Will Hillary Rodham Clinton make history as our next president? Almost certainly. Here’s why

Hillary Clinton campaigning in New Hampshire. Photo: Marc Nozell, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Hillary Clinton campaigning in New Hampshire. Photo: Marc Nozell, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

This week’s primary results couldn’t have been scripted more perfectly for former first lady, former New York Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. After drawing fire for arranging a coronation in the Democratic primary, Clinton instead faced a ferocious challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Through the winter, Sanders punched hard and rallied hundreds of thousands of supporters, winning important, if narrow, victories in states like Michigan and New Hampshire.

But this week, Clinton proved she could take multiple hits and keep marching forward. She also proved that she has steadily built the kind of center-left coalition that wins Democratic primaries and also bodes well in general elections. She looked particularly strong in the three states — Florida, North Carolina and Ohio — that could give her the ultimate prize in November.

Sanders needed a huge win and got walloped

Short of running an independent, third-party challenge (which I think is increasingly possible, more on this in a later post) Sanders is now effectively a “message” candidate. He may well influence the Democratic Party’s ideological trajectory in significant ways. But barring a massive, history-altering event, he won’t be the Democratic nominee.

The reason Sanders is fading is pretty simple: He keeps losing crucial primary elections. Yes, he scored a shocking upset in Michigan. But after Tuesday’s drubbing, he has now lost two-thirds of the state contests so far, often by landslide margins. Even when he wins, he tends to do so narrowly, by a few points. All of which puts him so far behind in the delegate count that catching up would require an awesome surge.

It’s hard to pull off that kind of epic Hail Mary comeback when national polls still consistently put the Vermont Senator 8-10 points behind Clinton.

With an assist from Mr. Trump

The biggest prize for Clinton, however, wasn’t putting Sanders in her rear view mirror. Most handicappers thought she was already pretty safe. The big win came when Donald Trump effectively seized the Republican nomination.

Trump is a figure so polarizing, so controversial, that some of the most influential leaders of the conservative movement have now declared bluntly that they won’t support him. There are serious talks underway of launching a “third party” Republican to run in November. If that happens, Clinton would almost certainly win the White House in a landslide.

But even if the GOP civil war doesn’t erupt into a full-scale bloodbath, it’s difficult to see how the party can organize the sophisticated, pitch-perfect coordinated effort that would be needed to stop Clinton. Republican women, in particular, could well defect from Trump in significant numbers.

Trump is also the kind of candidate who will help solidify the Democratic base. Even the most fervent Bernie fans may find it difficult to sit out this presidential election if the alternative to Clinton is Trump.

An election fought on Clinton’s turf

Remember, Democrats already enjoyed a huge systemic advantage in 2016. The states they’ve won in almost every presidential election since 1992 give them a comfortable grip on 257 electoral college votes — just 13 short of victory. Win Florida and it’s over. Win North Carolina and Ohio, boom.

Meanwhile, their demographic advantages have continued to grow, thanks in large part to the growth of the Latino vote in battleground states. Florida’s population of Puerto Ricans alone has surged by roughly 500,000 people since 2000. And all of those “immigrants” are U.S. citizens, which means they can vote.

So Republicans needed to get this really, really right. Instead, they’ve blown it big time, falling into the kind of factional intra-party fighting that we haven’t seen in American politics since at least the Democratic convention in 1968.

Yes, a Clinton win would be historic

There are three reasons that the emerging outlines of this race are historic.

The first, obviously, is that the United States is now within range of electing its first woman to serve in the Oval Office. Clinton’s “inevitability” and her complicated personal history have caused a lot of people to look past this milestone, but it’s a big deal. A century after American women won the right to vote, another barrier will have fallen.

The second reason this is historic is that we really are seeing the end of a long, gloried era in American politics. The Republican Party ended slavery. It’s the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Reagan. For decades, the GOP was the chief steward of important American values, arguing for limited government, budget discipline, and an adult, moderate stability. Even before November’s vote, that brand is now deeply tarnished.

This isn’t only a cosmetic problem. If Clinton does prevail, Democrats will have won the popular vote in every presidential election, save one, from 1992 through 2016. Think about that for a moment. If Clinton serves two terms, then Republicans will have lost our only fully national election again and again over a 28-year period.

There will be a huge block of voters who have no memory at all of a Republican president. For many more, the only living memory of GOP governance will be George W. Bush.

So far, thanks in significant measure to gerrymandering of House districts and low-turnout for Democrats in off-year elections, the GOP has maintained its influence in Congress and at the state and local level. But the White House is the big prize. It’s the gateway to the Supreme Court. It’s the bully pulpit. It’s the high ground.

With America’s massive demographic shift continuing to erode the influence of white voters, it’s hard to see how Republicans get back there without rethinking their relationship with our increasingly diverse population.

There is one final reason that this election will be historic if Clinton wins. The vote would serve as a final validation of Barack Obama, our first African-American president. For seven years, conservatives have fought hammer and tong not only to defeat and roll back Obama’s policies, but to invalidate him as an American and as a president.

In 2010, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell laid down a clear marker. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he insisted.

But Obama won his own second term four years ago and Clinton is now running strong on the argument that she will effectively continue Obama’s policies into a third term. If voters pick Clinton, they will have repudiated one of the central motivating arguments of the modern conservative movement.

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42 Comments on “Will Hillary Rodham Clinton make history as our next president? Almost certainly. Here’s why”

  1. Joseph Andriano says:

    While I respect your overall point, Brian—that Clinton, if she wins the nomination, will make history as our next president—you are too easily dismissive of Sanders’ strength at this point in the nominating process.

    First of all, you call Sanders’ wins “important but narrow,” and then cite two states that (supposedly) play in to your narrative. You go on to say “Even when he wins, he tends to do so narrowly, by a few points.” I was so confused by your statements I had to go back and check my data. You ignore the following states that do not fit in to your narrative: Maine by 28.8%, Nebraska by 14.2%, Kansas by 35.4%, Oklahoma by 10.4%, Minnesota by 23.2%, Colorado by 18.7%, and, of course, Clinton being non-viable in Vermont and getting 0 delegates.

    The other strange thing about your characterization of these states as “important but narrow” is that, while important, only one of them was narrow. Sanders won New Hampshire by 22.4%—anything but narrow—and in Michigan, where he did win by less than 1%, it is considered by pundits to be the greatest upset in political polling history in decades considering that Sanders was polling could digits behind up until his electoral victory.

    The second point you ignore is many pundits agree that the upcoming states favor Sanders. While I agree with you that the current climate favors Clinton, the fact that for the next month there are numerous contests where Sanders’ is favored to win can change everything in this race. At the very least, trying to call the contest now is not dissimilar to calling a football game at halftime just because the team you favor is up. Yeah, sure, it’s halftime and your favorite team is winning and you don’t want anyone to get hurt, but the fact is that the game is played for the full 60 minutes.

    This leads in to another point: no matter that political insiders may want Sanders to drop out at this time, it is irresponsible for them to call for that. One point that no one can argue with is that this is a close contest. No one expected Sanders to do this well. And the reason why he is doing so well is that there are almost as many people who favor his positions as favor Clinton’s. There are many people in this country who feel disenfranchised, who feel that the political climate in this country is only helping the rich and they are getting the short end of the stick. They see Clinton as a representation of oligarchical interests who have controlled this country since the 1980’s (consider: a Bush or a Clinton has been a serious contender or has won every single presidential contest since 1980, starting with H.W. Bush as VP in 1980).

    On top of that, young people look across the Atlantic Ocean and see the strides that Democratic Socialism is having in Europe, or look even closer at Canada and wonder why we can’t have something similar. Why do we have to do in to crippling debt to get a college education? Why are we, our friends, and family literally going bankrupt and losing everything that we have worked for just because we got sick? Why are we the only major industrialized country that is like this?

    For those of us who think this way, Bernie Sanders represents the hope that we can move our country forward. By telling Sanders to drop out now you are essentially disenfranchising people who want to cast their vote for Sanders. Maybe we will see another historic upset as in Michigan, another historic upset like Obama brought us in 2008. Maybe we won’t. But by calling him a “message candidate,” and, by implication, asking us all to unite behind Clinton, you disenfranchise and minimize those who will work to make Sanders the nominee.

    Finally, I think your point that you think Sanders will run “an independent, third-party challenge” which you call “increasingly possible, more on this in a later post,” is unfounded and another way to discourage people for voting for Sanders. Sanders has been quoted on numerous occasions that he will not consider a 3rd party run. As recently as the February 5th debate, Sanders said, of himself and Clinton, “On our worst day… We are one hundred times better than any Republican candidate.” He was also quoted as saying back in July of 2015, “If it happens that I do not win that process, would I run outside of the system? No, I made the promise that I would not and I will keep that promise. And the reason for that is I do not want to be responsible for electing some right-wing Republican to be president of the United States.”

    By implying he would do otherwise belittles Sanders’ political acumen and his honesty. Sanders has been in political office for decades. Was he an independent in Vermont? Yes. But he knew he could win as an independent in Vermont, and was able to build a collation so he was not facing any serious Democratic challengers. Sanders knows and understands a run from the left in a winner-take-all presidential race guarantees a win for the GOP. Sanders knows and understands that a win by the GOP would be more harmful to a progressive America than a win by Clinton, so he won’t do it.

    Aside from belittling his political acumen, implying he will run a 3rd party race also is an attack on his candidacy going forward. It implies he is not a real Democrat, who is more concerned with winning than with our country. It also implies he is not to be trusted, since he is on the record saying he won’t do it. In fact, Sanders cares far more about our country and the working people in it than any candidate in recent memory. He has been the only candidate to systematically take positions which are considered to be politically unpopular (raise taxes, create democratic socialist institutions) because he believes they will help us. This is what people are responding to when they respond to Sanders: they see him as someone who has consistent values, even when they’re unpopular, and is truthful with voters. For all these reasons, he will not run as a 3rd party candidate.

    Sanders represents the face of the new, progressive Democratic party. Sanders has brought thousands upon thousands of enthusiastic young (and old!) people in to the Democratic fold in a way that Clinton never could. And it’s those young people that are so important—if they work hard on this candidacy and win—or get damn, damn close to winning—and feel that the Democratic party heard them and takes them seriously, they are more likely to remain democrats and to help shift the party to the left. Minimizing the candidate that many of them feel is the only hope for this country will only help shunt them to a third party. We need young liberal voices to carry on the progressive hope that was born with Democratic greats like FDR and JFK.

    So don’t count Sanders out yet. To do so is both harmful to the democratic process and ignores data to the contrary.

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  2. Andrew Claybrook says:

    I am astounded that we have come to consider Mrs. Clinton a “winner.” It appears that ALL of her supporters have either a very short memory or no memory at all. This is a person who launched her career by being ejected from the Watergate committee for lying etc. This is a person with a solid record of taking shortcuts, lying about her bravery under fire (Yugoslav civil war – supposedly running for cover when she came under imaginary sniper fire), performing mind-boggling zig zags, obtaining a solid record of personal scandals, and refusing to drop a lecher husband, who humiliated her in front of the entire world, because she was obviously not willing to give up the golden ride. And so much more. Just watch again the video from the Benghazi hearings — and watch her facial expressions. Is this the person we will trust with the enormous power of this country? Please, do not repeat the mistakes of the recent past, both with husband Clinton and GW. The world is spinning the wrong way in great part because of the disastrous legacy of those people.

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  3. Marcel says:

    Both Trump and Sanders have a very limited and isolationistic view on the US. The US simply cannot afford such a view in this world that is really in turmoil. It would not be in its own interest. And frankly all of its major industries, especially the Defense Industry would suffer from. US international role would be downsized, making this world a far dangerous place and ultimately lead to a crumpling of its position. Trump as the last emperor?

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  4. Ellen B says:

    Joseph Andriano, Brian did not call for Sanders to drop out.

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  5. telfish says:

    I think my dog could run and win against Trump. His 65% disapproval numbers are catastrophic.

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  6. nelson says:

    Here is why Donald Trump will be the next President
    1. He is the peoples choice
    2.He does not represent the establishment

    3. People are so tired of Hillary hogging the spot light for the last 30 years that they want to puke, much less vote for her.

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  7. Joseph Andriano says:

    Ellen B., that is correct, I meant to say that there is an implication in Brian’s piece that Sanders should drop out by calling him a “message candidate,” saying that Sanders is in Clinton’s “rear view mirror,” saying that a Sanders win would require an “epic Hail Mary comeback,” and saying “he won’t be the Democratic nominee.”

    Thank you for pointing this out and allowing the clarification.

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  8. Paul says:

    I wonder how people would view Mrs. Clinton if she didn’t color her hair? People are funny. If she looked like an old lady she would probably have less support. That shouldn’t be the case but I bet she would have less support. Her and Trump can’t seem to let it go natural.

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  9. Brian Mann says:

    Hi folks, I’m on the road but will join the conversation later this evening. Brian Mann

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  10. Pete Klein says:

    I hope not. Can’t think of anyone I would less want to see as president than H.C.

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  11. Brian Mann says:

    Hi Joe –

    I’m going to write about Bernie Sanders’ future in the general election in a separate post, so I’ll keep my powder dry on that subject (a third party run), but let me respond to some of your other points.

    First, I call Sen. Sanders wins “important but narrow” for a bunch of reasons.

    Most importantly, because he has clearly failed to broaden his support to the kind of coalition needed to win modern Democratic primaries. It hasn’t been possible to win a primary in the Democratic Party with the demographic support Sanders enjoys (read: white, liberal, young) since at least 1992, when Bill Clinton picked off liberal favorites Paul Tsongas and Jerry Brown.

    While it’s true that Sanders has posted larger margins than “a few points” – I’ll stand corrected on that choice of language – his big wins have generally come in small states with few delegates. What Sanders needs to win is big break-out wins in big, high population states. That hasn’t happened.

    It’s noteworthy that, in most cases, he’s broken away from Clinton in states that have little of the broad racial and ethnic diversity that shapes the modern Democratic Party. (Maine, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Vermont and New Hampshire all fit this description — they’re small and largely white.)

    It’s also just not okay in modern American politics to write off the South as Sanders has done. By limiting his campaign to the Northeast and the Great-Lakes-Rust-Belt states, Sanders again narrowed his strategy to a disastrous degree. States like Florida, North Carolina and Virginia are essential players in any Democratic campaign, primary and general.

    Those states were sitting there on the calendar. Sanders knew they were coming. But he built no game there at all.

    Now to your point about the upcoming states. This is a common narrative in Sanders-friendly media and it’s pure hokum.

    Polling shows Sanders down more than 20 points in Arizona where voters go to the polls Tuesday and he’s trailing significantly in Utah. The latest polls out for New York state (one of the biggest remaining prizes) shows Sanders getting creamed in New York state – by nearly 50 points. He’s also getting blown out in Maryland. These are big states, important states, and he’s not even competitive.

    So yes, Sanders will do well in Wisconsin and he’ll probably beat his poll numbers in other places. But will he win a whole bunch of big states by the 10-20 point margins he would need to close the gap with Clinton? There is no factual information to support that happening.

    Which brings me to your sports metaphor. There is no remotely accurate way that a Democratic primary can be compared to a football game. Football is designed to be dynamic, volatile, exciting. The Democratic primary was specifically designed to be plodding, incremental and dull. The rules of this primary make is astonishingly difficult for a candidate who drops behind even a little bit to catch up. But Sanders hasn’t fallen behind a little bit. He’s fallen behind by a lot. And there is nothing in any of the data we have to suggest that dynamic changing.

    Finally, to the “should he drop out” argument. My answer (not that I raised this idea) would be of course not. With the exception of Barack Obama, I can find no one who thinks that’s a good idea. (Sanders supporters have been spreading the meme that the media has been pressuring him to end his campaign, and I can find zero data to support this claim.)
    As far as I’m concerned, Sanders should battle on and keeping making his arguments.

    And who knows? Maybe Clinton will gaffe big and blow herself up. Maybe some history-making event will occur and spin this whole campaign into a new orbit. Fighters keep punching until the bell rings and I expect Sanders to do that.

    But finally, and here is where I return to actual analysis, Sanders is not doing well. That’s just not a factually accurate description of this race. Yes, he’s doing better than expected. But there is a vast difference between “doing well” and doing “better than expected.” Doing well would have been wins in Ohio and Missouri and maybe Illinois. Even then this would have been a tough fight for Sanders, but I would have been the first to say that was “doing well.”

    But he got walloped this week. He lost ground disastrously at a time when he needed to close the gap. It’s no disrespect to Sanders or his voters to point out that reality.

    –Brian Mann, NCPR

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  12. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I look forward to the post on Sanders’ 3rd party run, because I enjoy fiction. Sanders won’t. This is a great and fun run though for the left. Let’s hope Bernie hangs in there for a couple of more months!

    Pretty simple, really, a Dem win – even if the Dem is not liberal – assures that Obama has a legacy and that progressive issues across the board sweep the country in a wave just as we have seen issues like gay marriage sweep. Keeping the Supreme Court nominations on the Dem side makes every single issue more viable…women’s health, gun violence, campaign finance, you name it.

    On economic issues we will see major favorable changes in education, including college loans, health care and insurance, the environment, and we will finally bury the NeoCons, figuratively for most but literally for a few. Good riddance to war criminals.

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  13. pirateedwardlow says:

    First* ”Perfectly scripted” : would be if a) Hillary was not disliked more than she is liked; b) if she was (perhaps because of ‘a’) was winning by a large percentage, in many states she is not. Her wins are narrow, but important.

    As a supporter of Bernie Sanders.. I hope we have moved past ‘first.’ But apparently we haven’t. The fact that Hillary would be the first ‘woman’ to be president, should be no more important than electing the first ‘jewish’ candidate. And I don’t see much talk about that historical significance.

    Dear evolution…! calling the republican party the party that ended slavery, is like saying the democrats are the party of the Ku Klux Klan. In a sense (historically) it is right, but both parties have evolved… and if David Duke’s endorsement isn’t proof… please visit the white supremacist web sites that also endorse drumpf and would also support Cruz. The media needs to catch up with that.

    Just as: you should catch up with there are generations of voters who don’t know George Wallace. Obama has been president for 7+ years, there was a republican before him. Even a 10 year old African-American was alive for George Bush* Come on man (mann) anyone who is old enough to vote, was a live when gwb43 was president (they might not remember the gwb43 email scandal.. but they were alive!!)

    ”Polling shows Sanders down more than 20 points in Arizona” Sanders has been know to win when he was down by 20 point.

    * really the first is to assume Mr. Mann is a player on the national scene when it comes to politics. He is not. He is a good reporter. He is good at analyzing most data, but he is not on the world stage or the national stage. Often, he is about the same as the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reporters analyzing the NFL games: sure they have an opinion, but for the most part they are not categorically qualified to do the analyze. which does not make his opinion wrong… or right

    I apologize for not mentioning the allure the media has for the status quo

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  14. pirateedwardlow says:

    But he got walloped this week. He lost ground disastrously at a time when he needed to close the gap. It’s no disrespect to Sanders or his voters to point out that reality.

    The guy who a year ago had polling numbers of about 5%, not is getting 40+ percent of the vote…. is losing ground ‘disastrously’. No doubt with that super delegate shenanigans that (Hillary’s friends in the DNC and) the status quote created is not good for Sanders, but how is each primary a growth in people supporting http://www.berniesanders.com ‘losing ground’? Losing out on delegates and a media bias, yes, but the man is gaining

    Man o Mann

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  15. Brian Mann says:

    PEL –

    1. There are no super delegate shenanigans. That’s fiction. Super delegates have been a part of the Democratic party primary system for decades. These are the same rules, established long before either of these candidates entered the race, that defeated Clinton eight years ago. Sanders is losing badly without factoring in a single super delegate. He’s lost the popular vote, the pledged delegate vote, and the number of states.

    2. I’ve acknowledged that Sanders exceeded expectations. But 40% of the vote in an election is losing badly in American politics; and Sanders indeed lost ground this week. He needed to narrow the gap and he instead fell behind by an additional, significant margin by getting walloped in Ohio and Florida.

    I think this quote from Robert Jackson, professor of political science at Florida State University, sums it up well: “Barring some almost unforeseen event or eruption of new information we haven’t seen before, I believe the pathway for him to get the majority of delegates is very, very difficult and the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.”

    That’s not media bias. It’s an accurate assessment of the facts as they exist today.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  16. pirateedwardlow says:

    I don’t know how petty to be on this… like which bad thing in the universe of man…. but you take anything that oppressed a group of people… or that benefited one select group… well it might not be shenanigans, but it is unfair.* To ignore this, simply because one wants their theory to be right.

    Is wrong.

    If you are actually saying that the super delegates do not benefit one candidate over another in this primary… appears to be a bias that many have. Yes it has been there for decades. If you want to reduce it to Sanders v Clinton, yes it has been in place for decades and was not put in place to benefit Hillary Clinton. I don’t know who you think is suggesting that, but it is not I.

    I am saying, it is a system that benefits the status quo. I have pointed out many times, this is not about http://www.berniesanders.com it is about how the political system has been constructed.

    =======

    If you are going to make a sweeping suggestion that media is not bias, well you are going to wrong, just as if I say all media is bias. There are bias, it might not be Brian Mann or NCPR, but to deny the fact that there are some media outlets that are all bias, or even the fact that some media has some bias is either disingenuous or a form of dishonesty.

    The mere fact that the media covers Donald drumpf to ad nauseum over not just his lowest opponent, but in comparison of the all candidates; that few media outlets (until more recently) point out much of what drumpf (and other candidates) is out and out lies — is examples of a blind bias. Maybe not a willing one, but one by default.

    There is bias, the level of bias is where the problem comes. It is like the discussion of Climate Change. To deny that it exists, or to compare it in a discussion by pitting a Climate Change Scientist against Ted Cruz, is another way to addle the facts.

    ‘as they exist today’ is so true.

    When your house is on fire, you don’t relinquish ownership of the house or that it is a problem (and consequently ignore the situation that exists) – you put out the fire! I don’t know if you are content with the oxidizing of our politics; I am not.

    *One doesn’t have to bring the discussion any further away from who, historically, has been allowed to vote = it has almost always been related to who was in power. This is true with gerrymandering, Citizen’s United and which gender or race has been allowed to vote.

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  17. Pete Klein says:

    These are the problems the Sanders and Trump supporters are complaining about – the DNC and the RNC, the super pacs, the unnamed donors, the media and just about anyone the media crowns as an expert.
    Bottom line, more and more people are tired of being told, “Vote for who we tell you to vote for.”

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  18. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    When did we start footnoting on here? Bold typeface, italics, breaks using equal signs? I don’t even know the name for all this. New stuff all the time!

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  19. Lew Alcindor says:

    Hillary will make a little more history by being put in prison for her crimes. This is a dangerous person, and those who think that the role of government is to create “utopia” for the masses….are beyond hope.

    I wish NPR had to make their own money rather than rely on the government for their “sustainability.”

    Taking money from other people….whether by theft, or burglary….or TAXES…..is still stealing. It’s a false economy.

    Work, think, love….for yourself.

    Have a nice Jihad free day.

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  20. pirateedwardlow says:

    If the media isn’t bias in some areas.. if it is clear and objective where ever you go? How do you explain the confusion of the above post. I don’t know if Lew knows the irony of taking the name of one of the best basketball players in the universe (as well as one of the most prominent muslim in the United States).

    But the rhetoric expressed makes it clear: Some media is bias, bias as the closed minds that repeat the tawdry fears from the darkness inside.

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  21. sharel says:

    Seriously, are we really discussing hair coloring-it is 2016-everyone does it-You really need to dig deeper than that-highly insulting to all!

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  22. Agnes M says:

    Biased media reporting of personal opinion. Facts: Democratic Pledged(voted on by people and designated) delegate counts as of now: Bernie- 830. Clinton-1147. Needed to get nomination:2383. More than 3 months to Dem. Convention with some 25 American states who STILL have a dam Right to give their vote in a primary to WHO the average schmuck like me wants to. There are STILL 2395 UNPLEDGED and Available, not-yet given by vote determination…Delegates waiting to be given depending on what WE, the voters, decide and… NOT-You- the media, not the DNC, not those who designated Clinton ten years ago as the heir apparent, not the Dem Party elite with their ten thousand dollar plus PAC donations. Put those figures on a pie chart or a bar graph and it screams: It Ain’t Over Yet. Half of America, some 25 or so states Have NOT been heard from!! JEEZ. BTW-SuperDelegates are undemocratic rigged system. How can Clinton have them lined UP even before she announced for candidacy, shows biased cronyism. These self-appointed individuals since the 1985 change in rules are in it for own career, legacies and economic benefit. They are not there to take the pulse of what Democrats want during each Presidential election. These state residents have voting rights: NY,NJ,CT,AK,HI.,WA,OR,MT,AZ,CA,WIS,NM,SD,ND,ID,Neb,WV,UT,KY,WY,DE,MY,RI,IND,PA,…DC,Samoa, Virgin IS, Puerto Rico. To heck with you pundits and naysayers and mainstream (yes, you) hrc-trump shrills. Rigged everything in USA and WHY this USA needs BERNIE. Read Robert Reich ” The Political Roots of Widening Inequality” at Prospect.org. Should be a document for change in 21st century America.

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  23. Rick says:

    Thanks sharel, misogyny is a major subtext to this campaign. Haircolor, questions about why she didn’t leave her husband, bathroom breaks for god’s sake. It’s time to drop this nonsense and be adults. Women can and are just as strong as men. We don’t have to see everything in relationship to our genitals.
    Any more than we should see everything in relationship to race.
    I’m a big Bernie supporter but I will gladly vote for Clinton if nominated. Yes she has a complicated history. Who doesn’t? We’re voting for the most hardball position on the face of the earth. Say what you want, she’s tough. I can live with that.

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  24. Walter Wouk says:

    It’s Bernie or Bust!

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  25. old dog says:

    As usual, a well written and thought out post. One omission, however, was no mention of the FBI investigation into the Mrs. Clinton’s emails and servers. While this has been a pet story of conservatives, the fact is the FBI would not be committing people and resources to this, if it wasn’t justified. These things take time and hopefully if there is an indictment it will come sooner rather than later. Having this come to a head in October would be a major crisis for the country if Mrs. Clinton were the nominee. Bernie really needs to stay in, if for no other reason than Mrs. Clinton losing the “FBI primary”, though I suspect he would be pushed aside in favor of a Biden-Warren ticket. The unhappiness about a Clinton-Trump choice runs deep. Viewing the Frank Luntz video with Florida voters on this last topic is time well spent.

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  26. PirateEdwardLow says:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31806907

    Ms. Clinton has made some bad decisions in her life… but many politicians have made the same bad decisions (http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/mar/15/juan-williams/media-reaction-george-w-bushs-email-controversy/).

    I don’t know enough about the insides of this case… the first article points out she might have deleted emails. Her point would be they were personal e-mails and should be private, since they were deleted. The only way to know what they were, is if the people who received them to release the e-mails

    How ever big a deal this is… remains to be seen… but as Mr. old dog points out, unless it is sooner, it will be too late…

    What I find ironic about this, most republicans have her already convicted of something they can not prove.

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  27. A. Consumer says:

    Hillary is great………. if you like reptilian overlords. Then she’s your lizard.

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  28. Jim says:

    Can you name the last time the Frontrunner for the Democratic nomination got the nomination and became President? Answer Martin Van Buren 1836.

    Can you name the politician whose career advanced because of their support for the Iraq War?

    No one in the Democratic Party.

    I would keep my fingers crossed on Hillary’s sure thing.

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  29. Joe Conway says:

    I want Hillary to win so I can see Bill back in the white house. Also historic: Chelsea Clinton will be the first and probably last woman in American history to be able to tell her children and grandchildren, “Both my mother and father were presidents of the United States.

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  30. Ivegot Anopinion says:

    I find the comments here interesting. Wanted to bring up a few points.

    Firstly, I suspect Mrs. Clinton is just as polarizing amongst white older voters as Mr. Trump is amongst people of color and liberal younger voters. (The difference, of course, is that the demographic that finds Mrs. Clinton to be problematic, is the one whose influence is shrinking while the demos that find Mr. Trump problematic are growing.) In a national election, her fairly large segment of detractors won’t overcome the size of his.

    Another poster pointed out some of Mrs. Clinton’s issues with honesty. And it is true that there is an overwhelming perception amongst likely voters in polls that she is dishonest. What isn’t clear is if that perception actually hurts her voting numbers. Mr. Sanders doesn’t suffer the same problem in that most voters seem to think him honest, but he isn’t generating the votes amongst the democratic base that she is. (She isn’t just winning delegates. In the state’s where she wins, the article rightly points out that those states have larger populations and she wins by much wider margins. So it would seem she is also winning the popular vote amongst Dem voters.)

    Lastly there is the unknown effect the spectre of a Trump presidency might have on the Dems’ base in the general election. There will be a larger turnout in the general than there is in the primary if history is any indicator. Any true progressive who didn’t participate in the primary, should Sanders’ bid fail, it boggles the mind to imagine a true progressive would prefer Mr. Trump with his blatant racism, misogyny and self aggrandizing in the general election to the far more moderate Mrs. Clinton. And Mr. Sanders has too much respect for his party and his constituents to split the party’s votes in the general with an independant run should he lose the nomination.

    What is comes down to is the moderate independent vote. Those are real swing votes. I am not talking about ultra conservatives who don’t call themselves republican, because those voters aren’t going to get behind anyone on the Dem ticket anyway. And I am not talking about the ultra liberals either, because those voters aren’t going to get behind a Trump or a Cruz anyway. I’m talking about actual moderates. Those are the real swing votes. If the GOP runs a more moderate independent, they might win back some of those votes, but they’ll lose their ultra conservative base to Trump.

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  31. Joe Schmuccatelli says:

    Supporters of Billary Inc. are obtuse or corrupt.

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  32. Colorado Scott says:

    When we voted here in the Colorado Democratic Caucus, it was a landslide. In my precinct Bernie won by a two-to-one margin. Granted, we live in a very liberal and mostly white mountain town, but it was clear which candidate would be the peoples’ choice for our town.

    Most of Hillary’s best talking points seem to be that she’s better than Drumph (I don’t see a substantive difference, once you chip down below the buffoonery and bluster that Drumph has used to differentiate himself) and she supposedly would be able to assemble a plurality coalition out of diverse democratic bases.

    But the only democrats who appear to be truly enthusiastic for Hillary are older black voters, older white women and rich neo-liberal Captains of Industry (this demographic appears to be equally satisfied with Mr. Drumph as the eventual president). A quote from Jeff Weaver that has stuck with me is his assessment of Hillary as a regional candidate who will struggle outside of the south. And, it should be added, more than a couple of blocks away from Wall st.

    As a young liberal voter who shunned Ralph Nader in 2008 in favor of Obama’s progressive promise, I have been completely disillusioned by the last 8 years of neo-liberal warmongering, continued globalization and added incentives for the continued corporate takeover of our planet.

    At home, the neo-liberal agenda is at best a fake plastic facade of corpro-socialized services that doesn’t get anywhere near addressing the root problem with our healthcare, education, incarceration and transportation systems in this country: namely, the profit model that induces doctors to order unnecessary tests and push prescription drugs, the profit model that encourages loan companies to charge exorbitant interest on student loans, the profit model that rewards the continued cycle of sending (mostly) young (mostly) black (mostly) men to jail for major portions of their adult lives.

    I’m a businessman and I appreciate the importance of turning a profit, but I refuse to accept that some private entity must profit off of every transaction that occurs in our country. Many transactions, such as the provision of healthcare for the sick, the provision of education for the young, or the provision of justice for criminals, would be vastly more equitable if they were provided “at cost.” This is not a utopian pipe-dream, it’s the institutionalized system in every other industrialized nation.

    And yet a crux of the neo-liberal agenda is encouraging increased corporate participation in nearly every facet of government. Corporate participation necessitates the acceptance of the for-profit business model into systems that should not be for profit – healthcare, education or penal systems, to name a few. And neo-liberals may continue to tout the supposed benefits of what they euphemistically term “public-private partnerships,” but the correct term for this unholy alliance is Fascism – the corporate state.

    So if you’re satisfied with the continuance of Fascism in America, by all means vote for Hillary. Or Mr. Drumph would also appear to be a viable Fascist candidate for president, albeit more of your classic iron-fist Fascist versus Hillary’s flowers-and-lace Fascist.

    For myself, I no longer give much credit to the so-called democratic system in our country, and I doubt I’ll feel moved to vote at all if my options are a Clinton or a Drumph. But Bernie inspired me to jump through all of the requisite hoops to be able to cast my vote in our caucus, and Bernie would certainly inspire me to vote again in November. Maybe I’m just an outlier, but I have a feeling that my sentiments are shared by a substantial portion of younger, more liberal voters. The Democratic party Elite ignores our demographic at its own peril.

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  33. Walker says:

    It’s a good, well-written piece. But it’s way too early to call– the southern states that have provided the bulk of her delegates are unlikely to vote Democratic in the general election. And, coming so early in the process, they have given an unrealistic sense of momentum to Clinton’s campaign.

    But the larger issue is that this is yet another horse-race piece. That forms WAY too big a part of our election coverage. What we need is in-depth analysis of the candidates proposals.

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  34. John says:

    I spent nearly 30 years handling classified information in the military and civilian life. We were taught procedures to safeguard the information. Not following the procedures meant penalties based on the importance of the information, ranging from loss of clearance, to fines, to imprisonment.

    Hilary already admitted she did NOT safeguard the information. The only question, to be decided in court, is how many years should she serve. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who has ever handled classified government information.

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  35. sonny corbi says:

    I have never read so many superficial comments – I have tried to read thru these or most of them but all I see is a lot of “Mr. Bogangles”, song and tap dancing – arm chair quarterbacks! Geeeeeez,

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  36. Walker says:

    I would be interested in Brian’s take on the god-awful mess that was Arizona’s primary…

    http://usuncut.com/politics/5-examples-voter-suppression-arizona-primary/

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  37. Brian Mann says:

    Walker –

    First, “US Uncut” isn’t a news organization. It’s an activist group that’s not in the business of informing you – they’re in the business of advocating for various causes. In this case, the group is backing Bernie Sanders.

    There is good reporting out there about the clumsy execution of yesterday’s primary, but this isn’t it. Still, for the heck of it, let’s break down US Uncut’s treatment.

    1. It’s true that there were long lines and that it was clearly a poorly executed primary. As I say, there is some good reporting out there about this. It’s also apparently true that some of the problem areas were in Latino neighborhoods. But neither of these facts disadvantage Sanders over Clinton. In fact, Clinton is running strongest in communities of color.

    2. Some voters were turned away or given provisional ballots because they appeared to be registered as independents, not Democrats. This is confusing to voters who don’t understand what a ‘closed’ primary is, but that’s how it works. If it’s not an open primary and you’re not registered as a Democrat, you’re not eligible. That’s true for Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters.

    3. The “article” mentions the evacuation of one public building as a suspicious factor in the outcome. There were dozens of polling places and Clinton won this primary in Arizona by margin of roughly 73,000 votes. Absent any factual evidence supporting some kind of conspiracy, it’s hard to imagine why Clinton or the Democrats would need to cheat the system in a state where they were set to win by overwhelming margins. (Let me say this more bluntly: the idea is kind of ludicrous.)

    4. Finally, US Uncut suggests that people are “crying foul” in part because the result of the election was announced before everyone had a chance to vote. But the election wasn’t called by the people who run the polling places, or the Democratic Party or by any of the candidates involved. The election was called by the Associated Press, an independent news organization.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  38. Walker says:

    Brian, I realize that US Uncut is a Sanders advocacy site, but I hadn’t found this material on any better sites at when I posted that. BTW, I really wasn’t challenging you to tear it apart– I was in fact curious what your response would be.

    Anyway, as for the notion that the long lines disadvantaged Clinton and Sanders voters equally, that is certainly true in many areas. But as the Washington Post noted, “Long lines were also prominent at Arizona State University, a hotspot for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), where maps show several polling locations have been cut.”

    And the idea that the voters being turned away or given provisional ballots because they were registered as independents was the result of voter confusion about the nature of Arizona’s closed primary misses the apparent fact that this happened to long time Democrats, and apparently in large numbers. I don’t have a hard news source for this, but interestingly a Daily Kos piece that attempted to put to rest
    Myths About Election Irregularities and Suppression in Arizona noted that “Lifetime Democrats were erroneously listed as Independent, Republican, Libertarian, and “no affiliation”… People brought their hard copy voter ID with the correct affiliation and were still not allowed to vote with a regular ballot.” And “In Yavapai County, 2/3rds of voters in one precinct were mistakenly identified as independent. All of them were given provisional ballots… The election day technician in Yavapai indicates that ‘this is the same exact thing that voters have been experiencing in Pima and Maricopa County all day.'”

    As for the idea that the DNC/Clinton wouldn’t need to cheat because she “won” by 73,000 votes, the Democratic Primary isn’t winner-take-all, so the margin of victory is irrelevant– every vote counts.

    In any case, it is clear that the long lines in Maricopa County can’t be hung on the DNC’s neck– this appears to have been a Republican cost-saving screw up. The switching of registrations might be another matter? I really don’t know whether the party has any input there.

    And you’re right, the DNC had nothing to do with the election being called at 7pm, but it was unfortunate given the hours-long lines many voters were stuck in. You’d have to be a serious die hard to stick it out late into the night when the news was telling you it was all over.

    I realize that Sanders people are developing a reputation as whiners. It might not have been so had Debbie Wasserman Schultz right from the outset not so blatantly set up the debate schedule so as to minimize Sanders’ exposure– I don’t think anyone can argue that that was anything other than intentional.

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  39. Colorado Scott says:

    To assume that the DNC / “the establishment” controls everything that happens during a given election cycle is naive and credits the overlords with omnipotence, something they (sadly?) lack. To assume they control nothing is equally naive, and to expect them to do anything other than exert influence wherever they can is the most adolescent position of all. As I understand it, that’s the entire point of politics.

    Walker: it’s clear that the DNC, mass media, and the national/international oligarchy have had their collective thumbs on the scale for Hillary since 2008. The amount and effect of influence exerted is debatable, but there’s little question that Hillary’s the beneficiary. The interesting question is where would she be today without her minority of rich and powerful friends.

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz was just doing her job, an archetypal “little Eichmann” in the words of Ward Churchill. There do appear to be thousands and thousands of Little Eichmanns marching lockstep to the drumbeat of Generalissima Hillary.

    If the rulers of this or any land were actually omnipotent (and compassionate) then there would be no need for Democracy. There would be a precedent for hierarchy, as in the insect colony where workers don’t question why they gather food for winter. Of course, humans have evolved past the insect order, and we have pesky demands like equal rights, fair voting and a popular mandate. We’re all collectively realizing that the “Queen Bee” isn’t all powerful, she’s just the one who lays the Golden Eggs. And you know how the Captains of Industry feel about gold…

    AND WHY are Bernie supporters now being labeled “whiny”? It’s the same tired old trick used countless times this election cycle – when anyone questioned Hillary’s coronation we were labeled “sexists,” as if Hillary was the victim of some vast misogynistic conspiracy. In terms of gender politics, she actually appears to be the candidate who’s the most prone to “big dicking,” with the possible exception of Mr. Drumph.

    You can credit our Liberal Arts educations with our demands for more justice in this world. Throughout history education correlates with egalitarianism. There’s already another party with a candidate who caters to the uneducated. Let’s harness the power of our base instead of expecting stupidity from Democrats. Bernie is clearly the rational choice on so many levels and Hillary is standing in the way. It must be hard to be the girl that no one wants to dance with at every prom, but given the stakes we shouldn’t be expected to crown her Prom Queen out of pity. Nor should we be chastised or called whiners for expecting truth, transparency and good faith from our leaders.

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  40. Myown says:

    The issue of the difficulty in voting in Arizona raised by Walker is valid but it is not just about Hilary vs Bernie, or just Arizona. Nationwide our voting system is an embarrassment. There should be a serious discussion about how to fix our “democracy.”

    https://theconversation.com/american-elections-ranked-worst-among-western-democracies-heres-why-56485

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/03/24/how-republicans-are-gaming-the-voting-system-to-tip-the-2016-election-in-their-favor/

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  41. cm clark says:

    Ok, this article was posted on March 18th, a lot has happened since then. Why is it still the lead article on the daily newsletter? It really makes it appear that NCPR is promoting one candidate over others. Please update!

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  42. ncpradmin says:

    Hi CM Clark–

    That older article was listed first in the Listening Post yesterday, because it had received the most page views of any story on the website in the previous seven days. The top five stories of the week are ranked by our analytics numbers, not by editorial viewpoint. Dale Hobson, NCPR

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