of party leaders and to thereby avoid the nomination of insurgent candidates. Following a series of meetings held from August 1981 to February 1982, the Hunt Commission issued a report which recommended the set aside of un-elected and un-pledged delegate slots for Democratic members of Congress and for state party chairs and vice chairs.

The problem for the 2016 election

Neither Dem candidate is likely at this point to finish the primary campaign with a majority of pledged delegates. Un-pledged super-delegates make up about 15% of the overall convention votes, and these delegates will choose the party’s nominee in July.

According to former Vermont Governor, DNC Chair and now lobbyist/super-delegate Howard Dean, “Super delegates don’t ‘represent people.’ I’m not elected by anyone. I’ll do what I think is right for the country.” (86% of voters in this year’s Vermont primary election chose Bernie Sanders, but Dean remains committed to voting for Hillary Clinton at the convention).

Of course, the assumption has always been that Democratic insurgent candidates like Bernie would be less electable in the general election. In 2016 it looks like this isn’t a good year for establishment candidates like Hillary Clinton. A lot of people thought we were doomed to a Bush-Clinton contest, but Donald Trump won so much support among Tea-GOP voters that he’s their presumptive nominee. And it looks like Bernie is the more electable Democratic candidate.

Hillary Clinton Now Loses to Trump in Polls. Bernie Sanders Beats Trump by 10.8 Points. (Hillary’s poll numbers have gone down, however she is within the margin of error against Trump — and the Democrats can expect a built-in advantage in the Electoral College, the so-called “Blue Wall”).

It’s up to the super-delegates to decide. Win with Bernie (and nudge the party to the center) or risk losing with Hillary (confirming that right-wing Dems cause progressives to abandon the party).

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I Wish I Had Bernie Sanders’s Energy

sanders smile

You usually think that when you watch young kids running around on a sugar high. Sanders is running on his decades old record of great decisions and unmatched integrity.

My last post here was a downer, but I knew Sanders wasn’t going to throw in the towel yet, because he said he wouldn’t, so I had that much to put in the happy-bank account. Sanders, himself, keeps saying he’s got a steep mountain to climb for the nomination, but when I saw him fending off dumb questions on CNN, and looking better then ever after his Indiana upset, I was re-invigorated.

NOTE: I have no idea why CNN calls this video on their YouTube site: “Bernie Sanders’ Indiana victory speech (Full speech)” He’s meeting with lazy reporters; not giving a speech. :(

Hillary is probably trying to figure out how to tell creepy war profiteers to keep quiet about their intentions to support her, but that’s going to be hard, since she has been doing her – elusive – best to let them know she’s on their side, starting with Kissinger.

Trump as Unifier: Are Hillary Clinton and Neoconservatives Ready to Join Forces?

Even the Koch brothers were throwing out the possibility of a helping hand.

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The Roast Wasn’t Funny To Me

bad night

I took a copy of this years White House correspondents dinner video over to my 95 year old mom’s house because I thought we might get a laugh out of it, and I like to cheer her up.

None of this years remaining candidates showed up except for Bernie Sanders. I can imagine why Donald Trump didn’t attend, because president Obama really handed it to him – for about five minutes – the last time he was there, and he wasn’t even running for president then, but you have to wonder why Hillary, Cruz and Kasich didn’t want to be at the premiere event of the season.

In a year when it looks like things are shaping up to only give the American voters a chance to vote for two candidates that, frankly, most Americans hate, all the jokes fell a bit flat to me.

I’m sure I was in a bad mood, but my mom and I really wanted Bernie to win, and were proud that Utah had stood up so strong for him. I couldn’t understand why Obama kept bringing up the word, democracy, with all of the voter suppression going on.

I get sort of emotional when I’m around mom, but I couldn’t help but tear up.

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Susan Perks Me Up!

susan and colbert

As a Bernie Sanders supporter, you could say I’ve been a little down since the New York primaries. The one of five win in Rhode Island didn’t add anything to my optimism. It’s obvious, Sanders isn’t walking into the convention as a winner now, but all isn’t lost.

The night after the four losses for Sanders, Susan Sarandon came on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and seems optimistic that Bernie can gain back some ground since the states coming up will be open primaries, which have proven to be big winners for the candidate we need for president.

Susan was pretty hard on her old friend Hillary, because of her trust problem. I’m just not excited about Americans having to vote for the politician they hate the least. All Americans are tired of being the world’s policemen, and this just doesn’t look like the Democratic party stance on that:

The NY Times is absolutely right — she’s a bigger hawk than the Republicans

Sarandon says she’s not there yet, on whether she will not vote for Hillary in the general election, and neither am I. I’m going to wait for Sanders’s proven sense of logic on what to do when we get there.

If this comes down to Trump and Clinton, it’s not entirely crazy to imagine Karl Rove rigging the election for Hillary. The American Empire falls into a rabbit hole.

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Will 2016 Election Turn Into an Unpopularity Contest?

Both parties’ presidential front-runners are growing increasingly unpopular, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds, with Hillary Clinton showing an especially steep decline over the past month.

Among voters in both parties, 56% hold a negative view of Clinton and 32% hold a positive view. That 24-point gap is almost twice as wide as in a Journal/NBC poll last month, when 51% viewed her negatively and 38% positively, a 13-point gap. In other words, the more Americans get to see of Clinton the more they don’t want her.

Net negative ratings Trump & Hillary

Compared to frontrunners in previous presidential primary races, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s unfavorable ratings (57 percent and 52 percent respectively) are the highest in CBS News/New York Times Polls going back to 1984, when CBS began asking this question.

If the two major parties nominated Clinton and Trump, the electorate would be divided three ways:

1. American voters who would refuse to vote for Trump.
2. American voters who would refuse to vote for Clinton.
3. American voters who would refuse to vote for either one of them!

And we could forget about the actual issues in the 2016 election, because the media would cover all the mud slinging and nothing else.

By contrast, Bernie Sanders has the highest favorability of any candidate. Bernie averages a +5.3 compared to Hillary’s -24.

More info:
Democrats March Toward Cliff
Unpopularity dogs Trump, Clinton, Cruz: Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton viewed unfavorably by majority – CBS/NYT poll
Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump: General Election Match-Up Polls & Favorability Ratings

UPDATE:
Any Chance Trump and Hillary Can Still Get Popular, Despite Their Negatives?

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Electability- Hillary vs Bernie for New Yorkers

Posted on YouTube by Afnan Thakur.

We try to help New Yorkers decide which of the two candidates can actually win the Presidential election.

Note: This is not any campaign’s official ad. Source for the numbers are from RealClearPolitics and other polling agencies. And the scale for Hillary’s unfavorable polling goes from 39-54%

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#ImSoSick the Latest Hashtag Taken Down By Twitter

@Twitter removed #ImSoSick when it hit the #1 trending spot. This is at least the third time in recent weeks that Twitter has pulled a trending hashtag to help the Hillary Clinton campaign.

UPDATE:
Clinton Says She’s “Sick of the Sanders Campaign Lying” About Her—Which It Isn’t Doing

Read the rest of this entry »

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Disappointing Turnout At Democratic Primary… I’M KIDDING!

Utah’s never seen anything this bizarre.

The republicans are turning out in “Huuge” numbers to vote AGAINST their presumed nominee, (Donald Trump), and democrats are turning out in “Huuge” numbers to vote AGAINST their presumed nominee also, (Hillary Clinton).

We won’t know until morning, but from what I’ve seen on my, (so far), republican-bias TV stations here, the democrats are voting for the person they actually want.

Bernie Sanders.

Guess we’ll find out in the morning. I saw a lot of Hillary supporters. My “Bernie” badge didn’t get any real opposition on my little walk.

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Poll-Defying Pattern Predicts Sanders Victory

Poll-defying wins

Via Jonathan Greenberg on HuffPo:

[T]he Michigan upset is not, as America’s foremost poll analyst Nate Silver claimed, a freak event not witnessed since the New Hampshire primary of 1984, but part of a new pattern of poll-defying results that will, if they continue, carry Bernie Sanders into the White House.

…[H]ow accurate are all the other recent polls showing Clinton victories on the March 15th Super Tuesday sequel? If Bernie surpasses the polls in these states by as much as he just did in Michigan, he stands to score historic upsets in the important delegate-rich states of Ohio and even North Carolina.

If Sanders does nearly as well as the 41 percent average poll-to-reality discrepancy of the four state pattern described above, Bernie may even win Illinois and Florida next week. Should that happen, it will be Bernie, not Hillary, who will have become “inevitable.”

The reason cable TV talking heads are hitting us over the head with pro-Hillary polls is that her campaign has bet heavily on supposed “inevitability” and “electability.” Her actual record and policy positions are unappealing to progressives. Even mainstream Democrats are repulsed by her neocon hawk foreign policy, which Hillary now tries to avoid talking about. When cornered, she’ll fake it by parroting Bernie Sanders proposals in her stump speeches.

There has been an attempt by the media, and even the allegedly progressive website DailyKos, to declare Hillary the “presumptive nominee.” If they can narrow the choice down to Hillary or Trump, then the “lesser evil” narrative kicks in and Dem-leaning voters will be told to fall in line and abandon their idealism.

Why are the polls wrong? Cenk Uygur has remarked that when registered voters are surveyed, Bernie usually comes out ahead. But then pollsters apply a “likely voter” screen to the results, which produces a predicted win for Hillary. When the “unlikely voters” turn out to vote, the polls don’t match the election returns. That may be a too-simple explanation, but it’s as good as any.

All Bernie has to do is rack up at least 54 percent of the remaining pledged delegates. He needs a string of solid wins to do that, but it can be done.

More info:
Poll-Defying Pattern Predicts Sanders Victory
Here’s what has to happen for Bernie Sanders to win

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Kos Has It Wrong – Bernie Can Win

Bernie will win

Those of us who frequent the Daily Kos website, where for months the recommended list has been full of exciting stories about the Bernie Sanders campaign, saw something weird yesterday. Site owner Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (better known as “Kos”) announced that beginning on March 15 Daily Kos will permit pro-Hillary discussions only (they’re calling it “The Ides of March”). Apparently Kos and the other “front pagers” on the site have grown impatient with grass roots progressives, and they are worried that Bernie might actually win the Democratic Party nomination for President.

Of course, being a political pro now and a party insider, Kos won’t admit that Bernie has a clear path to the nomination. He claims that Hillary is now inevitable, and for the sake of party unity it is time for all Bernie supporters to STFU.

We know that Bernie has had to work very hard to get to this point in the campaign. The media ignored him until he tied Hillary in Iowa and won New Hampshire. Then the attacks began, the lying, and Clinton briefly claimed to be a “progressive,” no doubt to the consternation of her Wall Street billionaire donors. They even resorted to sheer nonsense, like claiming Bernie is a “one-issue candidate.” Then came “Super Tuesday,” and Hillary now wants to pretend Bernie is gone — she says her opponent is Donald Trump, and has already started scuttling back to the right for the general election. Her campaign’s new argument boils down to, “vote for the lesser evil – it’s Hillary or Trump.” And that’s what Kos is (in effect) telling people on his site.

Well, here’s the deal. Hillary’s so-called “firewall” didn’t stop Bernie. Only 15 states have voted so far. 11 more states will vote in the next ten days (including this evening). Hillary’s lead will expand. However, after March 15 (Kos’ Ides of March) Bernie will start catching up in the delegate totals. There will be no big wins for Hillary except for Maryland and DC. Demosten on Daily Kos:

After March 15th Bernie will have a string of 9 consecutive victories, starting with Democrats Abroad on March 21st and adding Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, Wisconsin and Wyoming. After those nine he will cut the lead by approximately 85 delegates to 230. That will probably give him enough momentum to tie or even win in New York (let’s consider it a tie). And on the road again until June comes and Hillary’s lead is again under 200 (some virtual ties, some wins for Bernie and Maryland for Hillary). On June 7th New Jersey and California have a total of 600 delegates. 30 points win for Bernie in both can tie the race!

Don’t believe the media or Establishment Dems like Kos who are doing everything they can think of to stop Bernie. It’s not over until it’s over. Let all 50 states vote!

Bernie supporters from Daily Kos will be migrating to caucus99percent.com and other sites in response to Kos’ invitation to leave or else get banned.

Last but not least, remember to caucus for Bernie on Tuesday, March 22 in Utah. The Democratic Party has open caucuses. Utahns can vote for Bernie Sanders regardless of their party registration.

More info:
Why the math of Kos is wrong!
Cenk Uygur: Why Bernie Sanders Won Super Tuesday
Utah Democratic Party: Caucus Night 2016
How to vote for Bernie Sanders in Utah

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“Progressive Hillary”? No, Just A Copyright Violation


Cenk Uygur’s real-world commentary

Online Hillary Clinton supporters keep telling us, in effect: “It’s all good, Bernie Sanders has done his job. He has moved Hillary to the left and now he can exit the race with his head held high.” Bullshit. “Progressive Hillary” is an illusion. She is stealing Bernie’s anti-Wall Street applause lines from his stump speeches, while taking money from billionaires in closed-door meetings. The Hillary campaign has made no commitment to progressive principles.

Bernie is authentic. He doesn’t have to pretend to change who he is to be likeable. He will make a great President!

More info:
‘Those are our words’: Bernie Sanders jokes that he’s ‘looking into the copyright issues’ as Hillary Clinton smacks Wall Street in her Nevada victory speech
Clinton blasts Wall Street, but still draws millions in contributions
NRA Lobbyist Will Co-Host Hillary Clinton Fundraiser
“We have to bring them to heel”: Watch a decade of Hillary Clinton’s shameful hypocrisy on racism
Clinton backtracks on moratorium on fossil fuel extraction on public land
The New York Times Accurately Portrays Hillary Clinton as an Unrepentant Warmonger

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I get Bernie Sanders’ appeal, and I am impressed by Hillary Clinton

The Democratic presidential primary is causing me trouble. I like both candidates for very different reasons. As I’m writing this, I’m wearing my Hillary t-shirt and Bernie hoodie.

I get Bernie’s appeal.  His laser like focus on economic inequality as the primary problem in US politics resonates with me (and lots of voters) for very good reasons. The disproportionate distribution of wealth and its corrupting influence on US politics cannot be allowed to continue. James Carville once described campaign finance reform as the reform that makes all other reforms possible. Bernie’s narrow focus on income inequality feels like its not nuanced enough for a nation as large as ours.

Hillary, by contrast, impresses me with her command of policy. Watching her testify before Trey Gowdy’s laughable Benghazi committee reminded me of why I’ve long found her impressive. She spent 11 hours being grilled by intellectual midgets and didn’t lose her cool. She laughed at the risible question if she “home alone.” She demonstrated a greater command of facts than any of the Republican yutzes on the committee.

After the Benghazi hearing, Matt Taibbi observed:

With Thursday’s interminable, pointless, haranguing, disorganized, utterly amateurish attempt at a smear job, the Republicans and their tenth-rate congressional attack schnauzer, South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy, got people feeling sorry for Hillary Clinton. Over the course of 11 long hours, they made the most eloquent argument for a Hillary Clinton presidency yet offered by anyone, including Clinton herself.

But there is one overriding principle that does animate and define the Clinton campaign, and that’s keeping Republicans out of office. For years, this has been the Democratic Party’s stock answer for every sordid legislative compromise, every shameless capitulation to expediency, every insulting line of two-faced stump rhetoric offered to get over: We have to do this to beat the Republicans.

I never bought that argument, for a lot of reasons, but Trey Gowdy made it look pretty good Thursday. Those idiots represent everything that is wrong not just with the Republican Party, but with modern politics in general. It’s hard to imagine a political compromise that wouldn’t be justified if its true aim would be to keep people like those jackasses out of power.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/trey-gowdy-just-elected-hillary-clinton-president-20151023#ixzz40DCtrVlB
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

I agree wholeheartedly with Matt Taibbi. If nominating Bernie makes is an even shot that a Republican becomes President while nominating Hillary makes it 40% likely a Republican wins, I’ll support Hillary without a moment’s hesitation.

But there is a deeper reason I can support Hillary. She’s possesses a deep strength of character, as a powerful, educated woman in a deeply sexist society:

It is strange, then, to find myself, eight years later, not only rooting for Clinton, but feeling exasperated by her left-wing critics. I know their case against Clinton. I agree with a lot of it. I worry about what Clinton’s many flaws would mean for a potential presidency. Now, however, watching her be rejected by young people swept up in an idealistic political movement, I feel sadness instead of glee.[snip]

Since the 2008 election, I’ve grown more understanding about why Clinton made some of the ugly compromises I once held against her. Last year, I wrote a cover story for the Nation about her sometimes vexed relationship with the left. Reading biographies of her and histories of her husband’s administration, talking to people she worked with, and revisiting news stories from the 1990s, I was reminded that before she was excoriated as a sellout corporatist, she was excoriated as a feminist radical. She was widely seen as being to her husband’s left, in a way that threatened his political viability. Time after time, under intense pressure, she would overcorrect, trying to convince a skeptical mainstream press that she was a sensible centrist. Eventually, her tendency toward triangulation became almost instinctive.[snip]

Empathizing with Clinton, however, is a painful business. It means wincing along as she endures yet another round of public humiliation, another batch of stories about women’s indifference to her feminist appeal, another explosion of punditry about her lack of charisma. It means being constantly reminded that people on the left as well as the right find aging women pathetic. It means watching the Sanders phenomenon, in most ways a hugely welcome renaissance of American socialism, with dread as well as delight. There was no shame for Clinton in losing to Obama. But the fact that she’s fighting for her political life against Sanders, a man who initially joined the race more to make a statement than to contend for power, is a mortifying public rebuke.

Hillary Clinton has spent her public life – almost three decades now – on the losing side of America’s complicated misogyny. In the 1990s, she was excoriated for not being a stay at home wife and mother. She was feminazi shrew, a controlling iron bitch, a crazy lesbian murderess, a soulless Lady MacBeth. The genuine Hillary – who is apparently funny, warm, and caring – cannot safely emerge.

Hillarys’ line – “I am not a single-issue candidate and I do not believe we live in a single-issue country” – is brilliant. It’s accurate. It also feels like the basis of a great general campaign theme that could easily separate her from the Republicans.

Watching her run circles around Trey Gowdy and his gormless stooges convinced me that she’s got the chops to be president.

She’s also an awkward candidate. Bernie shouldn’t be giving her a run for her money – he’s not a great speaker or campaigner. But I suspect he’s also more cunning and cagey than I previously thought. He might pull off a general election win. But then, so could she.

I’m torn. The rational part of my brain says “Hillary all the way.” My heart tells me its Bernie.

I want it to be both.

Here’s the bottom line: No matter which candidate wins the Democratic primary I will support them.  I will vote for them.

But right now?  I’m not sure which one I want to win. I know for damn sure there’s not a single Republican running for the Presidency that I’d trust within a hundred miles of the office.

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