Clinton Clinches Democratic Nomination, Multiple Media Outlets Project

An historic achievement.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

In a somewhat surprising development late yesterday, the Associated Press, NBC News, and CNN all independently projected that Hillary Clinton had obtained the support of a sufficient number of delegates to win a majority on the first ballot at the convention in Philadelphia, making her the first female Presidential nominee of a major party in American party:

Hillary Clinton became the first woman to capture the presidential nomination of one of the country’s major political parties on Monday night, according to an Associated Press survey of Democratic superdelegates, securing enough of them to overcome a bruising challenge from Senator Bernie Sanders and turn to a brutal five-month campaign against Donald J. Trump.

In a yearlong nomination fight full of surprise twists, from the popularity of Mr. Sanders to the success of Mr. Trump, the revelation that Mrs. Clinton had clinched the nomination was another startling development — especially coming on the eve of major primaries in California, New Jersey and other states. Mr. Sanders added to the drama by refusing to accept the A.P. survey and vowing to fight on, while Mr. Trump argued that he had done more for women than Mrs. Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton was ebullient but also restrained as she received the news at an uncanny moment — almost eight years to the day after she ended her campaign against Barack Obama before a crowd of many teary women and girls. On Monday night, she shared the breakthrough with a jubilant audience at a campaign stop in Long Beach, Calif.

“I got to tell you, according to the news, we are on the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment, but we still have work to do, don’t we?” Mrs. Clinton said. “We have six elections tomorrow, and we’re going to fight hard for every single vote, especially right here in California.”

Like Mr. Obama eight years ago, Mrs. Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination with the support of hundreds of superdelegates — the party insiders, Democratic officials, members of Congress, major donors and others who help select the nominee. Under Democratic rules, these superdelegates — approximately 720 in all — are allowed to back any candidate they wish and can change their allegiance any time before theDemocratic National Convention in July.

Mrs. Clinton has had relationships with many of the superdelegates for years, and her campaign began seeking their support as soon as she entered the race last spring. Mr. Sanders, by contrast, has struggled to win their backing.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders competed most aggressively for so-called pledged delegates — the roughly 4,000 delegates won through state primaries and caucuses.

The A.P. declared Mrs. Clinton the presumptive nominee by reaching out to superdelegates who had not announced which candidate they were supporting, and confirming that enough were backing Mrs. Clinton to get her to the magic number of 2,383.
But her aides were reluctant to proclaim the race over, for fear of depressing turnout on Tuesday — especially in California, where the race remains close — or appearing to take the victory for granted.

Robby Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, said the A.P.’s call was “an important milestone” but indicated Mrs. Clinton did not intend to declare victory until Tuesday night, when she “will clinch not only a win in the popular vote, but also the majority of pledged delegates.”

Advisers to Mr. Sanders took a dim view of the math. He previously said he would lobby Clinton superdelegates to shift their support to him by arguing that he is the party’s best chance to defeat Mr. Trump, and he particularly plans to target those superdelegates who represent states where Mr. Sanders won primaries and caucuses.

The advisers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Sanders was aiming to win the California primary on Tuesday to bolster his argument to superdelegates that he is the stronger and more popular candidate than Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Sanders, speaking on Monday night at a rally in San Francisco, did not acknowledge the news that Mrs. Clinton had clinched the nomination, and instead defiantly vowed to continue his candidacy to the convention. But he also made clear that Tuesday’s vote was make or break for the future of his campaign.

“Tomorrow is the most important primary in the whole Democratic nominating process — we are going to win here in California,” Mr. Sanders said. He added that if he could win the Tuesday contests in California, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Montana and do well in New Jersey, his campaign would be “going into that convention with enormous momentum.”

As I said, the announcement last night came as something of a surprise to the political media and appears to have caught the Clinton campaign slightly off-guard in that they don’t appear to have been expecting that it would be the results of the New Jersey Primary tonight that would officially put Clinton over the top and effectively bring the race to an end. Indeed, on some level one suspects that the Clinton campaign would have preferred that it be voters who put Clinton over the top rather than party officials, but a win is a win. In any case, it appears that what has happened is that a number of Superdelegates decided to come off the sidelines in the last week or so and support Clinton. With the announcement last night, which will quickly be followed by tonight’s expected primary victories and a likely endorsement from the President and Vice-President which could come as early as tomorrow, it’s likely that we’ll see even more Superdelegates come to Clinton’s side. Alternatively, the idea that we would see these delegates abandon Clinton for Sanders is quite simply implausible and silly. In the entire history of the “Superdelegate” system, it has never been the case that these delegates have gotten behind the second place candidate en masse. To suggest that they are going to do so this time for some unstated reason is to engage in a silly and implausible fantasy.

In any case, while Clinton’s selection won’t be official until the convention, it’s still worthwhile to make note of the historical significance of what is happening here. For the the second time in eight years, one of America’s major political parties has chosen a Presidential nominee from a segment outside of the historical mainstream for American Presidents. Eight years ago it was an African-American and today it is a woman. While I’m generally not a person to get hung up on demographics, there is something worth being proud of as an American when these archaic barriers are broken through even though I have serious policy differences with the candidates in question. In President Obama’s case, the nomination and election of an African-American President was perhaps more significant given the long and incomplete story of race relations in the United States. However, the expected nomination of Hillary Clinton is also worth taking note if only because it look so long. Women have been eligible to vote nationwide for ninety-six years now. Great Britain elected their first female Prime Minister in 1979, Indira Ghandi took office for the first time in 1966, Canada had a female Prime Minister for a brief period in 1993, and Golda Meir took office in 1969. Whether she wins or not is for the voters to decide, but with her nomination Secretary Clinton has broken through a significant ‘glass ceiling,’ and that’s a good thing for the country as a whole.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. stoneools says:

    Good post, Doug.
    Nancy Pelosi endorsed today, so the Democratic leadership are coming off the sidelines en masse.

    Sanders and his supporters remain defiant, but in 2008 Sanders endorsed Obama at this point in that campaign.

    As Bernie Sanders and his supporters argue that Hillary Clinton can’t clinch the Democratic nomination on Tuesday – because superdelegates don’t count until the convention – it is worth noting that Sanders endorsed Barack Obama two days after Obama crossed the magic number (pledged + superdelegate), saying he had become Democratic nominee.

    And Sanders’ endorsement of Obama came before Clinton had officially exited the 2008 presidential race.

    “I plan to play a very active role,” Sanders said of endorsing Obama, according to an interview in the June 5, 2008 Burlington Free Press. “I will do everything I can to see that he is elected president.”

    But the newspaper added, “Sanders said he held off supporting either of the Democrats [Obama or Clinton] because he has made it a custom not to support any Democrat for the presidential nomination until the party had chosen its nominee.”

    This might be a distasteful analogy given Sander’s background, be he really sounds like Hitler in his bunker in April 1945, giving orders to phantom armies and entertaining fanciful victory scenarios.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I’m a bit dubious of this phantom clinching and find the reporting of it on the eve of the California primary questionable at best.

    It’s been obvious for weeks, if not months, that Clinton would be the nominee. But Sanders is actually right here: superdelegates could theoretically shift their vote to him. Given that his continued candidacy and scorched earth tactics have alienated him, that’s exceedingly unlikely. Even if he were to win California, it wouldn’t be in a landslide and there’s no indication that Clinton’s support is dropping off with the mass electorate. Still, the voting should play out.

  3. KM says:

    @James Joyner:

    But Sanders is actually right here: superdelegates could theoretically shift their vote to him.

    *sigh* And theoretically I could wake up married to the Sexiest Man Alive tomorrow morning. After all, it just takes an improbable set of coincidences for us to be in the same place together (Vegas likely and presumably blindly drunk) but hey, it can happen! Sanders’ point is one of someone desperately trying to avoid the obvious practical aspects by clinging to technicalities.

    As I just posted on Doug’s other thread, the only viable reason for superdelegate flips at this point is old-school backroom dealing. The scandal would be immense – ignoring the stated will of the voters to suddenly go Sanders after he’s been mocking the idea of their existence for months? Yeah, that’s not suspicious at all. Pure Sanders would need to get very very dirty for that fantasy to have a chance in hell of happening. The outrage would be immense; I’d bet everything I own more voters would stay home at feeling cheated out of their votes for that then any BernieBros we’d lose by following the rules.

    It’s disingenuous as best to say “Well theoretically….” when the intent is to deny reality. It’s borderline cruel by his campaign to keep advancing the narrative that they can still win and string people along. If he wants to keep running so everyone can have the chance to vote for him, fine but he needs to be honest with his people and stop taking their money. If Trump were doing this in reversed circumstances, we’d all be calling him out for near fraudulent actions.

  4. Todd says:

    If anything, this premature announcement might make it slightly more likely that Sanders wins California today. But now the Clinton campaign will have even more ammunition to (correctly) point out that it doesn’t matter … something they would have done anyway.

    Now to give some ammunition to my haters here in the comment section …

    I don’t buy for a second that the Clinton campaign was legitimately “surprised” by yesterday’s announcement. I do agree with Doug’s point that the optics would have been better if voters in NJ has put them “over the top”, but the cynic in me can’t help but think they had some sort of internal polling showing CA might go south for them. Again, that wouldn’t derail the nomination for her, but ultimately it would have been even worse optics than asking a few undeclared Superdelegates to come out two days early so that the AP would call the race the day before the primary. Now even if she loses CA, the perfectly plausible explanation is that some of her supporters stayed home … because she’s already won.

    All of that said, she’s the only thing standing between the White House and a thin-skinned, racist lunatic, so good luck to Hillary Clinton over the next 5 months.

  5. James Joyner says:

    @KM: I think this would have played out naturally by this evening, anyway. If Clinton wins California, then she’s all but mathematically guaranteed the nomination. But the press shouldn’t itself become the story, as it is by issuing this projection on the eve of a major voting day.

  6. Todd says:

    @stoneools:

    This might be a distasteful analogy given Sander’s background, be he really sounds like Hitler in his bunker in April 1945

    Really????

    Hitler?

    I’m going to vote for your flawed nominee, because the alternative really would be a disaster.

    But some of you wonder why so many people don’t want to call themselves Democrats?

  7. James Pearce says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m a bit dubious of this phantom clinching and find the reporting of it on the eve of the California primary questionable at best.

    It is a bit like calling a game before the final whistle blows, sure, but consider: It’s usually the announcers who do that, never the refs.

    The vote is still going to play out. But there is a point where you have to go from “anything can happen at this point” to “this is probably what’s going to happen.”

  8. Pch101 says:

    @stonetools:

    The Hitler analogy is verging into Godwin territory. The Iraqi information minister might provide a more apt comparison (although I am hoping that Sanders is just putting on a act that will end with the convention.)

  9. KM says:

    @stoneools:
    I must agree with Todd, that definitely was not the best analogy for your point. Might I suggest the Millerites and the Great Disappointment instead? The fact that many waited outside all day and beyond for Jesus to come back…. and when he didn’t, they simply changed some of the details to keep on hoping (the Investigative Judgment of Seventh Day Adventists). Instead of facing up to what had transpired like many of their brethren, the true believers reshaped their perception so they were not wrong, just not precise in their understanding.

    Sanders supporters strike me as this kind of individual: they will not be “wrong” so the story must change to vindicate them. What that story ultimately will be, however, is what we are all waiting to see….

  10. bookdragon says:

    @Todd: The press was being the press and wanted the ‘clicks’ for breaking the story.

    It’s possible the Clinton campaign got a heads up on it just before it broke. It’s also possible the Sanders campaign did (he did get a call from Obama before it broke and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Obama’s people were on top of stuff and heard the AP planned to go with the story ahead of today).

    I do give you credit for imagining this could hurt Clinton in CA. So far the Berniac stuff I’ve seen seems to be claiming it’s meant to suppress his turn out. Frankly, it strikes me that if there’s any political motivation (which I doubt since ‘getting the story first’ meets Occam’s Razor) it was more likely helping GOP down ticket candidates if Dem voters of either camp stayed home.

    In any case, since mailed ballots in CA only have to arrive by the 10th to be counted, we won’t have a final tally from CA until well after tonight, which will also be well after HRC passes the threshold from the delegates she’s expected to pick up in the NJ primary. There was never any reason to think that the press wouldn’t declare her the presumptive nominee at roughly 8pm tonight anyway.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    …superdelegates could theoretically shift their vote to him.

    Theoretically, there could be a revolt at the GOP convention and someone other than Trump could become the nominee…a shame for Republicans that won’t happen…

    I don’t buy for a second that the Clinton campaign was legitimately “surprised” by yesterday’s announcement. I do agree with Doug’s point that the optics would have been better if voters in NJ has put them “over the top”, but the cynic in me can’t help but think they had some sort of internal polling showing CA might go south for them. Again, that wouldn’t derail the nomination for her, but ultimately it would have been even worse optics than asking a few undeclared Superdelegates to come out two days early so that the AP would call the race the day before the primary. Now even if she loses CA, the perfectly plausible explanation is that some of her supporters stayed home … because she’s already won.

    Perhaps there is a conspiracy between the media and the Clinton campaign…

  12. Todd says:

    @bookdragon:

    I do give you credit for imagining this could hurt Clinton in CA

    I never said, or even implied that. Losing CA now doesn’t hurt Clinton. Whichever side loses will be able to claim their voters were discouraged by yesterday’s news. In some, counter-intuitive way it might almost be better for Clinton if she does just barely lose CA now.

    It will be easier for Sanders to make that inevitable speech to his supporters that it’s time to bury the hatchet and work to defeat Donald Trump if they don’t feel like they were “cheated” out of the California result they were hoping for.

    Just to be clear … I am NOT at this point in time someone who thinks there’s any plausible way that Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee. But I do know a whole lot of Sanders supporters who are still very much in the “never Hillary” camp. Bringing them around is not going to be as simple as just saying “But Trump …. “

  13. Todd says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Perhaps there is a conspiracy between the media and the Clinton campaign…

    No conspiracy.

    But honestly, is it really all that far-fetched to wonder why these superdelegates who stayed ostensibly undeclared until this late date just decided all on their own that now, the day before the last primaries was the time to tell the AP who they intend to support?

    If the Clinton campaign wasn’t behind this, they should have been. It takes pretty much all the drama out of the California result.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    @KM:

    I could wake up married to the Sexiest Man Alive tomorrow morning.

    Well, I am single…

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Theoretically, there could be a revolt at the GOP convention and someone other than Trump could become the nominee

    This may be more likely than you think. The events of the last few days, I think, have given the GOP establishment more angst than they are comfortable with. Days after endorsing Trump, Ryan is forced to condemn him as a full-throated racist. Not good. McConnell is talking about the presumptive GOP nominee as the lesser of two evils. Also not good.
    The meltdown everyone was expecting is happening. Unfortunately for Republicans it happened after Trump wrapped up the nomination of the party of Lincoln and Reagan.

  16. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @KM:

    Sanders is actually right here: superdelegates could theoretically shift their vote to him.

    The only situation that I could imagine the unpledged delegates abandoning Clinton would be an Justice Dept indictment.

    “Seems” pretty remote, but yes it could happen (right after your “Sexiest Man Alive” scenario)

  17. Facebones says:

    @Todd:

    But honestly, is it really all that far-fetched to wonder why these superdelegates who stayed ostensibly undeclared until this late date just decided all on their own that now, the day before the last primaries was the time to tell the AP who they intend to support?

    Yes.

    The AP called the undeclared supers up and asked them if they had a preference after Hillary closed to within 25 delegates after the weekend primaries. They answered honestly. The AP counted and saw Hillary had 50%+1 pledged and super delegates and ran a story. NBC had done their own count and released a similar story shortly afterwards. Oooo, conspiracies abound!

    I’ll be so glad when these primaries are done and I can stop hearing lunatic conspiracy theories about how they were all rigged by the sinister DNC.

  18. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Todd:

    But honestly, is it really all that far-fetched to wonder why these superdelegates who stayed ostensibly undeclared until this late date just decided all on their own that now, the day before the last primaries was the time to tell the AP who they intend to support?

    If the Clinton campaign wasn’t behind this, they should have been.

    In my current life, I raise funds for a living. If I tell a philanthropist all about how my campaign is permanently changing the planet for the better, and his or her donation now saves lives right now, I MIGHT get a cheque for $100K or so, if the donor is feeling generous.

    But if I take that same donor, tell him our goal is $500 million, that we are $498 million towards our goal, and s/he can make the difference between success or failure, I’ll walk away with a $2 million check. Notice what I didn’t mention? Anything about doing good for the world, or saving lives..

    Narcissistic people love to be the cherry on top. As soon as Hillary was a handful of delegates away from the nomination, it was only natural for a handful of “undecided’ delegates to all compete to be the cherry on Hillary’s sundae–whether or not Hillary actually wanted or needed their support at that time. There’s a superdelegate out there who is going to tell his or her grandkids “I was the one who made the difference. I am the reason Hillary won.”

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    Isabel Martínez de Perón is a former President of Argentina. She was the third wife of the late President Juan Perón. During her husband’s third term as president from 1973 to 1974, Isabel served as both vice president and First Lady. Following her husband’s death in office in 1974, Isabel served as president of Argentina from 1 July 1974 to 24 March 1976. She holds the distinction of being the first female president of any country in the world.

    No, she was not elected to the office. But then neither was Gerald Ford.

  20. Pch101 says:

    The belief that superdelegates (i.e. party insiders) should feel compelled to nominate a guy who isn’t a member of their party is bordering on the delusional. That’s akin to allowing some dude who lives down the street to move into your place simply because he has decided that he wants of piece of your higher property values.

    The notion that said insiders would switch their allegiances to someone who isn’t a member of their party AND who is coming in a distant second place is even more over the top. The Tea Party was supposed to serve as a cautionary tale, not as a role model.

  21. DrDaveT says:

    @stoneools:

    This might be a distasteful analogy given Sander’s background

    I think ‘distasteful’ is way too generous. Seriously, have to go with Todd’s take on this one — it was a dumb thing to say.

    My personal take is that Sanders apparently dislikes Hillary personally. That makes his endorsement of Obama in 2008 and his failure to endorse right now perfectly consistent.

  22. Andre Kenji says:

    Theoretically, some aliens could come from Alpha Centauri or Tau-Ceti, invade both the GOP and the Democratic Convention and force both parties to run a cocker spaniel as a candidate.

  23. wr says:

    @Todd: “But some of you wonder why so many people don’t want to call themselves Democrats?”

    Yes, I make all the most important decisions in my life based on whether or not some anonymous commenter on a blog makes a snarky comment on one side or the other.

    Really, dude, you are making yourself look ridiculous.

  24. Mister Bluster says:

    C. Clavin says:
    Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 11:54
    @KM:

    I could wake up married to the Sexiest Man Alive tomorrow morning.

    Well, I am single…

    The internet needs another dating site. Outside the Bedroom?

  25. Tyrell says:

    Evidently someone on up the command chain got nervous and pushed the button .

  26. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Todd: Dude, you should be posting this at Fox News; you’d be a cinch for the next time they’re hiring a writer.

  27. stonetools says:

    Hitler actually did engage in fantasy scenarios of German victory in the last month of his life. But I guess historically accurate, apt analogies to any aspect of Hitler are considered distasteful, stupid , and a violation of the (misunderstood) Godwin’s Law, despite this exception:

    Godwin’s law itself can be abused as a distraction, diversion or even as censorship, fallaciously miscasting an opponent’s argument as hyperbole when the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate.

    Oh well, good to know!

    Might I suggest the Millerites and the Great Disappointment instead?

    So embarrassing references to Seventh Day Adventists are better? Okeydoke. Happy to be updated on all Internet traditions!

  28. bookdragon says:

    @Todd: Sorry. You only mentioned the idea of Clinton having polling showing a poorer performance in CA and so wanting this as an excuse, so I interpreted that to mean you thought this would be more likely to hurt her.

    From latest polls, right now it looks like 79% of Bernie supporters will vote HRC in the fall. I figure at least another 5-10% will come around once the stages of grief run their course. A lot of the others are disaffected Randians who jumped to Bernie and were never going to vote for any other Dem anyway and/or people so infected with Clinton Derangement Syndrome that they simply aren’t persuadable. Given the increasing number of Republicans who can’t bring themselves to vote for Trump and the number within that group who would consider voting for HRC, I think we can lose the hardcore BoBs and still win in Nov.

  29. Tony W says:

    @KM:

    I could wake up married to the Sexiest Man Alive tomorrow morning.

    Sorry, taken 🙂

  30. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Andre Kenji: Gee, that’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure that a Republican cocker spaniel could beat Hillary, but Democratic one would definitely have a chance against Trump.

  31. Andre Kenji says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: The cocker spaniel wouldn´t be a racist. Nor start unnecessary wars.

  32. KM says:

    @Bob@Youngstown :
    Not my line, dear – that’s me quoting James further up-thread. 🙂

  33. Tillman says:

    @stonetools: Ah, the authentic voice of a grown-up.

  34. Kylopod says:

    @stonetools:

    But I guess historically accurate, apt analogies to any aspect of Hitler are considered distasteful, stupid

    It is also historically accurate that Hitler had a mustache, but that doesn’t mean comparing him with, say, Charlie Rangel, wouldn’t be inappropriate and stupid.

    When reaching for a Hitler comparison, what should matter isn’t just whether it’s “accurate” but whether it has anything to do with, you know, what made Hitler Hitler.

  35. Paul Hooson says:

    think Sanders has the opportunity to do pretty well today to win in several states including California by a sqeeker, except for New Jersey which will be a Clinton blowout. But, I sadly believe the delegate numbers will be relatively close where Clinton does maintain a delegate lead among both elected as well as super delegates.

  36. Monala says:

    @stonetools: Come on, stonetools, you’re better than this. Comparisons to Hitler make people think of ultimate evil and genocide, regardless of what aspect of Hitler you’re comparing (that’s why it’s inapt to compare vegetarians with Hitler, even though he was one). And the fact that Sanders is Jewish and lost family in the Holocaust makes the comparison not only inapt, but offensive.

    Comparisons to the Millerites is in no way similar. They were loopy and delusional, but AFAIK, harmless to anyone but themselves.

  37. Monala says:

    @KM: Seems like a lot of guys on this thread have high opinions of themselves… 🙂

  38. stonetools says:

    @Kylopod: @Monala:

    Comparisons to Hitler make people think of ultimate evil and genocide

    Sorry but for me Hitler is not some mythical symbol standing for ultimate evil but a particular historical figure. I find that it’s better to think of him that way. I’m sorry that this seems wrong to some people.

    It is also historically accurate that Hitler had a mustache, but that doesn’t mean comparing him with, say, Charlie Rangel, wouldn’t be inappropriate and stupid.

    If we were discussing mustaches and it was clear that we were talking mustaches I would have no problem comparing Rangel’s mustache to Hitler’s. If you read my entire post you would see I was comparing Sander’s penchant for fantastical victory scenarios to Hitler’s. I did not compare them in any other way. Sadly for those who are condemning me, I took care not to just say “Sanders is like Hitler”. That would have been wrong , and I have been critical of such general analogies.

    Now would it have been more soothing or tasteful to have used another analogy? Apparently so. Sorry if people find my analogy distasteful. Apparently comparing Sanders to some misguided religious people that we could all laugh at would have been totes acceptable.
    If all that makes me seem juvenile, oh well. I’ve been called worse.

  39. Steve Verdon says:

    As a stats/numbers guy I looked at the pledged delegates and, IMO, there is almost zero probability that Sanders would win the nomination without the superdelegates getting behind him nearly entirely. And that is really unlikely considering that Clinton has the popular vote, won the most states, has the higher pledge count, and after tonight will likely have well over the 2,026 pledged candidates for here to win the nomination. Sanders would have to win 67% of the delegates and he just has not had that many wins in that range. Yes some, but not many. In fact, considering how many he has had vs. how many elections there are we’d need to have 1,000 Tuesdays before we’d expect him to win enough delegates to get to 2,026 pledged delegates.

  40. Tyrell says:

    @bookdragon: It would be a big mistake for Hillary to move further to the left to attract the Sanders people. If she gets further to the left, she is going to wind up in the left field foul area !

  41. Pch101 says:

    @stonetools:

    Hitler is synonymous with mass murder, extreme nihilism, wholesale bigotry and fascism. If you want to argue that Sanders is waging a Quixotic battle, then there are plenty of better analogies that don’t carry that Nazi baggage.

    Imagine saying these with a straight face:

    “That politician wants to expand our highway program…just like Hitler!”

    “Toyota wants to develop an affordable compact car…Hitler did that!”

    “Lisa likes German Shepherds…just like Hitler!”

    “Dave is a vegetarian…Hitler was a vegetarian!”

  42. stonetools says:

    @Pch101:

    You know, I’m not going to win this, because, hey, Hitler is singularly unpopular ( for good reason), and I get this. I’ve said my piece. Don’t like my careful and historically accurate analogy because it involves one of history’s greatest monsters? I understand that. We’ll agree to disagree.

  43. DrDaveT says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    The cocker spaniel wouldn´t be a racist.

    Hah. Shows what you know about Cocker Spaniels. They are fundamentally racist, distinguishing sharply between ASCOB* and other varieties, to the point of calling them separate breeds.

    *”Any Solid Color Other than Black”

  44. Kylopod says:

    @stonetools:

    If we were discussing mustaches and it was clear that we were talking mustaches I would have no problem comparing Rangel’s mustache to Hitler’s.

    You can’t be serious. You’re telling me that if you were talking about Rangel’s mustache and the subject of mustaches in general came up, the first analogy to spring to your mind, out of all the billions of celebrities and politicians and world leaders throughout history who have worn mustaches, would be Adolf Hitler? Pardon me if I don’t believe you.

    The problem isn’t that Hitler is a “mythical symbol standing for ultimate evil,” but that it’s ridiculous to use a historical figure as a point of comparison for things about them that have nothing to do with the mark they made on history.

    There are numerous examples throughout history of battles or wars in which the losing side delusionally believed until the very last moment that they were on the brink of victory. It’s almost a cliche. There’s no reason to invoke Hitler except for the reason people are always invoking Hitler.

    For the record, I am not against ever analogizing contemporary political events to the Nazis. It is patently obvious to me that the rise of Donald Trump invites such comparisons. I don’t assume the consequences are likely to be anywhere near as terrible, but I do think that anyone who hasn’t noticed the similarities, which are important and nontrivial, is being willfully blind.

    I do not throw around such analogies lightly. I am the grandson of Holocaust survivors, and up to now nothing in America in my 40-year-lifetime has even come close to making me think of Hitler. The whole “Obama=Hitler” meme on the right was too absurd to deserve a response, but even when I heard liberals compare Bush to Hitler, I had to roll my eyes.

    The problem with most Hitler comparisons is that they are, at bottom, something people do when they want to cast a sense of absolute illegitimacy on things they don’t like. And they usually reveal a dim understanding of why Hitler garnered his reputation as modern history’s greatest supervillain. You talk about how you don’t see him as a “mythical symbol standing for ultimate evil,” but I doubt you would have reached for the analogy if he didn’t hold that status in our culture. You were exploiting that status because you thought it would give your point more power than if you had invoked, say, the Iraqi information minister.

    I’m hardly offended by what you said, and I certainly didn’t see it as insensitive let alone anti-Semitic. The real problem is that it’s simply lazy, and it brings the reality of what happened in the 1940s down to the level of a children’s cartoon.

  45. al-Alameda says:

    @stonetools:

    This might be a distasteful analogy given Sander’s background, be he really sounds like Hitler in his bunker in April 1945, giving orders to phantom armies and entertaining fanciful victory scenarios.

    First: What is it with Hitler-equivalencies and Hitler-analogies that attracts so many people?
    The original Hitler was bad enough, we don’t need to go there in normal political discourse.

    Second: I’m a Hillary Clinton supporter and I am definitely of the opinion that Bernie should take it to the convention and extract from party leadership whatever he can – that’s the way this should play out. I doubt that Hillary herself is not especially threatened by the possibility of Bernie continuing his efforts all the way to Philadelphia.

  46. stonetools says:

    @Kylopod:

    I have a long, well thought out response, but what’s the point. Your TL;DR is that Hitler is too horrible for analogies, except in very rare circumstances, and that’s a popular stance. I can’t argue against Hitler’s horribleness, so we will agree to disagree.

  47. Kylopod says:

    @al-Alameda:

    What is it with Hitler-equivalencies and Hitler-analogies that attracts so many people?

    As I mentioned, I believe it has to do with legitimacy. We live in a democratic society in which we deal every day with a range of issues that are complicated and ambiguous, where it’s possible for decent people to come out on either side. Or at least that’s the consensus view on how political disagreements function. Yet the lesson we remember from our school days is that certain events–notably the Holocaust and slavery–were not ambiguous, but were simply a matter of good vs. evil.

    Back in the day, though, slavery was just another issue that people debated (e.g. Lincoln and Douglas), just like health care or taxes today. And in Germany in the 1920s, anti-Semitism and fascism were, too, “legitimate” positions held by many in the mainstream of society.

    So when people today invoke the Nazis or slavery, what they’re saying in effect is that the disagreement they’re having isn’t one of those messy, complicated topics, but a matter of simple, absolute right and wrong.

    Hence Ben Carson compares Obamacare to slavery and likens the US government to Nazi Germany. Jonah Goldberg declares that “The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism.” Anti-abortionists and animal rights activists often make Holocaust references.

    Not all Nazi comparisons are equally inappropriate. When there’s actual genocide going on or at least being contemplated, or when democratic institutions are truly being threatened, I’m willing to listen. But even then, it’s important to be cautious. Even when you have truly dangerous people, there’s a potential to over-learn the lessons of the past and react in ways that aren’t smart–like what our country did to Saddam’s Iraq or what much of the GOP claims to want to do to the Iran deal.

    Anytime we find ourselves reaching for a Hitler analogy, we should ask ourselves what purpose it serves, what point we’re trying to make, and whether it provides any true insight into the current situation or is simply an appeal to people’s visceral fears.