Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Saddest words: “It might have been” — Bernie Sanders edition

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Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been.”

— John Greenleaf Whittier. 1807–1892, from “Maud Muller”

Matt Flegenheimer and Tamiche Alcindor report in the NY Times:

Even to skeptics, the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders has often appeared less quixotic with the benefit of hindsight.

If Mr. Sanders had only edged Hillary Clinton in Iowa — and not the other way around — before winning a blowout in New Hampshire, perhaps things would have been different.

If he had only attacked Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, instead of offering her a reprieve, some supporters lamented, perhaps things would have been different.

And now, as Mrs. Clinton contends with daily disclosures from the hacked messages of top campaign aides — missives that have reinforced the central progressive criticisms of her bid, including her coziness with Wall Street — some of Mr. Sanders’s admirers have been compelled to consider again what might have been.

Continue reading the main story

With a couple of breaks and more fortunate timing, many of them believe, the rumpled socialist from Vermont really, truly could have been president.

“I think they should have put the damn emails out before the primaries were over,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, a union that campaigned heavily for Mr. Sanders. “Bernie could have won the election, and that’s the most irritating and painful thing. It would have made a world of difference.

“Now we are going to have a dynamic status quo,” Ms. DeMoro predicted. “It’s going to look like change. But it’s not change.”

Not all Sanders supporters believe an earlier release would have altered history. The emails — disseminated by WikiLeaks from the account of John D. Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, who has attributed the hack to Russian intelligence officials — have created a relatively modest headache for Mrs. Clinton as she nears Election Day, providing occasional fodder for Donald J. Trump as Democrats condemn the apparent foreign interference in an American election.

But the content of the messages, while a measure short of astonishing so far, almost certainly could have upended a primary campaign premised largely on Mrs. Clinton’s place in an increasingly progressive and populist Democratic Party.

In excerpts from paid speeches to financial institutions and corporate audiences, Mrs. Clinton embraced unfettered international trade and offered praise for a budget-balancing plan that would have required cuts to Social Security. She spoke of the need for “a public and a private position” on politically sensitive issues. And she allowed that her family’s growing wealth had left her “kind of far removed” from the experience of the middle class.

“I feel like I’m channeling Captain Renault from ‘Casablanca,’” said Jonathan Tasini, a former union leader who challenged Mrs. Clinton in her Senate primary in New York in 2006. “I’m shocked — shocked! — that Hillary Clinton has a close relationship with Wall Street.”

It is a familiar, if still painful, sensation for Sanders backers, even as most of his voters drift toward Mrs. Clinton, some more haltingly than others.

For at least a handful, the emails have especially rankled given the seeming free fall of Mr. Trump, which has bolstered their view that Mr. Sanders’s proudly left-wing politics would not have precluded victory in the general election.

On the heels of leaked emails over the summer from the Democratic National Committee, which suggested favoritism toward Mrs. Clinton among party leaders, and persistent complaints that Mr. Sanders’s bid was not taken seriously enough from the start, Sanders allies say the latest revelations have only heightened tensions that are likely to persist if Mrs. Clinton is elected. . .

Continue reading.

My comment to the paper: “And let’s not forget Associated Press informing Californians BEFORE THEY VOTED that Clinton had already cinched the nomination. Good support for Clinton, AP, but a little suspect since the news would have been just as valid after the polls closed, and it was by no means a slam-dunk. The way the DNC coordinated with and worked for the Clinton campaign is disgraceful, but Washington seems to have shed totally its sense of shame and perhaps even its sense of right and wrong: government by sociopaths. Think about it.”

Written by LeisureGuy

18 October 2016 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Democrats, Election

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