Ten thousand people jammed into Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Madison Wisconsin yesterday to hear former Socialist now Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders "beating his populist drum, to the delight of his supporters."
Sanders advised;"The big money interests — Wall Street, corporate America, all of these guys — have so much power that no president can defeat them unless there is an organized grassroots movement making them an offer they can't refuse,"
This message is something that Hillary Clinton has had a go at but it sounds utterly ludicrous coming from a multi-millionaire with decades of connection to "Wall Street,corporate America."
The Democratic machine and media initially dealt with the Sanders problem, if they gave it more than a cursory glance, as the quixotic campaign of an an eccentric uncle. As Sanders started to rise in some polls, to within striking distance of Hillary in New Hampshire if the trend evidenced continued, a new meme appeared.
"Sanders is actually good for Hillary as it will allow her to distance herself from the more extreme "progressive' wing of the party. That may or may not be the case but the problem with that is if Sanders continues to grow and get mass support the public will begin to associate the "progressive wing' of the Dem's actually being the main element of the party and Hillary an out of touch leftover from the Clinton years.
Even if she gets the nomination, as she probably will barring Sanders rising so far that Biden or some dark horse steps in and causes another 2008 for her, if Sanders has caused such a deep impression on the public she would have great difficulty in disabusing them that she is just a front person for a socialist agenda.
But the greatest danger for the Dem's is if Sanders creates such a groundswell amongst activists that, after losing a number of primary battles, he goes Independent or third party.
That this could be a disastrous for the left repeat of the 2000 Bush /Gore election (with another Jewish candidate to add to the repeat mix) must be the stuff of nightmares for the Dem operatives.That it might involve another Bush and with the same result would be beyond a nightmare for them.
A "progressive" indie run by Sanders would, at one swell swoop remove the vital core of on the ground, get out the vote, door knocking young Dem's and their fund-raising abilities. That alone could be a disaster in such close and vital states as Florida,Virginia, Colorado and Ohio where the election most likely, will be won or lost.
It would remove the massive social media support of Bloggers,Tweeters/Facebookers and the like from the Hillary support team. This would be even worse than in 2000 when such mass outreach was not available.
It would remove, to a large degree, the ever reliable leftist media cohort the Ezra Klein led leftist media "JournOlist conspiracy" which contributed so much to Obama's 2008 campaign as Sanders would most certainly appeal to these younger journalists than an aged Establishment candidate like Hillary could.
In the Electoral College history dwelt on the Florida recount in 2000 that sunk Al Gore's chances. What is often overlooked is that if he had carried New Hampshire its measly four Electoral College votes would have given him the presidency (New Hampshire went for Clinton previously, and Obama twice, subsequently).
The result in New Hampshire was G.W. Bush 273,559 (48.07%) Al Gore 266,348 (46.80%) and
Ralph Nader 22,198 (3.90). It is hard to conceive Bush winning* the state if Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, the idol of progressives, had not run-even allowing for a pox on "both your houses" percentage of his supporters not voting.
With previous Electoral College history indicating a close result based on the four key states and New Hampshire the nightmare for the Dem's of a Sanders run (perhaps as a Green Party candidate) could turn into a waking disaster for them.
That Sanders is from Vermont and is polling relatively well in new Hampshire at this early date only adds to the potential bad dream for them.
At the very least Sanders will force Hillary to deal with why the Dem's are so enamored with a populist message when they have supposedly had a reforming, progressive populist President in office for eight years.
She would have to explain how she would address the issues Sanders raises and by doing so would either have to deny them and thus alienate the base, or agree with them, but state she would handle them better which would scare of the Establishment and centrist voters whilst alienating her Wall Street support.
Welcome to your nightmare Democratic Party Establishment, will it be a repeat of the one you had in 2000?
"New Hampshire was by 2000 considered to be a swing state in otherwise solidly liberal New England. While it had been a Republican stronghold for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the 1980s, Democrat Bill Clinton managed to win the state two elections in a row in the 1990s, and the state was a toss-up in 2000. Bush narrowly eked out a win, with a plurality of 48% of the vote over Gore's 47%. A major contributing factor to Bush's victory is that 5% of the state voted for a third party candidate, mostly for left-leaning Green Party candidateRalph Nader, who took votes away from Gore."