In the aftermath of the Vermont primary, in which Hillary Clinton failed to reach the 15 percent threashold needed to qualify for convention delegates, there’s been more pressure on superdelegates who back Clinton to switch to Bernie Sanders. Because to vote for Clinton, the story goes, would be to ignore the wishes of the electorate.
Which fails to consider the disenfranchisement of the 13.6 percent who voted for Clinton. I’m not making that complaint; I have said the parties have the right to determine rules for choosing a presidential candidate, and I stick by that. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy, that’s all. Both candidates benefit, and lose, in different ways that roughly cancel out.
What I am here to say is there are very good reasons for Pat Leahy and Peter Shumlin and Billi Gosh to support Hillary. They may believe she’s the stronger general-election candidate. They might value her long and loyal service to the Democratic Party, contrasted with Bernie-come-lately who has been harshly critical of the party but has also benefited, throughout his political career, from his arm’s-length affiliation with the Democrats.
And here’s another one, a big one, courtesy of the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank:
Hillary Clinton has raised $26 million for the Democratic National Committee and state Democratic parties so far this campaign. And Sanders? $1,000.
That’s no typo. Clinton is doing more to boost the party’s 2016 prospects than Sanders by the proportion of 26,000 to 1.
… Clinton has pledged to rebuild the party and has begun to make good on that promise. Sanders, by contrast, has shown little concern for the very real crisis the party faces beneath the presidential level.
Let me pause here and state, clearly, that I don’t blame Bernie for making this strategic choice. He has a revolution to build, and that costs money. His first priority is fully funding a presidential campaign, which is a very costly undertaking. He is doing what he needs to do.
However, as Milbank documents, the Democratic Party structure is in critical condition.