Saturday, May 21, 2016

One on One with Hillary Clinton

I was listening to Hillary on CNN last night.  She noted that she took her campaign all the way to the end in 2008.  It was one of the few sentences she was able to complete without Chris Cuomo inserting comments of his own.  This guy really has to simmer down.  Check this video out at the 2:40 mark, where he tells the joint Spelling Bee winners that they have to decide who's better "mano-a-mano."  Even his colleagues buried their heads.  John Oliver had the perfect comeback.   Hillary persevered, however, until the interview was cut short for "breaking news" on the Egyptair crash, in which CNN felt duty bound to provide us simulations of how the crash might have occurred.

As it was, the interview was all about the Egyptair crash until the ten minute mark, when Chris finally offered a few questions on the ongoing primaries.  Hillary didn't seem to take much stock in the news coming out of Nevada that Berniecrats supposedly turned over chairs and made a general mess of things at the state convention.  She noted that passions tend to flair in the closing months of a campaign and was confident that a Democratic healing would take place at the convention, as it did in 2008.  But Chris wanted to rumble, he wasn't content to let the issue lie with all will be forgiven.  In his mind this was as bad as a tie in national spelling bees.

It seems the "battle royale" we saw in the Republican primaries is the new normal.  The news media had a field day with the ongoing campaign that saw 16+ conservative presidential candidates come and go.  Alas, only one remains so focus begrudgingly turns to the remaining Democratic primaries where Bernie is still putting up a fight.

Bernie and his supporters were upset with the Nevada convention that appeared to award a disproportional number of delegates to Hillary.  She seemed to forget that she pushed hard to have the Florida and Michigan results counted in 2008.  Both states held "illegal primaries," well ahead of schedule and as per DNC rules the delegates were not counted.  A compromise was eventually reached long after Obama had sealed the nomination, much to the chagrin of Hillarycrats, who vowed to sit out the general election, or worse vote for McCain, until Mackie picked Crazy Sarah Palin as his veep and then all was forgiven.

Not that the handful of delegates Bernie lost would do him much good, but it was the principle that counted.  Throughout this nomination process, Berniecrats feel their candidate has been unfairly discriminated against and have pointed fingers at Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and other key Democratic leaders who they felt were rigging the outcome in favor of Hillary.  It was darling Debbie who was spreading the allegations that Bernie supporters turned the Nevada convention into a nasty ruckus, which Hillary in turn picked up on. Barbara Boxer purportedly "feared for her life."

The media has tried to paint Bernie as the Democratic version of Donald Trump from the beginning.  It doesn't matter that the two couldn't be further apart on issues or social standing, in the media's mind the two are both iconoclasts, and iconoclasts tend to be lumped together.  Mostly because it helps to set a narrative, which the media loves to do, and use it whether it fits the situation on the ground or not.  The dust-up in Nevada was perfect, as it fit with the boisterous reaction by Trumpkins to the GOP state conventions before their man Trump had sealed the Republican nomination.  You might remember the Cruz forces were steering delegates in their man's favor on the second ballot, which no longer looks like it will come to pass.

It all happens so fast these days that it is hard to keep track with all the twists and turns in this election cycle.  How we sorely miss Jon Stewart.  He would make sense of it all.  Instead, we have Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers, Bill Maher and many others trying to parse out the news clips and see if there is any method to this mayhem.  So far, nothing.  All we know is that the two least-liked candidates will be the nominees in November, so you can pick your poison.

To Hillary's credit, she is playing it pretty straight up.  She claims she will not alter her message in the general election.  She doesn't care what the Trump campaign spits out, she will continue to accentuate the positive.  Her Super PACs seem to be working from a different script.  Priorities USA came out with this amusing 30-second spot, which has Trump fuming.  I imagine we will see many more like it as Donald has provided more than enough ammunition to keep pro-Clinton PACs armed in the months to come.

Hillary appeared confident and ready for the challenge ahead.  The only question now is how she integrates Bernie into her campaign.  She ruled him out as veep in the CNN interview.  No surprise here.  It is doubtful Bernie was ever being considered except by media pundits who had nothing better to do than offer their two-cent opinions.  Hillary's eight-year deferred dream is one step closer to reality.

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