The pundits and the political hacks are calling for Bernie Sanders to either drop out or to “tone down” his message. Instead, both campaigns, in a sign that neither really thinks the race is over, have turned up the heat. Hillary Clinton is holding conference calls with victims of gun violence trying to paint Sanders as pro-gun. Sanders is pressing for a debate in Brooklyn prior to the New York primary.
Sanders has pulled ahead in Wisconsin and is already making appearances in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. Clinton has been forced to spend time in New York, where Bernie is pushing hard for a debate before the April 19th primary. Sanders also seems to be getting under Clinton’s skin. She blew up at a Greenpeace activist who asked whether she would pledge to reject money from the fossil fuel industry going forward. Clinton claimed she was not taking their money and in an angry tone said she wished Bernie Sanders would stop lying.
Eva Resnick-Day, the activist who asked Clinton to take the pledge, said the following in an op/ed on the Greenpeace web site:
To be clear, we are talking about more than just individual contributions from oil and gas employees. According to data compiled by Greenpeace’s research department, Secretary Clinton’s campaign and the Super PAC supporting her have received more than $4.5 million from the fossil fuel industry during the 2016 election cycle. Eleven registered oil and gas industry lobbyists have bundled over 1 million dollars to her campaign.
Greenpeace USA, along with 20 other organizations, launched the pledge to #FixDemocracy, asking all presidential candidates to reject future fossil fuel contributions, champion campaign finance reform, and defend the right to vote for all.
When we launched the campaign, Sanders signed the pledge immediately. Hillary’s campaign responded, but did not sign. Unsurprisingly, the Republican presidential candidates who won’t even admit that climate change is real – while real communities on the frontlines are already impacted – did not respond to our request.
The Clinton campaign also attacked Bernie Sanders on guns when they held an event with parents of an Aurora, Colorado, shooting victim. The parents attempted to sue the gun manufacturer, but the case was thrown out because of immunity laws that protect gun manufacturers. Sanders supported the legislation that granted immunity but has expressed willingness to re-address the issue.
Hillary Clinton is also taking aim at Sanders’ time as an Independent, claiming that her long ties to the Democratic Party should mean something.
Let’s be clear, if the Clinton campaign thought they had the nomination wrapped up, they would not be attacking Sanders. They will need his supporters in November to beat the Republican nominee.
Sanders has also turned up the heat, challenging Clinton to a debate in New York. The pressure seems to be working, and it appears that both sides are close to a date and location. If Sanders were no longer a threat there would be no New York debate talks.
Despite the media narrative, Bernie Sanders does have a path to victory. The media is doing everything they can to spin for Clinton. One example is John King reporting on CNN that he has run the numbers and if Bernie won the rest of the races with 55% of the vote he would not catch Clinton. Why did King pick 55%? Maybe it has something to do with Nate Silver showing how Sanders would catch Clinton with 56% of the remaining vote.
OK, 56.6% – not an easy task, but possible. King did point out that if Sanders got 55% of the remaining delegates Clinton would not have enough delegates to win on the first ballot, but she would be ahead. Even with that admission, it is so clear that the mainstream media is trying to tell voters what will happen instead of reporting what is happening. There are over 2,000 pledged delegates left to be allocated and 208 super delegates who are uncommitted. Of course, the super delegates who have committed can change their mind at any time. So while Hillary Clinton has the easiest path to the nomination, it is not a sure thing.
Many Sanders supporters have had enough of the media spin and are taking to the streets. On Sunday over 1,000 protesters showed up at CNN’s Los Angeles headquarters to protest the lack of coverage of the Sanders campaign. The strength of his campaign despite the biased media coverage Sanders has received makes you wonder where he would be if the media did their job and didn’t constantly dismiss his chances.
All signs are pointing to a big night for Sanders on Tuesday. It remains to be seen if his momentum will continue to New York and the other eastern states that round out April. Perhaps we should all wait and see how people vote before dismissing Bernie’s chances. I expect Sanders to go all the way to the convention. After all, the political revolution is about more than Bernie. It is also about reforming the Democratic Party. If Bernie dropped out before the convention, the power that his delegates would hold at the convention would all but vanish. Expect the Sanders delegates to arrive in Philadelphia with a reform agenda that includes things like an end to super delegates. Win or lose, the political revolution will continue. As Harold Meyerson said, “Bernie Sanders’s campaign didn’t create a new American left. It revealed it.”