Friday, May 20, 2016

The blind spot of the Clinton Campaign: a lack of conviction behind the message

The other night, I was watching CNN to see the caption, "Clinton loses polling advantage over Trump". This was startling for a couple of reasons. First, CNN's parent company, Time-Warner has been a big contributor to Hillary Clinton's campaign. Second, this is Anderson Cooper's 360 show. Instead of talking about a plane crash for 24/7, he's talking with a panel about how Hillary Clinton is losing her polling lead to Trump.

It's hard to say exactly why this is happening, but I'd guess there are many reasons. I'd say that the biggest reason is that we have witnessed the best prepared candidate for the Democratic primaries in history being unable to vanquish her last opponent from the primary race. With every setback to the Sanders campaign, we see renewed determination to make sure he gets to the convention.

Plenty of ink has been spilled to show that despite her enormous advantage over Sanders, Hillary pissed away a 60 point lead in national polling to a virtual tie in Kentucky and a loss in Oregon. Seth Abramson at the the Huffington Post wrote a long essay about how even if Sanders loses the nomination, he has already won the debate. He is right to say that this election is more than just about electing Sanders as president. This election is all about the fate of the middle class.

Where Hillary Clinton pays lip service to the middle class, Sanders means every word of what he says. Abramson says that Clinton has stolen much of Sanders message to win the election. She has adopted most if not all of his platform to appease Sanders supporters, to "bring them back into the fold".

But Sanders supporters are right not to trust her, given her enormous backing from commercial interests and her long history of "we'll take what we can get from the Republicans" leadership. We are right to think that much of what she says will not make it to her desk as president by her own initiative.

In 2008, Obama was right about her. "She will say anything and change nothing". He would still be right about her if he said the same thing today. There are numerous reasons not to vote for Hillary Clinton. In fact, someone has put together 150 reasons not to vote for Hillary Clinton. Most of those reasons relate to money she's received from special interests intent on receiving special treatment. Obama knows this well. He received substantial funding from the banking industry and the result is that not a single executive from the banks has been prosecuted after the financial crisis from 2008.

Clinton seems to think that with her extensive and deep political network, a compliant major media, national name recognition, more than 300 superdelegates who expressed loyalty to her before even the first vote was cast and overwhelming funding, that she should prevail. She has had everything going for her to win the primaries, and yet, Sanders is still there. But she still doesn't see what is missing from her campaign to finish the job.

Now Trump is starting to overtake her in some national polls. She's meeting enormous resistance in places like the Nevada Democratic Convention. And no, there was no violence at the convention. One reporter who wasn't even there, relied upon another reporter with some very poor reporting, and that compliant major media network ran with it as if all hell broke loose. Even NPR moderated their message.

The Clinton campaign would love to see Sanders bow out now before their own campaign unravels. But all Sanders supporters need to do is to maintain their support of Sanders until the last ballot is cast at the convention. We need to keep holding the fire to the feet of Clinton and her allies. The message to both campaigns is simple. You can have the best campaign, the best political network and the best funding that money can buy. But if we don't trust you enough to follow through on your promises, we'll vote for someone else. Sanders really gets this. Clinton has no clue.

Now we see that Clinton has declared the primary race over with more than a month and a half to go to the convention. She must know something the rest of us don't because there are still 6 state primaries to go, including California. It's almost as if she's trying to will her way to victory, regardless of the reality of the situation.

That unwillingness to even acknowledge Sanders and his supporters is the blind spot in the entire Clinton campaign and that is why I will never vote for Clinton. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary Clinton both deserve to lose the primary in both of their respective races for the way they have conducted themselves during this campaign.

It is now time for the superdelegates to do their job and voice support for and vote for the better candidate. Where Sanders polls at an average of better than 13 points against Trump, Clinton is averaging around 6 points lead. Sanders is the candidate that has consistently polled better than Trump by double digits throughout this campaign season. He is the candidate that was consistently and continues to be foiled by major media from the beginning. The candidate that suffered voter suppression in favor of Clinton. The candidate who really means it when he says he wants to save the middle class.

But none of that really matters to Clinton or Debbie Wasserman Schultz because Sanders doesn't fit their agenda. Unfortunately, without any conviction behind her words, Clinton will not be able to convince the people that matter the most, the rest of us, that she's the right person for the job.

There is no better candidate than Bernie Sanders to beat Donald Trump. This is not a game and this sure as hell isn't a coronation for Hillary. It's not her turn to be president and it never has been. This is a contest to decide who should hold the most powerful political office in the world. Maybe the third time is the charm to finally get that message through to Clinton and her campaign.
Post a Comment