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Friday, April 5, 2019


Sam Stein is a reporter for The Daily Beast and a frequent guest on Morning Joe.  This morning he summarized a column he has just written [which I cannot find online, hence no link], the gist of which is that Bernie could effectively lock up the nomination next March.  He bases this rather startling claim on four facts:

1.   Bernie is raising way more money than anyone else.
2.   Bernie has a humongous number of small donors, who can be counted on to keep making small donations over and over again.
3.   Berne is likely once again to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire.
4.   California, the great whale, has moved its primary to March 3, Super Tuesday.  Bernie will have the money to compete big time in California [which begins early voting on the day of the Iowa caucuses!] and in Texas, which also has moved its primary to Super Tuesday.

My own view is that Bernie desperately needs to dramatically increase his support in minority communities, and not just among the young.  If he can do that, I think he could slaughter Trump in the general.  A Sanders Harris ticket might be ideal.


Thomas Jones said...

This may be the article:

DDA said...

Why are you buying into the myth of Sanders' unpopularity with minorities? His net favorability is higher than any of the other Dems. nice graph here

Chris said...

Right, Professor Wolff, DDA beat me to the punch. Bernie actually is quite favorable among non-white guys, i.e., the myth of the Bernie Bro is a myth.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I am delighted to stand corected. said...

Pete Buttigieg seems knowledgeable, sensible, composed and affable. I suppose it would be vulgar to surmise the hay such as Trump would make of a gay man with that last name. But since Trump is vulgarity incarnate, one can rest assured that, should Buttigieg surge in the polls, hay will be made. Have you any thoughts on Pete's politics?

LFC said...


In an earlier comment I mentioned Nathan Robinson's very critical piece on Buttigieg in Current Affairs (which can be found easily, I'm sure, by googling). I didn't read the entire thing but it makes a reasonably good case that progressives and leftists should not view him as being in their corner. Robinson has axes to grind like everyone else so I wouldn't endorse everything he says but it's enough to make one think twice about B. as a candidate.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Well, JGKess, I did read the entire Robinson piece, start to finish. It is a brilliant, devastating hatchet job, and I am a fan of good hatchet work. I wasn't attracted to Buttigieg before, but that piece settled it, because I have been fighting those types all my life, starting with McGeorge Bundy in 1960-61, before he left Harvard to be JFK's National Security Advisor. I could tell you stories. said...

Please, tell us stories. I've a few stories myself--- and none of them, as a gay person myself, over-flattering to local Republican types. All in jest.

talha said...

To further chime in, Sanders Harris is an unimaginable--simply put, unworkable--ticket. She is a neoliberal (or "corporate democrat" if you prefer) to her core and there's no way she can effectively stump for Sanders without the glaring contradictions between her past positions and what she would now need to speak up for being brought up constantly to drain all credibility from her side of the ticket in a way that would certainly be drag on the ticket as a whole. Sanders Warren could work. And that's about it re running mates selected from among the other candidates. (Tulsi Gubbard might be mentioned but I think that's a no-go.)

Chris said...

Talha, why don't people like TG? The little I know of her I like a lot (breaking with the DNC to endorse Bernie), but I see she's scorned by many of my fellow travelers.

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

I think the Sanders/Harris ticket could work quite well. Your characterization of Harris as a corporate democrat is absolutely correct. However, the Dems have to run a ticket, and have a platform, that brings its two major factions together to win. I am of the opinion that we need not just to win, but win with with historic margins. Republicans (fascists) need to be completely demolished, and Dems need to cement a center/left coalition that will sustain a political realignment that will last. If this ticket were to happen, for example, Harris, whose slogan is "For the People," can campaign more effectively on legal and constitutional issues than Bernie. (Legal/constitutional issues will play more prominently than ever, I suspect this time around) VP candidates have historically been chosen to cement support from opposing factions in the party. She fits that bill, and is a very effective speaker/campaigner.

If I look at this upcoming election through an ideological lens, I agree with your post. But this election, forgive me if this characterization is hyperbolic, is of world historic importance so my lens is more pragmatic.

Jerry Fresia said...

Chris, I like Tulsi. In fact, I will send one dollar to her campaign so that she can qualify for the debates. She hasn't gotten to the number of individual contributors yet.

I think she is disliked for her independence, especially around meeting with the enemy - both Assad and Trump. And she had a poor stance vis-a-vis gays back when. But she has atoned for that.

talha said...


Thanks for the thoughtful analysis. I'll have to chew it over and reflect a bit, esp. on the historical role of the VP and need for center/left coalition for realignment. Because it is that latter, realignment and it necessity, that drives everything I think and say on this front. I think you're characterization of our moment and the election as "world historic importance" is not one jot of hyperbole. And the need for a fundamental realignment in American politics is paramount above all, in my view (and, yes, that includes beating Trump: beating Trump without realignment just means continuing the present with all its morbid symptoms). A realignment that may well prove, in historical terms, more fundamental than any in US history, including the New Deal and Civil War, at least when it comes to structural economic matter. And for that I am just not sure about the role of centrism. In other words, it is precisely the world historic stakes that make me push for ideological clarity. As did, when push came to shove, Lincoln, FDR and, hate to admit it, Ronald Reagan.

talha said...


There are two reasons why I like Gubbard, what you say here (the break with DNC to support Bernie) and what Jerry says here (her foreign policy views). I am concerned however that foreign policy leftism is so inflammatory in the US (much more so than with domestic policy, which explains I believe Bernie's more cautious approach on the former) that, combined with the past views Jerry references, will make her easy bait for the mainstream neoliberal-hawkish-identity juggernaut to bring down.

Chris said...

Jerry and Talha,
I also have zero problem with 'meeting with the enemy'. Meetings are always preferable to prolonged state violence which endangers the innocent. Yes, being anti-homosexual marriage is archaic, but it's not a sufficient condition to make me categorically not vote for someone. So, she still seems promising given my limited information.