Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bernie Concedes While it'll be Trump vs Cruz and Bush throwing a "Hail Mary"

Some commentators noted Bernie Sanders' victory speech on Tuesday night, after winning the New Hampshire primary, was a bit too long. This may have been because Senator Sanders gave two different speeches in one. Right off he complimented Hillary Clinton. He then noted that in a few months, the Democrats would have to come together. He then explained that the competition between the two Democratic candidates was injecting energy into the party and bringing the young people in. It would need both to win in November. In the middle of his speech, he again complimented Clinton and at the end he made clear that the purpose of it all was to prevent any of the Republicans from winning the presidency. Seems to me that this part of his speech was in effect a concession that he didn't really count on winning the nomination but that his raising issues that brought in the young people, targeted the 1% and Wall Street and pushed the party to embrace its progressive past would make Hillary a better candidate and the help the Democrats win in November.

Now Bernie could not say any of this outright. He needs to go on to continue the contest in upcoming primaries and continue to “energize” the Democratic base. You don't do that by making it clear you really don't expect to win and are running just to help the cause. So the second part of the speech was more of the standard “when I'm president” type. Along the way, he kept the focus on inequality but also addressed international affairs and race, gender and gay issues.

Bernie may have suspected that this win in New Hampshire might be his one really big chance to address the country. He used it, including a pitch in the middle for donations. Bernie hit all his notes and expanded his message. But his chief objective seemed to be a message to Hillary, take this medicine, it will be good for you, the party and the nation.

On the Republican side, the big news was the expected – but necessary to renew his self-declared “winner” image – big win by Donald Trump and the second place by heretofore quasi-unknown Ohio Governor John Kasich. But the real story is the cards falling today, the day after with Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina both dropping out. This leaves Cruz, Jeb Bush and maybe RoboRubio to contend for the job of knocking down Trump. Kasich spent a lot of time in New Hampshire and probably can't replicate his success in the southern primaries coming up. Bush has tons of money and may be able to keep in the race long enough to become, by default, the only “moderate” establishment Republican left standing. In the upcoming South Carolina primary, it will in effect be Trump vs Cruz while Bush tries to pull away from the rest of the pack.


MBishton said...

Maybe Bernie wants Hillary as his Veep?!

Common Sense in Foreign POlicy said...

Quasi-unknown John Kasich? For six years Kasich was chairman of the House Budget Committee which is a whole lot more important for people who follow government than, let's say, being the wandering Secretary of State visiting country after country with no real purpose. Budget Committee chairman has real power -- ask any lobbyist or cabnet secretary.

Gerard Gallucci said...

Until now, Kasich poll numbers put him in the "unknown" zone.

Philip Rakita said...

Your analysis on the Democratic side is thoughtful and incisive. And I like the conclusion you seem to be hinting at--that Sanders will eventually fold his cards (probably after a couple of Southern state defeats like SC) and throw his support to Clinton. That could be best for the party.

As for the Republican side, it still looks like 1964 when the so-called moderate Republicans couldn't unite around someone to stop the crazies from nominating Goldwater. And we know how that turned out. My bet it will be either Trump or Cruz who comes away from Cleveland with the nomination. Trump will be easier for Clinton to marginalize as a wacko but if it's Cruz, he will do it to himself.

Let's look forward to the Democrats retaking the Senate and, dare we hope, the House.

Romano said...

Lol....RoboRubio? Did you come up with that?

Romano said...

Trump seems even more an outlandish candidate than Goldwater in '64. His apparent upcoming nomination has got to be discomforting news for any incumbant holding public office. As well as Bernie's.