Comparing Bernie’s Campaigns. And What It Means For November.

Let’s all agree, for all serious purposes Bernie Sanders campaign for President is over after last night. And personally, I don’t really care how long it takes for Bernie to land the plane. He fought his heart out, and losing is hard. And the more passionate you are, the harder the loss is. Give him time. But Steve Kornacki on MSNBC last night jolted my head back when he made some side by side comparisons to Sanders performance in 2016, and his performance so far in 2020. There were several things that stuck out at me, but what stuck out the most was that seemed to be another comparison that could be made. In 2016, Bernie mopped up with lower middle class rural voters, and also scored well with white non-college educated voters. Sanders successfully wooed them with things like a minimum $15 an hour wage, and Medicare for all insuring them healthcare coverage. He also mopped the floor with young, first time college age voters, and swept the table in college towns. He did this by offering them things like a free 4 year college education, and forgiveness of student loan debt. Sanders also cleaned up by selling a sense of grievance, the rich get richer, everybody else gets fucked, and it’s time that they paid! Sanders was able to ride this wave all the way through the primaries. But it turned out that Joe Biden was Bernie Sanders’ worst nightmare. In a crowded field, Biden was the only one who had name recognition that could match Sanders. In side by side comparisons in states like Illinois, Michigan, and Florida, the contrast was striking. In 2020, Biden beat Sanders in college town after college town. Not necessarily by flipping the college vote, but by energizing the white suburban, formerly GOP in the surrounding area. And in the lower middle class and rural areas, Biden cleaned up where Sanders had dominated in 2016. Sanders spoke to them of grievance, but Biden spoke to them with familiarity, and a non confrontational positive vision for the future. There is one more thing that turned the tide in my opinion. Timing is everything, and Biden had it. By the time that the primaries had reached South Carolina, Democratic primary voters had heard enough, and they had had enough of all of the indecision. They were finally ready to stop being pundits, and coalesce behind one candidate. And when the African American population launched Biden out of South Carolina from a cannon, the momentum cast the die. Biden rolled in Super Tuesday, and with California and Texas being moved up to Super Tuesday, Sanders lost two valuable firewall states that he could have relied on later in the calendar, if Biden’s momentum slowed. So, what does this have to do with November? Only this. Back in 2016, another presidential campaign was waged. And in this one, a tubby, poorly dressed, loud mouthed caricature of a candidate farted his way down a schlock golden escalator, and announced his run for the presidency by exploiting hatred and bashing Mexicans. Remember that ass gasket? Like Sanders, Trump ran on grievance, but not a grievance against rich shitpokes, of whom he counts himself a member in good standing, if only a leech. His grievance was against minorities of every stripe, alternate […]

Viva la Revolucion!

Last night I wrote that regardless of what Bernie Sanders says and does, in actuality the general election began last night. And it wasn’t just the fact that the results showed that South Carolina and Super Tuesday were not flukes, that the Democratic base appears ready to consolidate around one candidate and begin to prosecute the case against Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders refused to speak last night, returning home to Vermont instead. Joe Biden did speak, and that was the tipper. After he acknowledged gratefully the results, he pivoted. He didn’t speak another word about Bernie or the primaries, he spoke about the coronovirus outbreak, the lack of leadership, a president floundering, and a positive vision for the country, a call to come together, and a reminder that there is nothing this country can’t do when it puts its mind to it, and its back into it. It was clearly a contrast speech, geared towards getting people thinking about November. In my comments last night, several readers, while seeming to express agreement with my position went on to say that if Bernie was going to go on, they only hoped that he wouldn’t try tp bloody up Biden too much out of petty revenge. Personally, I don’t believe that Sanders is going to go out and try to knock Biden down. First, if Sanders isn’t the nominee, he’s still committed to bringing down Trump. And second, that isn’t what this is all about for Bernie anyway. When a politician runs for office, he runs as a part of the political system, using it to change things for the better by enacting his visions and agenda. But Bernie Sanders is a socialist. And he has made his disgust for the corrupt political system and its corrupt political parties clear from day one. Bernie has no desire to change the system for the better from the inside, Bernie’s sole goal is to tear the system down, and instead to turn it into something more to his liking. When you look at it through this lens, Bernie Sanders actions in 2016 make perfect sense. Forget the squabble over the super delegates, that was just sour grapes, put that aside. Sanders continued to run his campaign long after Hillary Clinton had sewed up the nomination, right through the last primary. He did this for one reason, and one reason only. He did it to maximize the number of delegates he went into the convention with, and used that leverage to force the maximum number of concessions out of Clinton and the DNC, to force the party as far left as possible. And it worked. Just look at today, Sanders forced concessions from the DNC as to how it would run its own party nominating process to better suit him. Rather than drop out and support the nominee, as any loyal party candidate would, Sanders used his loyal base as a gun to hold to the DNC’s head to further his own agenda. So no, while in reality the swing to the general election in November may have started last night, Bernie Sanders isn’t going anywhere. Bernie will go on for as long as he can. Because it isn’t about the Democratic party. And it isn’t about the presidency. It isn’t really even about Bernie Sanders. It’s about the message, […]

The General Campaign Began Tonight

Don’t expect Bernie to fold his tent and go home just yet, it won’t be that easy. But with or without that concession from Mr Sanders, the general election began nonetheless, and there’s nothing that Bernie can do to stop it. Following the return of some decisive results from Michigan and Missouri, it was discovered that Bernie Sanders had returned home to Vermont, and would be making no public statements tonight. There is nothing worse for a candidate than this kind of a bug out.  No matter what the results, the faithful want to hear from the candidate himself, exhorting them on to greater glories in the days ahead. This blithe submission shows that Sanders couldn’t even find anything positive to say to his supporters tonight. Joe Biden on the other hand came out to address his supporters tonight, and it was electric. Biden was quiet and reserved, almost reverent. He spoke of the fact that, like Bernie Sanders, his campaign had canceled a rally due to concern for the coronavirus. He spoke of the importance of relying on the judgement of federal, state, and local officials to combat the spread if the virus. And ion doing so, he looked calm, measured, knowledgeable, and, dare I say it, presidential.  Biden spoke of the American dream, of dignity and honor, and in a familiar refrain, stated strongly that there is nothing that this country can’t do when we set our mind to it. It was the kind if inspirational speech that the country has been waiting and praying for. And in doing so, he drew a sharp, brilliant contrast with the empty drivel that has been coming out of the White House. I will leave my critique of the primaries tonight and something to say about Bernie for tomorrow, but from everything I have seen tonight, the primaries are over, and the Democrats are about to swing towards the general election. As I type this, Sanders supporter Michael Moore is on MSNBC, practically in tears, blathering about how he hopes that the candidate will fold the Sanders agenda into the party platform. When a candidate for president cedes the field of the media to an opponent for the night, it is not a good sign. When your surrogates come on camera looking like hurricane survivors, that’s even worse. But when the other candidate comes out and sounds like he’s the nominee, then the debacle is complete. Watch for Bernie to come out tomorrow full of piss and vinegar, but it’s all just for show. The primaries are over, and Sanders pretty much knows it. To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen

Bernie’s Job #1. Stop The Bleeding.

Is everybody ready for what I’m calling Almost Semi Sorta Super Tuesday? There’s six states coming out to have their say tomorrow, Washington, Idaho, North Dakota, Missouri, Michigan, and Mississippi. Michigan is of course the gold ring for this round, but there are a few things to watch for that will all go into the “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” that we’ll all be hearing about on Wednesday. The first thing to watch should also be the easiest, since it’s the only 7 PM EDT closing, and will most likely be a poll closing call. Mississippi is already clearly enough in the Biden camp that Sanders canceled scheduled rallies there late last week, and sent surrogates to waste their breath instead. Mississippi is not a major delegate haul, with only 36 delegates, but it will set the tone for the evening for Bernie. Because Bernie’s most important task tomorrow night is to stop the bleeding. He’s already about 75 votes behind Biden, and he can’t afford to fall any farther behind, not with Florida and Georgia, both heavily favored for Biden, and much larger delegate haul states right around the corner. Let;s just say that Biden wins MS with the same SC and AL style blowout, and the delegate split is about 30-6. Right off of the bat, that puts Bernie behind the 8 ball, requiring him to make up 24 votes somewhere to keep from falling any further behind. In Mississippi I’m going to be looking at turnout. On Super Tuesday and in South Carolina, Biden’s secret sauce was driving turnout, especially voting day turnout through the roof, especially with African American and older voters. There has been an entire week now for the passions of Super Tuesday to cool off. If turnout is high in Mississippi, that will indicate to me that the Democratic base has had enough of these primaries, and wants to rally behind a single candidate and start hammering His Lowness. And if that happens, then Bernie has a major problem on his hands. As I wrote earlier, Michigan is more than just a high haul delegate state, it’s an emotional statement for both Sanders and Biden. Michigan is the personification state of both candidates’ claim to electability. It is the kind of blue collar “rust belt” state that Trump flipped in 2016 that both men have claimed that they alone can flip back to get Trump out of the White House. But Michigan has pockets of large minority populations, and if they follow the example of Super Tuesday, especially if older Americans follow suit, this could cost Bernie both Michigan, as well as Missouri, which will make it almost impossible to find somewhere else on tomorrow nights map where he can make up the lost delegates. And if Biden can roll up the African American vote in Michigan, it will allow him to campaign on the fact that he has shown that he can energize the black vote that may well have cost Hillary Michigan in 2916. The rest of the map tomorrow night is almost anti climactic. If my paltry math is correct, Michigan alone has as many delegates as Washington, Idaho, and North Dakota combined. If Sanders comes up short in the first three, I don’t see anywhere out west with enough delegates where […]

Biden’s “Edge?”

Well, it looks like we’ve come full circle, 25 has become 2. And after all of the screaming and yelling, hair pulling and eye gouging, we ended up exactly where most pre primary polls indicated we would, Biden vs Sanders. Ain’t democracy grand? And while I’m stunned by the speed and decisiveness of the results of last Saturday and Super Tuesday, I’m not surprised that it occurred. After all, starting with the African American community in South Carolina, led by their favored son James Clyburn, and following that resounding victory, the people of 10 other states on Super Tuesday, all the voters did was exactly what everybody had been waiting for them to do all along. They coalesced behind a single candidate. And that candidate was Joe Biden. South Carolina on Saturday and Super Tuesday were watershed moments. One of two things was going to happen. Either we were going to have a socialist Democratic candidate for President of the United States, or we weren’t. Clyburn sounded the alarm, moderate candidates who saw it wasn’t their time agreed, the voters responded, and the seemingly impossible became possible. And just an FYI, since October we’ve been chipping in to Amy Klobuchar’s campaign every month, so our favorite candidate was one who took one for the team, and we’re proud of her for that. I know that it probably drives you crazy how I sometimes seem to get bogged down in the minutiae of things, but damn it to hell, sometimes that’s where the really important shit is hiding out. And in reporting on Tuesday from Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama, there was something that came out over and over again that I think might just be the “secret weapon” for Biden going forward, not just for the remainder of the primaries, but for the general election as well. Reporters for MSNBC spent a lot of time interviewing black voters leaving the polls in those three states, and there was a strange similarity in what they uncovered. In almost every case, voters who waited until election day to vote, broke almost universally for Joe Biden. And when asked why they chose Biden, they almost always gave the same answer. They were convinced by Clyburn’s endorsement and the results on Saturday to go for Biden. And when pressed for a specific reason why they chose Biden, the answer was almost always the same, they wanted to restore a sense of normalcy to the presidency and the country, and they wanted a decent man to be president again. Hell, even bomb throwing pundit Bill Maher said in a comedy special last year, I’d give anything for a president who bores my balls off! You can argue a lot of things about Joe Biden, one way or the other, but the two things that you can’t argue are his decency and his normalcy. Look at it this way, Michael Bloomberg was the only candidate to personally visit every Super Tuesday state, and it ended up costing him about $20 million per delegate that he collected. Biden won 10 states on Tuesday, spent no money on advertising, and didn’t even visit more than half of them. And he won blowouts, because people knew exactly what they’d get with Biden, and it was exactly what they wanted. This is something that Biden can use […]


Wow. There is so much to unpack, it’s difficult to know where to start. These are in no particular order of importance, and I’ll hit as many as I can. Everything went right – Biden couldn’t have scripted last night any better if he had used Bloomberg’s money to pay for it. In every southern state, not only did Biden win, but he ran up the score in such a spectacular fashion that nobody but Sanders even got close to 15%, and Bernie not above that. As a result Biden was able to walk away from his southern highway with a large advantage in delegates, enough to withstand the rest of the night. In Bernie’s Aladdin’s cave of California, not only did Biden become viable, blunting Bernie’s delegate haul, he finished high enough to take a sizable chunk of statewide delegates, and will also do moderately well in the district allocation process, where Bloomberg also figures to pick off a few delegates. And in Texas, he ducked the problem completely by finishing first. And Biden over performed in the northeast, where Sanders had also planned on coming out with a much larger delegate haul then he ended up with. It was just a perfect storm performance. Biden stole Bernie’s argument – What has Bernie Sanders been laying claim to as his entire electability argument? That he, and he alone can mobilize and turn out a massive number of new, and formerly dormant voters, turning them into an invincible army to defeat Donald Trump. That’s the shtick, in a nutshell. And yet, in every race where there was higher than expected turnout, it was Biden, and not Sanders who was driving the turnout. Biden got mammoth turnout from African American voters, as well as voters over 45 years old. This is what powered his relentless delegate onslaught in the southern states. Where is Bernie’s path now? – Yesterday was supposed to be Bernie Sanders’ Hanukkah and birthday all wrapped into one. Dominate in the northeast, take Minnesota, and come out with somewhere around 450 delegates from California and Texas alone by being the only viable candidate. This would increase enthusiasm for Sanders, depress enthusiasm for Biden, and give Sanders the kind of “strong plurality” if not an outright 1991 delegates heading into the convention. I had written earlier last week that Biden’s goal going forward was simple, win convincingly in South Carolina, and survive Super Tuesday, keeping within 200-240 delegates of Sanders if at all possible. Because the rest of March, and early April are to Joe Biden what Super Tuesday was supposed to be for Sanders. large, more industrial states, with large African American populations, places where he could narrow the gap against Sanders and make it a dog fight the rest of the way. Instead of facing a 200+ delegate shortage, Biden is about 60 delegates ahead, and that figures to hold. Now it’s Biden who has the chance to run up the score, and put together that “strong plurality” that Sanders keeps saying should be the ultimate arbiter of who becomes the nominee. And I don’t see a path for Bernie. Barring a total meltdown, Biden is going to come out of mid April likely ahead by at least 150-200 delegates. He is also going to come out of it with 60-65% of […]

A Couple Of Mile Markers For Tonight

Geez, I live for this shit! Half of the time, I’d rather watch Super Tuesday than the Super Bowl. Especially with all of the last minute twists and turns that this years race as thrown at us.  But even if you don’t get down into the weeds tonight with me, there are still a couple of simple things that you can watch for that will give you an overall moderately accurate picture of how the different candidates are doing. First things first. Even if you don’t gamble, most people are familiar with what an “over/under” vet is. Let’s say the over/under for the game is 52.5. If you think that the two teams combined will score more than 52 points, you bet over. If not, then you bet under. The half point is there to prevent ties. According to MSNBC, when it comes to Bernie Sanders tonight, consider his over/under to be 600. If Sanders comes out of tonight with at least 600 delegates, then he remains the front runner, and likely has enough delegates to remain at least competitive with Biden throughout March and April, when the primary states become more Biden friendly in terms of population and integration. The more over 600, the stronger a front runner Sanders will be seen as. But if Sanders falls under 600 delegates tonight, while he may still be the front runner, he’ll be a weak one. The farther under 600 he fails, the weaker. This is because from mid March through early April, the calendar is Biden friendly, with states with larger black populations, as well as other places where Bernie may struggle. Here’s a for instance.Florida is later this month, a delegate rich state. Considering how many of Florida’s Cuban and Latin American population fled “socialist” paradises to come here, little wonder Sanders is struggling there. For another thing, use simple addition. When you look at the vote counts coming in from various states, look at Bernie’s total. Now. look at Biden’s and Bloomberg’s, and combine them. If the Biden/Bloomberg total is higher than the Sanders total, then Bernie is in deep kim-chi. Remember, Bernie is the far left candidate trying to create a socialist “movement. What he gets is what he gets. But Biden and Bloomberg are both moderates. Bloomberg got into the race as a last minute alternative to Sanders. If Biden does well tonight, then Bloomberg likely skedaddles, and throws his support to Biden. If/when that happens, then Biden should logically pick up almost all of the Bloomberg votes in upcoming primaries. If Bernie can’t out poll the combination of the two, then he’s going to have real problems securing the delegates needed for the  nomination, because he can’t clone socialists. Watching those two simple things will let you get a pretty good sense of who’s having a good night, and who’s struggling. But here’s a couple of general interest things that might add to your enjoyment. In California, the magic number is 3. If Sanders is the only one who crosses the 15% threshold in California, then he figures to net about 330 statewide delegates right off of the top. If Biden can also cross 15%, then Sanders’ statewide rake drops like 80 points to 250. But if a 3rd candidate, say a Warren, or a Bloomberg, or even a postmortem Buttigieg manages […]

The Democratic Debate Strategy? Viability. Viability. Viability.

Hard times call for hard choices, and here are two hard asses ready to step in and take charge!   Damon  Killian   The Running Man There’s an old saying on Wall Street, Never panic. But if you do, make sure you’re the first one to panic. And right now, the Democratic party is in full out panic mode over Bernie Sanders. But let’s not run too far into the woods just yet. Sanders is going to come out of Nevada with at most 55 delegates, and you need 1991 to get the nomination. There’s plenty of time for damage control. But all of the candidates on stage whose initials are not BS (irony intentional) really need to get their shit together. There will be plenty of time on Wednesday to try to pound another stake through Bloomberg’s heart, but the candidates must spend the majority of their time attacking Bernie Sanders’ viability, and on two fronts. The first assault must be on Bernie’s electability in the general election. Joe Biden is the logical one to carry this torch, but hell, the more people you have playing Twister, the more fun it is, right? Biden must hammer home this point, basically because it’s been his whole reason for campaigning in the first place! He, and he alone, is the one who can beat Trump to a pulp in November, right? Biden can make the case that the very word socialist will turn off older voters like me, and enrage and unify the Trump voters in a way that nothing but Hillary Clinton could match. Everybody else but Bloomie can pile on, talking about the ways that they’re viable where Sanders isn’t. From what I’ve seen, Sanders natural ceiling is between 32-35%. It’s time to start giving some of those new converts a reality check of things to think about. But there is a second, and slightly trickier viability question that must be raised and hammered home. And that is Sanders’ viability to deliver on what he promises! Sanders is pulling a truly Trumpian move of promising the moon, only to blame somebody else later, when this shit fails to materialize. Who cares, you’re in, right? Who is Bernie’s strongest base of support? People between the ages of 18-45. In other words, kids getting ready to go to college, those already in college, and those out of college buried under a mountain of student loan debt. Fuck me, who wouldn’t love to get a 4 year college degree for free, or to have their student debt wiped away with the stroke of a pen? But none of it is going to happen. Because everything that Sanders is offering requires congressional approval to happen. And he ain’t gonna get it. Even if the Democrats retake the Senate, it won’t be by a margin that overrides a filibuster. Pete Buttigieg did an admirable job in the Nevada debates of calling out the main fallacy of Bernie’s Medicare-for-All proposal. Mainly that even the majority of Democrats oppose the goddamned thing! Every candidate up there must show that none of this is possible in the current Washington climate, and demand that Sanders provide actual, rock solid plans on how he’ll get it done. Because, from this day forward, there are two critical steps that the Democratic party must accomplish. First, they must keep Bernie Sanders from having 1991 delegates when the last primary closes. And second, they […]

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