FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bernie and the Super Delegates

by

A specter is haunting Democratic superdelegates – the specter of Obama in 2008 – the members of Congress, the governors the political consultants, the journalists, and lobbyists entered into an alliance to anoint Hillary Clinton, the first woman to succeed the first black.

But victory eludes Clinton; in Michigan Bernie had a surprising win. It calls Hillary’s popularity into question. If she can’t enlist the support of Democratic primary voters, how can she convince the nation? Clinton’s early lead evaporated. Bernie took first with a last minute surge. The more the voters learned about him the more they liked him.

Superdelegates are Democratic elected officials and other party insiders allowed to support whichever candidate they like. They are there to prevent a kook from leading the ticket. Their interests diverge from Secretary Clinton; they are less concerned about the top of the ticket. They ask will the Presidential candidate help Governors, Members of Congress and the state legislatures win in November. They are as interested in the fate of the Democratic Party as they are in the Presidential candidate. Like Bernie, they need a big turnout of voters.

Clinton’s lopsided lead in delegates comes from pledges made by these party insiders. They are not written in stone. A Democratic victory requires massive turnouts of the young. Bernie has this vote. The issues of income inequality and fighting the Wall Street oligarchy favor Sanders, not Clinton. The superdelegates will assess Hillary’s appeal.

Like Obama, Bernie is winning the battle for enthusiasm. He draws the crowds and he is likeable. Hillary is thoughtful serious and loved by many, but she can’t shake her history. The Clintons prospered by milking the rich, and the charge she is bought and paid for burdens her candidacy.

While she and her husband created the Clinton foundation, Bernie remained an independent socialist. He condemned inequality and his leftwing demands nettled his colleagues with their implied criticism of go-along-to-get-along politics.

His day has come – the voters have turned against the parties. Republican and Democratic voters echo this call they want far-reaching change. Hillary’s experience and training is moderate change. Her supporters value these traits, but in 2016 these qualities are losers, and the superdelegates will come to recognize it.

Sanders populist appeal is hard for rich white educated people to duplicate. In Florida, on Tuesday, he held a rally. He shouted Wall Street, the crowd jeered. The event drew the young and had the energy of a rock concert or a football rally. It was lowbrow, and the audience felt at home with Bernie. Bernie is convincing as a man of the people. The superdelegates know he is honest; he has spent decades slamming the injustice of inequality. This is not a campaign message; it is Bernie’s core belief.

Anyone who has been to a left-wing event would recognize this Florida crowd of black, white, brown young with many old. This is the post-2010 Democratic Party. In that off-year election, the Republican picked up a spectacular 63 seats to become the majority that bedeviled Obama. The losers were conservative Democrats who were shy about reproductive justice, opposed taxes and government spending. In defeat, the Democratic Party moved left. Bernie Sanders is ratifying that change. This Democratic Party is proud of its diversity and eager for equality.

Republicans tried to stifle this change and failed. Passage of voter id laws to intimidate black and brown voters created a backlash that increased their turnout in 2012. Trump calling Mexicans rapist and demanding a wall is bringing a surge Hispanic registration. His hostility to Muslims boosts their participation.

Bernie Sanders is gaining black support. Had 70/80% of this vote gone to Hillary, he would have lost. He responded to the poisoning of Flint Michigan’s water supply by demanding the Governor resign. He identified the culprit; his response was so popular Hillary adopted it. The movement is clear, to know Bernie is to like him.

The superdelegates know about these changes, by the time the Democratic Convention roles around they can chose Bernie to maximize turnout.

Nathan Riley is a columnist for Gay City News and a veteran of numerous New York State Campaigns. 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail