Monday, June 06, 2016

Bernie Sanders' Continuing Delusions

Fresh off wins in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Hillary Clinton is within roughly 30 delegates of what she needs to cinch the Democrat nomination.  Objective reality and simple math, however, mean nothing to Bernie Sanders whose ego and need for adulation grows with every passing day.  Despite the insurmountable math, Sanders continues to mislead his followers and claim that he has a path to victory.  The man seemingly is as delusional and self-absorbed as Donald Trump and makes his fitness for the White House doubtful.  A piece in The Economist looks at Sanders' delusional claims of a winning end game.  Here are excerpts:
[T[he outpouring of Bernie-love offered up by a crowd of 20,000 Sandernistas, at an open-air rally in Oakland on May 30th, seemed mostly inane.
As almost anyone would, Mr Sanders, who a year ago was hardly known to most voters, shows signs of believing the hype. He revels in the adulation more visibly than he used to. More important, and bizarrely, he appears sincerely to believe he can win.
He is currently trailing Hillary Clinton in the Golden State by around seven percentage points: a formidable gap, given her advantage with the Hispanic voters who make up over a quarter of its electorate, but closable. All the same, Mr Sanders’s prediction seems so unlikely as to be almost delusional.   
Mr Sanders appears to have lost. Yet he is hurting Mrs Clinton by refusing to acknowledge this. The excitement around his campaign always showed up her woodenness as a campaigner; it takes a lot of loud pop music to work up an atmosphere at Mrs Clinton’s rallies. His persistence in winning clusters of smallish states that play to his strengths—typically those, recently including Washington, Utah and Idaho, that hold caucuses—has meanwhile given his supporters, and some journalists, an exaggeratedly rosy view of his progress. For the most part, this has been to Mrs Clinton’s advantage; it suits her to be seen fighting. 
Desperate to heal their feuding party, and turn its fire on Mr Trump, Democratic bigwigs have for weeks implored Mr Sanders to bow out. If the way the Republicans are rallying to Mr Trump is a guide, the reunification could happen rapidly—indeed the Democrats’ primary wounds look less deep than the Republicans’ did. Asked whether they would support Mrs Clinton in November, many of those in Oakland recoiled at the question: “Of course we would!” 
It is also apparent that some of Mr Sanders’s advisers are turning their thoughts to what he might demand as the price of his surrender. There is talk of making Mrs Clinton raise her pledge of a $12 minimum wage to the $15 Mr Sanders is promising.A defeated candidate is not generally in a position to make such demands. But Mr Sanders, who only joined the Democratic party last year and is aggrieved by its leaders’ preference for Mrs Clinton, seems minded to test that.
Painfully for Mrs Clinton, Mr Sanders meanwhile persists in criticising her personally, especially over her fund-raising on Wall Street, thereby softening her up for Mr Trump. How long can it go on? Mr Sanders has no serious chance of overhauling Mrs Clinton’s lead of 268 delegates in the nine remaining votes, the last of which, Washington, DC, is on June 14th. He would need to secure 68% of the delegates available, which, given that the Democrats hand them out in proportion to vote share, not all to the winner, is almost unimaginable. To justify his pledge to fight on, he therefore needs at least to win most of the remaining states; above all California.
Yet if Mr Sanders loses California, on the night that Mrs Clinton is likely to cross the requisite threshold of 2,383 delegates, counting superdelegates, they would be immaterial. Mr Sanders would have lost his last shred of an excuse for fighting on. Even his closest advisers admit this. According to Mr Devine, “California is the sine qua non.

Sanders has become a nutty gad fly who simple needs to accept reality and end his campaign.

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