Tuesday, June 07, 2016


When I heard this news last night, I assumed that a carefully conceived Democratic plan to stage-manage the end of the primary season had played itself out. But it's clear that this is not at all what the Clinton campaign wanted:
Hillary Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee in a surprise development on Monday, making her the first woman ever to win a major party’s presidential nomination one day before she was expected to cross the threshold.

... the announcement -- first made by the Associated Press, and quickly confirmed by NBC and ABC -- was not expected until Tuesday night, when results from six states, including California and New Jersey, come in. Clinton's campaign had prepared a major victory rally in Brooklyn for Tuesday night, exactly eight years to the day after she conceded the 2008 race to then-Sen. Barack Obama.

... [Bernie] Sanders, long suspicious of superdelegates' role in the process, refused to concede on Monday night. His communications director Michael Briggs decried the media's "rush to judgment," signaling Sanders' intention to fight on.

... It was indeed superdelegates that put Clinton over the top -- the AP spent the day surveying these party insiders and counted those who said they were "unequivocally" for Clinton, according to the news agency’s U.S. political editor, David Scott.
My first thought was that the Clinton campaign, or the Democratic establishment, had been in contact with superdelegates who planned to vote for Clinton but hadn't publicly communicated that preference, and had encouraged them to come forward to the media. Why? I thought perhaps because private polls showed Clinton about to lose California, so the campaign (or the party) wanted a victory story as soon as possible. That's more or less what Billmon, a Sanders backer, seems to believe -- that the evil neoliberal Democra-media-fat-cat complex did this to shut Sanders down prematurely.

But that makes no sense. This makes an embarrassing Clinton loss in California even more likely. Sandersites aren't going to believe the race is over, so now they're even more motivated to turn out. Clinton voters, realizing it's over, are now less motivated to turn out. I can't believe the Clinton campaign or the Democratic establishment wanted that, all for a one-day jump on the inevitable. Why would the Clintonites or the Democrats want to set a fresh round of complaints about the alleged "rigging" of the system from the Sanders camp?

It's just another awkward moment for a campaign that's had too many of them. This particular awkwardness should last only a day, after which the president, vice president, and others will come off the sidelines in a show of unity around Clinton. (Nancy Pelosi just endorsed Clinton.) That'll be good. But this was a mess.


petrilli said...

Rachel Maddow explained prior to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico primary that exactly this would happen. She said that after the results of those elections were in, the math would be set in stone and all major news outlets would call the race for Hillary by this week. this was not a surprise. It matters not whether it's fair, or if either campaign is happy about the announcement. It's the truth. It's real news. I wish the elite media reported real news more often.

Victor said...

Another "fine" moment for DWS, who now more than ever, needs to go!

Feud Turgidson said...

Having trouble seeing any objective basis for concludiong a 'failure to manage" here. Numbers is numbers, and scheduling a V for Victory night in Brooklyn for LAST night would arguably look more like hubris. I ask: If Hillary 2008 hadn't gone so horribly under Mark Penn, would we really be seeing so many stories questioning HRC'campaign competence this year? [Hint: I think not.]

Switch gears ... caught FORMER PREZNIT CANDIDATE David French on Morning Geo today, which gets my senses tingling. NO ONE could possibly see this twerp as presidential candidate timber, just off how he presents. BUT - an unofficial study by the Bland copora-- strike that. IF ... if you wanted to spread what you thing is a killer peice of unfounded gossip BUT you don't have a platform for the story to be told NOR has the story actually happened, what better way than to 'invent' a preznit run over cocktails at Chez Kristol?

French told a story about receiving - no: his WIFE receiving - a threatening phhone call from some 'connected' person they 'assume' to be on behalf of the Trump campaign. ON EXAMINATION (and not much of it), French's little piece of gossip smells of days old hors d'oeuvres slipped in an out of the pocket of a suit jacket. BUT IT'S GANGSTA ALL RIGHT!

I feel like Luca Brasi showed up at Trattoria Tattaglia with his own fish and brown paper to say, Dnn Tattaglia, how bout you and me screw wid da Godfadders's rep first?

Ten Bears said...

Now Vic, be nice, she's gonna' be your next vice-president.

Steve M. said...

Rachel Maddow explained prior to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico primary that exactly this would happen. She said that after the results of those elections were in, the math would be set in stone and all major news outlets would call the race for Hillary by this week.

"This week" is not the same as "the night before the last major cluster of primaries."

Unknown said...

Then they wonder why people hate the MSM? The whole concept of the "get"is
why. I was furious when AP did this.

Sweet Sue said...

So, AP jumps the gun (as they did for Obama), and it's awkward Hillary's fault?
Have you taken a vow to piss on her every parade?

Glennis said...

It's kinda funny that people blast evil Hillary for supposed conspiring with the media, but yet deplore her lack of control over when the AP issues a statement.

petrilli said...

Steve, However unfortunate the timing, or clumsily I recalled it here, the point remains, this was going to happen. Everyone knew it would happen. Stage managing by either campaign or the DNC, existant or not, competent or not, was not a factor in the announcement. And it certainly is not journalism's job (however rarely it's practiced these days to worry about how their news affects a vote. There's just no blame here as far as I can tell. Heck, I thought I was agreeing with your post. Oh well.

Tom Hilton said...

It's a little unfortunate but I don't think it'll be a big deal in the end. The key thing to look for starting Wednesday is not just Obama and Biden and Warren endorsing her, but also people like Jeff Merkley moving to Clinton for the sake of party unity. Once Bernie's superdelegate numbers start moving in the 'wrong' direction, that should send a message even he can't ignore.

(Sort of off-topic, but I've been wondering this season when exactly billmon went completely 100% batshit crazy. He used to be smart and reality-based, and a must-read; now he's just another bitter delusional Bernie bot. It's very sad.)

The New York Crank said...

Sorry, Petrilli, there is so blame, and it goes right on AP, followed by NBC and then the rest of the press corps.

Perhaps you've noticed that in Presidential elections, projected winner{ are never announced until after the polls have closed. That's to keep the announcement from skewing the behavior of voters who have not yet gone to the polls. It's simple journalistic ethics. The press violated those ethics last night, most especially AP and NBC, which first broke the story..

The editors who made a decision to project and release primary results before the primary is over should be forced to stand at attention while the buttons are ripped off their shirts, their computer keyboards get broken across some justice's knee, their smartphones get thrown to the ground and trampled, and they are drummed forever out of the press corps.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

Ten Bears said...

While AP and the rest of the press were certainly out of line, it was hardly surprising, and quite frankly I cannot hold them hold them entirely at fault. Couple thousand years ago Sun Tzu wrote about presumptively traveling forward under the assumption of victory invariably results in moving the cheese, or something to that effect. It doesn't take much to push an overeager lemming off the cliff.

petrilli said...

Crank, I understand your concern. I was really hoping this wouldn't happen to Sanders until after California for all the reasons that Sanders supporters like me consider important such as launching his/our priorities into the next administration and moving that stubborn Overton Window. Your example of a presidential poll which I agree with, is just one Tuesday night. I think it's unrealistic to expect that kind of press restraint over months of what is (I think we can agree,) truly a ridiculously long primary campaign season. Read Nate Silver's take on it. She has the numbers. No supers are gonna flip. Way smarter people than me are saying it was a valid call. I realize honest people can disagree.

Anonymous said...

In what way is this "another awkward moment" for the Hillary Clinton campaign? That makes no sense. Who do you think did what and when? They should have coordinated how many superdelegates talked to reporters and subtracted just enough so that it would never be until after a primary day that they hit the magic number?