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With Bad News Looming In New Hampshire, Clinton Looks To Reorganize Campaign

Clinton Shrug

With New Hampshire voters seemingly set on delivering a big win to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary and a month in which her campaign has seemingly struggled to regain the footing it had lost with the start of the New Year, Politico reports that Hillary Clinton is considering a staff shakeup at the top of her campaign:

Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign’s messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what’s expected to be a loss in Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Clintons — stung by her narrow victory in Iowa and shocked by polls showing her losing by as much as 20 percent here — had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told POLITICO.

The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 — when Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials — before her surprise win in New Hampshire bailed out her beleaguered staff. Over time, however she slowly layered over top officials, essentially hiring old hands — like Hillaryland stalwart Maggie Williams and pollster Geoff Garin — to run the campaign while the previous staffers were quietly relegated to subsidiary positions.

It’s not clear whether that will happen again, but several people close to the situation said Clinton would be loath to fire anyone outright and more inclined to add new staff.

“The Clintons are not happy and have been letting all of us know that,” said one Democratic official who speaks regularly to both. “The idea is that we need a more forward-looking message, for the primary — but also for the general election too. … There’s no sense of panic, but there is an urgency to fix these problems right now.”

In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, taped shortly after the first version of this story was posted, Clinton denied that she planned to fire anybody — but said a reappraisal of the campaign was only natural as the primaries progressed.

“I have no idea what they’re talking about or who they are talking to,” said to Maddow, who dismissed the POLITICO report as “gossip” in asking the candidate about the story.

Still, Clinton added: “We’re going to take stock but it’s going to be the campaign that I’ve got. I’m very confident in the people that I have. I’m very committed to them; they’re committed to doing the best we can. We’re going to take stock, what works, what doesn’t work. We’re moving into a different phase of the campaign. We’re moving into a more diverse electorate. We’re moving into different geographic areas. So, of course it would be malpractice not to say, “OK, what worked? What can we do better? What do we have to do new and different that we have to pull out?”

To a large degree, of course, it’s likely that these reports of an impending shakeup at the top of Clinton’s Brooklyn-based campaign are meant to address the concerns that have no doubt built up among top Democrats and donors as they’ve watched Clinton’s campaign seemingly flounder while while Bernie Sanders continues to do far better than most observers expected with a populist, ‘progressive’ message that has resonated quite strongly with many parts of the Democrats base. In addition to doing far better than many expected in Iowa, Sanders’ double digit lead in the Granite State would seem to guarantee that he’ll pull of a fair easy victory tonight, thus setting Clinton up with a near-loss and a loss to start off a race that many had thought would be hers walking away, especially given the fact that her primary opponent is someone who doesn’t look like a viable General Election candidate for the 21st Century. While Clinton remains far better positioned than Sanders in the wake of New Hampshire and Iowa, the fact that she would essentially be fighting to regain the lead from behind and relying on voters in Nevada, South Carolina, and the SEC Primary states to save her. Additionally, campaign shakeups such as this aren’t uncommon during the course of a campaign. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned, the voters don’t react to issues the way you thought they would, and an opponent proves to be more resilient than expected. For a campaign or a candidate not to respond to those changes would be the height of stupidity and arrogance.  It’s a strategy that will probably work in the end, but it’s far from ideal and it will require both few mistakes from a campaign that has already stumbled quite a bit and a Democratic donor and political base that is satisfied that the campaign has righted itself after two embarrassing defeats.

Shaking up the campaign may be just what Clinton needs to turn her campaign around going forward. As I’ve noted before, she stands on much firmer round in the upcoming primaries in Nevada and South Carolina, this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen issue with a Hillary Clinton for President campaign. Eight years ago, Clinton appeared poised for history but ended up facing a stiffer than expected challenge in the form of Barack Obama. While Bernie Sanders is no Barack Obama and there are clearly identifiable reasons why he is resonating with the public, it does seem as though many of the same issues that plagued Clinton’s campaign in 2008 are popping up again in 2016 even though there are different people at the top. All of this led David Axelrod, who was among Obama’s top strategists in 2008 and 2012 but has stayed largely on the sidelines in 2016, to make this subtle point on Twitter:

Many observers seem to be taking this as Axelrod criticizing Clinton as a candidate, and perhaps there is something of that going on here, but as the Politico article linked above notes, one of the most important points about the 2016 Clinton campaign is the manner in which it’s organized. Unlike her 2008 campaign, where chief strategist Mark Penn stood more or less at the top as the final and sole ‘buffer’ between the staff and the candidate, there doesn’t appear to be a single person at the top of Clinton 2016. In part, the decision to organize the campaign in this manner seems to have been in response to the criticisms of Penn during the 2008 campaign, This overcompensation is arguably hampering the campaigns ability to respond to daily development. Since the organization of the campaign is something the candidate is responsible for, Axelrod’s comments are, arguably, a comment about the candidate herself more than they are about the campaign and the way it’s being run. Of course, it’s far easier to shuffle the deck chairs on a campaign than it is to change the fundamental nature of a candidate so that’s the best they’ll be able to do going forward. In the end, whatever reorganization Clinton does will probably end up being enough to hold off Bernie Sanders easily in the end, but the issues that all of this seems to raise when it comes to Clinton’s ability to delegate decision making will not.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    Re-organization or not…the Democrats seem to be in another universe from the other party that is basing it’s entire campaign on mendacity.
    Watching the Democratic debate was refreshing after all the nonsense in the Republican debates.
    Night and day.
    Intelligent people have no choice but to vote for either Clinton or Sanders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

  2. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: But, as Adlai Stevenson is reported to have said, we need a majority.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  3. Modulo Myself says:

    She may win easily. If she does, no one is going to think it’s to her credit. Rather: the fix was in. The Clinton reputation for being fighters is a dead one. They seem now more like GOP zombies, syphilitic, grotesque, with a trail of mediocre nepotists behind them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 13

  4. Tillman says:

    Sanders is losing by something like thirty points in the polling averages from South Carolina. (How many polls have been done in SC?) So unless the press narrative out of New Hampshire is compelling, or the endorsements Sanders has gotten from black SC political figures lead somewhere, it’s almost certain to go for Clinton.

    Nevada might be more contestable, if the rancor about Clinton push-polling goes anywhere. It probably won’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  5. CSK says:

    Well, Clinton lost Dixville Notch to Sanders; he got four votes, she got none.

    Kasich beat Trump, 3-2.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. Lit3Bolt says:

    The main thing Clinton seems to want in her operatives is loyalty. It’s an understandable reaction after decades of being constantly attacked and on the defensive, but I will be the first to acknowledge it has almost created more problems for her than it has solved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. “Bernie Sanders continues to do far better than most observers expected”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. MBunge says:

    The problem with Hillary Clinton is that she had 8 years to come up with a better justification for her being President than “It’s my turn” and she hasn’t.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  9. @Doug:

    “Bernie Sanders continues to do far better than most observers expected”

    My question is: is it the case that experts and analysts who understand the overall process have been surprised by Bernie’s current situation or is it that the overall horse race narrative has overblown NH?

    Because the notion that Bernie is winning big in NH should not be shocking. Now, if (as @Tillman notes) he does well in SC, then stop the presses, we have a real story here.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  10. Modulo Myself says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Actually, I would say the main thing the Clintons want is flattery. They’re nouveau all the way. Insecure and full of it, they need people to tell them how great they are, and they love making people obligated to their fates.

    Hillary Clinton isn’t Nixon, but she has the same rube’s inferiority complex going on. It’s made her falter as the establishment pick, because the elite who are not planning on using her victory to better their situation can sense how clueless and unsophisticated she is even in comparison to Bernie Sanders. This is why she’s getting crushed with the young. She’s a perfect image of meritocratic elite f–king up every second of the day while billing 4000/hr to do it, and then taking a couple Xanax and listening to a Davos speech about #success for inspiration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  11. Scott says:

    Many observers seem to be taking this as Axelrod criticizing Clinton as a candidate, and perhaps there is something of that going on here

    I just happened to be listening in the car to David Axelrod’s podcast this morning where he was conversing with Joel Benenson, the Clinton’s pollster. From the Politico article:

    The focus of their dissatisfaction in recent days is the campaign’s top pollster and strategist Joel Benenson, whom one Clinton insider described as being “on thin ice

    Now Benenson worked with Axelrod on Obama’s campaigns and has known him a long time. I think it is criticism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. Modulo Myself says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    He’s gone from Nader-like irritant to running even in national polls. The Clintons have basically been saying anything that comes to mind to frame the situation as anything other than rejection of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. If they’re not panicked, they should stop acting panicked because it’s only hurting them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. edmondo says:

    If the dogs won’t eat the dog food, maybe it’s not the marketing but the taste of the dog food.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  14. CSK says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Quoting your description of the Clintons: “Nouveau all the way”…”Insecure and full of it”…”Rube’s inferiority complex”…

    Fits Trump like a glove, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  15. @Modulo Myself: Well, a) he was never low enough in the polling to be likened to Nader, and b) he did well in one national poll. That is not not enough to panic over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    This is why she’s getting crushed with the young.

    As a once-upon-a-time young voter I was full of idealism and impatience. IMHO that’s why Bernie is capturing the youth vote, Bernie promises a revolution and he implies it will happen NOW.

    Hillary realizes that change will come, however it may be incremental and full of battles both won and lost. My young friends want the change, but they want it NOW!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  17. Neil Hudelson says:
  18. Modulo Myself says:

    @CSK:

    Rubio and Cruz as well. Trump was such a follower than he followed his slumlord daddy into business. How original.

    Part of Sanders’ appeal is that he’s the only candidate to have said ‘screw it’ to the American system. Meanwhile, here’s the heartwarming political story of Bill and Hillary Clinton: we made a ton of compromises as we dragged the Democratic party out of the post-McGovern wilderness all in order to help create the great system that gave you Iraq, the banking collapse, complete denial and impotence on climate change, and mass wealth-based inequality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  19. Modulo Myself says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Four polls–Clinton +2, 21, 18, 12. She’s campaigning as if she is ahead by 2.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. CSK says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Another part of Sanders’s appeal is “what you see is what you get.” Bernie is Bernie. He’s comfortable in his skin. With Clinton, you get the impression that she’s always trying on different personas in an attempt to be appealing. This has always been the case with her.

    Gore had the same problem back in 2000. He wanted to be Mr. Excitement, and couldn’t ever pull it off. Remember that ridiculous scene at the convention where he grabbed Tipper and shoved his tongue down her throat in front of thousands of people? Did you buy it? Neither did I.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  21. Tillman says:

    The best bit of political “wisdom” I’ve come across in the past week: if Clinton loses NH by double digits, she’s in trouble. If she loses NH by single digits, she’ll be fine.

    I feel like the bar for reading the entrails here is especially low. “I know! We’ll go off the amount of digits!”

    @CSK: Gore is probably the more apt comparison. I’ve been going with Romney lately, especially with the loyalty meme concerning a campaign shake-up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. Modulo Myself says:

    @CSK:

    That was definitely not needed. And they divorced soon after…But it won the spin cycle until W kissed Oprah.

    ‘That’s what they offered’ is prime Hillary. I don’t think you could make up a denser answer to that question.

    My parents had a bunch of old Watergate-era Doonesbury trade paperbacks lying around and I reread them repeatedly. There’s one where Nixon is being told by his advisers to stop with the Lincoln stuff. He replies: “It’s just that I can’t get over the similarities.” There’s another where he’s explaining what happened with the burglars. “Now, I could have had them taken out and shot but as a lawyer I knew that would have been wrong.” She’s really operating at that level.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. @Tillman: Forget conventional wisdom. The bottom line is this: if Clinton rebounds in South Carolina, NH won’t matter. More accurately and specifically, unless there is a massive shift in African American and Latino Democrats after NH, NH won’t matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Meanwhile, here’s the heartwarming political story of Bill and Hillary Clinton: we made a ton of compromises as we dragged the Democratic party out of the post-McGovern wilderness all in order to help create the great system that gave you Iraq, the banking collapse, complete denial and impotence on climate change, and mass wealth-based inequality.

    Did Republicans not play some role in that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. Stan says:

    @Modulo Myself: Get real. If the Democrats nominate Sanders we’ll see a mirror image of 1964. In the two years that followed we got Medicare, Medicaid, liberalized immigration laws, and civil rights bills. What will a Sanders nomination give us? After the inevitable Republican landslide we’ll get repeal of the Affordable Care Act, younger versions of Scalia and Thomas on the Supreme Court, massive tax breaks for the wealthy, and, in the worst possible case, the deportation of 11 million men, women, and children in a new version of Operation Wetback. Try to use your head as well as your heart. What Santayana said about the lessons of history is still valid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  26. Modulo Myself says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    My report on The Young says that they don’t want revolution, at least in the sense of the sixties. Sanders’ appeal has more to do with reality. He’s a guy who did what he wanted and did not care about the burdens of the bogus American narrative about dreams and reality. He’s the winner–not the sad hordes who are trying to race up to the ‘top’ and come off as ‘Lloyd Blankfein’ or ‘Hillary Clinton’ with bogus Walmart histories rattling around in their head about how the sixties and moderation and working within the system. It’s like the last years of the Brezhnev era in America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. Modulo Myself says:

    @Stan:

    Goldwater was beaten by an actual politician. The GOP has no real politicians. Just lots of money and a propensity to cheat and to be furious about unimportant racial/cultural things. They’re going to throw the same machine at Hillary Clinton (who is also not a politician) or Bernie Sanders (who is) and I’m not sure which candidate backed by the Dems’ machine will do better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  28. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Lit3Bolt: They obviously don’t always get the loyalty. Someone leaked the reorganization to Politico.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. OldSouth says:

    Two observations: Her response to Maddow’s question was classic–denial of knowledge, followed by a vague non-answer that could be parsed any way needed later on, because heads will roll, and she needs to be seen talking about her ‘loyalty’ to her staff…Sanders has the advantage of simply speaking English, not Clintonese.

    And secondly, a great choice of photograph: She does look good in orange! Before all is said and done, she may find this her only wardrobe choice for a few years.

    If she skates, then General Petraeus (sp?) is owed a full pardon and restoration of his life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  30. James Pearce says:

    Re: that Axelrod tweet. Someone had to say it.

    And the true implications won’t be felt until the general election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. Ben says:

    I’m pretty confident Sanders is going to lose SC, the real question is by how much. The problem is that there haven’t been any SC polls since Iowa, so if Bernie got any bounce since then, we wouldn’t see it in the SC polling numbers yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  32. An Interested Party says:

    I’m not sure which candidate backed by the Dems’ machine will do better.

    Do tell how Sanders is going to get 270 electoral votes…

    And secondly, a great choice of photograph: She does look good in orange! Before all is said and done, she may find this her only wardrobe choice for a few years.

    Ahh, conservatives and their little wet dreams…I’m sure they thought they were going to remove her husband from office too…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  33. Modulo Myself says:

    @An Interested Party:

    The path seems pretty clear to me. The dems who will not vote for Sanders are probably going to be the wealthy insecure ones in the northeast, Maryland, and California. I.e. the type of people who are both broke and flush at the same time, plus the really rich weirdos who enjoy going to fund-raisers for politicians at 20K a table and having ‘influence’. But overall I don’t see him losing the traditional strongholds. There’s no Mondale-style loss waiting Bernie Sanders if he runs.

    So it’s basically the swing states, and maybe Sanders does worse than Hillary Clinton, but maybe he does better. He’s actually a good campaigner and politician. She’s not. She’s terrible at it, and there’s a ton of baggage as well.

    And the idea that black people and Latinos are going to be enthused about Hillary but turned off by Bernie is laughable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  34. @Modulo Myself:

    He’s actually a good campaigner and politician. She’s not.

    Look, I do not especially like Hillary, so this is not about my preferences, and I agree that she has some serious flaws as a campaigner/as a candidate. However, to look at her career and state that she is a poor politician is simply wrong.

    And the idea that black people and Latinos are going to be enthused about Hillary but turned off by Bernie is laughable.

    Except, however, that is what the available data tells us.

    Also, Hillary did far better with Hispanics than did Obama in 2008, so it is unclear why Sanders would change that trend. Pew:

    Hispanics voted for Sen. Hillary Clinton over Sen. Barack Obama by a margin of nearly two-to-one in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, according to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of exit polls taken throughout the primary season.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  35. Modulo Myself says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Do you think rank-and-file black and Latinos are going to stay away from voting for Bernie Sanders in the general election? I don’t. Given the outright xenophobia and racism of the GOP base, regardless of who ends up running, it seems strange to believe that Sanders is going to lose a meaningful number of Clinton supporters, aside from angry white people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  36. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    My report on The Young says that they don’t want revolution,

    then your report hasn’t spent time on campus

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. Modulo Myself says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    There aren’t any revolutionaries on campus. And no National Guard, no gas-masks, no protesters throwing grenades back at the police, no bombs, no Black Bloc. Just mostly-peaceful protests against the status quo that are terrifying people whose lives depend on having random and insubstantial enemies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. @Modulo Myself:

    Do you think rank-and-file black and Latinos are going to stay away from voting for Bernie Sanders in the general election? I don’t.

    The point is: they are going to stay away from him in the primary and that will help mean that he isn’t in the general. Unless Bernie can reverse the numbers in the African American and Latino voting blocs he isn’t going to be nominated. I cannot stress this enough.

    But sure: if he is nominated. Latinos will vote for him. But we are currently discussing the nomination process.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. @Bob@Youngstown: @Modulo Myself: In truth, nobody wants a revolution and even what Bernie is talking about isn’t actually a “revolution.” He is talking about a series of public policies that are fairly radical for the US (less so for the rest of the world) and that aren’t going to happen (but they are not actually revolutionary).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  40. Modulo Myself says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I was talking about the general election. Not the nomination. You’re right–barring a miracle, Bernie Sanders will not win. However, I just don’t see how his nomination would be a suicide mission, as implied.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. @Modulo Myself: Gotcha–I think conversation thread got crossed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. An Interested Party says:

    You’re right–barring a miracle, Bernie Sanders will not win.

    That is exactly the point of all of this–you and others can feel however you/they want about Hillary but if you don’t want the GOP to win the White House, than she, and not Sanders, is the candidate to accomplish that…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  43. charon says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    nd I’m not sure which candidate backed by the Dems’ machine will do better.

    Do you have some reasoning to support Bernie being backed by some “Dems machine?” Because I foresee many/most Dem politicians distancing themselves from a Candidate Bernie. If Bernie by some fluke becomes the nominee, he would be on his own.

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Also, Hillary did far better with Hispanics than did Obama in 2008, so it is unclear why Sanders would change that trend.

    Maybe because Hispanics do not much care for black people? But they probably do not much care for Sanders’ sort of whitebread any better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. grumpy realist says:

    @Lit3Bolt: That’s what struck me as well. Loyalty is no substitute for competence.

    If you really want to be the Big Cheese, you have to know how to hire ’em and how to fire ’em.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    what Bernie is talking about isn’t actually a “revolution.”

    He calls it a “political revolution” as opposed to whatever you call an “actual revolution”. Whatever.

    Upending existing “public policies” and replacing them with new public policies that he asserts will wotk better for the supressed citizenry is his goal. And the only effort needed to effect this “political revolution” is to vote for Sanders. That is the appeal to the 18-30 demographic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Modulo Myself says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Well, I believe that most of Clinton’s votes will go for Sanders. I’m not so sure that this holds the opposite way. Sanders is destroying her with younger voters. The Clintons are panicking because they need at least some younger voters to turn out in the general election. The ‘lesser of two evils’ works until it doesn’t. So I see more fundamental problems for Hillary in the general than Bernie Sanders.

    Again, I think there’s mass panic on the Clinton side because of this.

    @charon:

    What fluke would there be? If Sanders wins, it’s because there’s a huge upset against a candidate who was not supposed to have opposition at all. That’s not a fluke. You might as well argue that the Democratic establishment is going to punish the winning candidate. I mean, they could. But this basically validates everything Sanders is saying.

    “Vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s electable–otherwise we blow up everything!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. MBunge says:

    @An Interested Party: That is exactly the point of all of this–you and others can feel however you/they want about Hillary but if you don’t want the GOP to win the White House, than she, and not Sanders, is the candidate to accomplish that…

    HIllary might be a better general election candidate than Bernie but that doesn’t mean she’s actually any good as one, which could very well come back to bite Democrats in the butt.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  48. SKI says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: And yet, his “playlist” at his events are replete with “revolution” references:

    Supporters of the senator from Vermont who arrive at events early are likely to hear “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution” by folkster Tracy Chapman. And “The Revolution Starts Now” by country rocker Steve Earle. And “Revolution” by reggae legend Bob Marley & the Wailers. And “Revolution” by Celtic punk band Flogging Molly.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/02/08/songs-of-revolution-and-others-that-make-bernie-sanderss-playlist/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. Modulo Myself says:

    @SKI:

    True story–

    This is the same playlist Lenin listened to as he rode the train back from Zurich to the Finland Station.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  50. WJS says:

    Mark Penn could probably use a couple of million dollars right about now…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. @SKI: And Bernie himself constantly says he is leading a political revolution.

    And Bush said he was a “uniter not a divider.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  52. Tillman says:

    @charon:

    Because I foresee many/most Dem politicians distancing themselves from a Candidate Bernie.

    You mean to say most politicos can’t answer their own argument in the affirmative? I constantly hear speculation over whether Sanders voters would vote for Clinton if she wins the nod. The opposite, though, that is an honest concern? Suddenly all the times it was stressed that it absolutely must be a Democrat nominating SCOTUS justices goes flying out the window if Clinton loses a second primary fight?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  53. An Interested Party says:

    I’m not so sure that this holds the opposite way.

    Really? So those voters allow a Trump or Cruz victory? I’m not so sure of that…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. Modulo Myself says:

    Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is refusing to release the transcripts of her Goldman Sachs speeches. If Sanders wins tonight and wins big it’s all in her court.

    According to Politico:

    The person who saw Clinton’s Arizona remarks to Goldman said they thought there was no chance the campaign would ever release them. “It would bury her against Sanders,” this person said. “It really makes her look like an ally of the firm.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  55. Modulo Myself says:

    Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is refusing to release the transcripts of her Goldman Sachs speeches. If Sanders wins tonight and wins big it’s all in her court.

    According to Politico:

    The person who saw Clinton’s Arizona remarks to Goldman said they thought there was no chance the campaign would ever release them. “It would bury her against Sanders,” this person said. “It really makes her look like an ally of the firm.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. David M says:

    @Tillman:

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that Clinton will enthusiastically support Sanders if he wins the nomination. I think there is a very good question about whether a significant number of other higher profile Democrats candidates will distance themselves from him, given his proposed tax increases and general ridiculousness. I’ll hold my nose and vote for him, but it’s hard for me see how a Sanders candidacy doesn’t help the GOP.

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  57. Mikey says:

    @David M:

    I’ll hold my nose and vote for him, but it’s hard for me see how a Sanders candidacy doesn’t help the GOP.

    Depends on who the GOP ends up with.

    I think it’s quite likely fewer people would find Sanders repellent than they would Trump, but the same is probably not true of Rubio.

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  58. Tyrell says:

    I see some comments about the election of ’64. Yes, a landslide for Lyndon Johnson, probably the most adept politician in modern history. But what needs to be remembered is the Democrat fiasco of ’72. Senator McGovern was an honorable, honest leader. His campaign, and the Democratic National Party was taken over by radical, extreme elements that were far from the mainstream citizens. The campaign was a disaster, but Nixon would have probably beat anyone handily. The lesson is to stay in the middle.
    Hillary needs to focus on her policy positions, not reorganizing. She needs to make these positions clear. She must avoid trying to out left Sanders. Hillary’s strong points are knowledge, organization, and experience. She is not a great speaker, does not have the likable personality of Sanders, and is not trustworthy. But she is still the person to beat, by far.

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  59. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell: I feel that anyone who mentions “radical, extreme elements” in the late ’60s and early ’70s should be obliged to also mention that the root cause was the Vietnam War.

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  60. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben:

    The real problem for Sanders is how SC allocates its delegates. They’re proportional, but not on a statewide basis. 35 of the 53 are allocated by congressional district based on performance within that district, and the districts do not have the same number of delegates (not saying it was intentional, but the allocation of delegates to districts more or less parallels the extent to which the Dem electorate in each district is comprised of African Americans. The SC 6th, by far SC’s most AA district in terms of the Dem electorate there, gets 8 delegates – the most of any district in the state).

    18 more are allocated according to the statewide results, with 6 unpledged who normally support the national frontrunner. So Clinton could conceivably tie Sanders vote-wise but still walk away with the bulk of SC’s delegates.

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  61. charon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    not saying it was intentional, but the allocation of delegates to districts more or less parallels the extent to which the Dem electorate in each district is comprised of African Americans.

    That seems strange. I would think it more logical to award delegates based on what proportion of the total electorate are Democrats – which might have a similar result.

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  62. the Q says:

    I believe that we are at the threshold of a fundamental change in our popular economic thought, that in the future we are going to think less about the producer and more about the consumer. Do what we may have to do to inject life into our ailing economic order, we cannot make it endure for long unless we can bring about a wiser, more equitable distribution of the national income.

    The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.

    We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need to correct, by drastic means if necessary, the faults in our economic system from which we now suffer. We need the courage of the young. Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you.

    March 1932…..F frigging DR for all you incrementalist baby boom dipschitz

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  63. gVOR08 says:

    @the Q: Through most of our history capital has been scarce, and has been the choke point in the economy. We now seem to have way more capital than we have productive projects. We’re still recovering from a financial collapse caused by a “savings glut” encouraging building a quarter million houses nobody needed. A paradigm shift does seem in order.

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  64. bill says:

    and then slick willie chimes in to “help”?! that should do it all right….

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/bill-clinton-hillary-weren-married-article-1.2525182

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  65. the Q says:

    I believe that we are at the threshold of a fundamental change in our popular economic thought, that in the future we are going to think less about the producer and more about the consumer. Do what we may have to do to inject life into our ailing economic order, we cannot make it endure for long unless we can bring about a wiser, more equitable distribution of the national income.

    The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.

    We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need to correct, by drastic means if necessary, the faults in our economic system from which we now suffer. We need the courage of the young. Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you.

    March 1932…..F friggin DR for all you incrementalist baby boom dipschitz

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  66. the Q says:

    gVOR08

    No, our basic trouble was not an insufficiency of capital. It was an insufficient distribution of buying power coupled with an oversufficient speculation in production. While wages rose in many of our industries, they did not as a whole rise proportionately to the reward to capital, and at the same time the purchasing power of other great groups of our population was permitted to shrink. We accumulated such a superabundance of capital that our great bankers were Vying with each other, some of them employing questionable methods, in their efforts to lend this capital at home and abroad.

    FDR 1932…same speech

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  67. the Q says:

    We are 16 years short of it being 100 years since the New Deal completely changed everything about this country (and of course WW2). I lived through both and its AMAZING to me that almost 100 years later, we are still debating the same phucking issues that were settled when I was a kid, namely, tax the schitt out of the rich, control and confine finance capital, improve worker wages, build up the educational system and infrastructure.

    But to you boomers, my gosh that’s too revolutionary and no one could possibly get elected espousing that, so lets turn to the ethically and morally corrupt Cllnton machine to restore sanity to Bernies’ fantasies.

    That thinking is what gave rise to the GOP taking over. The era of big gov’t is over. We can’t break up the banks. Lets be nice to the job “creators”. Lets not be too bold.

    Thank God the young ones are rejecting the boomer anal selfishness.

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  68. An Interested Party says:

    That thinking is what gave rise to the GOP taking over.

    Oh really? Democratic moderation (or triangulation or whatever you want to call it) brought us Reagan in 1980 and the Republican takeover of the South? If only Dems were as liberal as Bernie they would win? Look, I admire FDR as much as you do, he was the greatest president of the 20th century, but what facts do you base this idea that Sanders could actually win a general election? How does he get 270 votes? Which toss-up states can he carry? North Carolina? Virginia? Florida? Ohio?

    Meanwhile, it seems to me that we got the New Deal because of the awful state of the country due to the Great Depression…in other words, we would need a catastrophic economic event of that magnitude before most Americans would be willing to take a chance on something like the New Deal again…

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  69. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @bill: Having read the article, the comment isn’t anywhere near as nefarious as you would like to portray it, but I still believe that both Bill and Hill need to remember that if her name wasn’t Clinton, this comment thread probably wouldn’t exist. I find myself seeing over and over that if she wasn’t Hillary Clinton– even with all the baggage that goes with that name–she would just be a Democratic Carly or a more erudite and rational Sarah.

    Sorry, but I’m just sayin’.

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