Sure, but that’s not a process which can be presumed to produce the most electable candidate. Some primary winners have lost General elections. Shocking, I know, but there it is.
Of course, but a candidate selected by the voters over the course of a primary campaign where we get to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of several potential candidates is more likely to produce a candidate with broad support from the base than a process whereby the candidate is presumed from the get go by the party leaders.
No Democratic primary season in my memory has produced a candidate who didn’t have the board support of the base. I don’t really see how it could.
This isn’t just a Bernie thing, btw. I thought Martin O’Malley actually won the first debate but he was never given any serious consideration by pundits or press because Clinton was the presumed nominee. And beyond Sanders and O’Malley, we have no idea who might have thrown their hat in the ring if the party hadn’t made it clear that this was Hilary’s year from the jump.
And, again, Clinton won me over in the end and I think she was extremely well qualified but the process left a bad taste in my mouth and I know I’m not alone. It reinforced the sense that the party had become out of touch with common people and that sense, that dissatisfaction, may have been enough to tip the balance in swing states. On top of which, we’ll never know if there might have been a different nominee with much more enthusiastic support.
There’s no right or wrong in this debate. There are good arguments to be made in either direction and it’s impossible to evaluate hypothetical scenarios of what might have been or to accurately judge how much of a factor these issues were in the final vote. Just stuff to consider when we’re looking ahead to the next primary.
There are many presumptions in this statement that are suspect. I actually agree with you that primaries are the best way to select a candidate. I like democracy. I wish that primaries were all held on one day, that they were all done via popular ballot (rather than caucus meeting), and that they used ranked choice. But still, primaries.
That said, Hillary was not selected and crowned by the DNC. Bernie Sanders was not a credible candidate in 2016 until the beginning of primary voting. Even then, he didn’t get broad support until primary voting was almost over. He started too late and didn’t focus on the right states. There was no finger on the scale. Clinton was the only viable candidate, and no duh most people in the DNC preferred her; most Democrats preferred her! She was the most popular national level politician in the country during her tenure as SecState.
Also, too, Trump. I mean, yes he had “broad support from the base” I guess, but it’s not obvious to me that he had more support than any other GOP candidate would have. It’s not obvious that Clinton had less than Bernie would have.
The DNC didn’t select Clinton. The DNC didn’t prevent or forbid anyone from running. Clinton vacuumed up the big money and the talent - not because it was deemed it was “her turn,” but because that’s how politics works. Easy to forget now but she had higher favorable’s than Obama. No one wanted to run against her because no one thought they could win.
Without sounding like too much of a conspiracy nut I will just observe that The New York Times in particular refused to cover Sanders at all until he became impossible to ignore and we know from the Russian leaked emails that the party itself was dead set against him and it was widely known that the party sent a pretty clear message to other potential candidates to stay out of this one.
I’m not some insane Bernie Bro who went on to support Jill Stein. I supported Sanders because I agree strongly with his vision of democtractic socialism, because I knew he was a highly, highly effective executive as mayor of Burlington, (a city that continues to thrive on the basis of the vision he executed, the programs he started to revitalize it) and because infeltnthatbthe Democrats as a party were increasingly out of touch with the needs of the working class.
That said, as soon as the primaries are over, I immediately through my support behind Clinton and by the time the election rolled around I was even excited to vote for her. She may not have represented my own politics perfectly but I thought she would make a great President.
Can you document this? I’m skeptical.
Again, do you have sources? I’m skeptical that there’s anything like this in the emails, or that if there is it’s personal preference. I’m also a bit nauseous that the DNC’s image is tarnished because of a leak of documents coordinated by Trump campaign operatives working in concert with the Russian government.
Yeah, that was an eye-opener for me too. I had been reading the NYT for 15 years, off and on, and was a big fan of Krugman et al. Then the primary rolled around and the NYT treated Bernie like Voldemort. They absolutely refused to mention his name. The NYT would have entire articles about Hillary losing a primary in a state, without ever actually writing the name of the person she lost to. Even once that embargo was broken and they finally started mentioning Bernie, it always had to be with some criticism or insult.
When was the embargo? I mean, see a lot of NY Times pieces about Bernie during the primary, and they’re certainly mentioning him by name.
Just google New York Times Bernie Sanders 2016 Primary. I see stories as far back as January 12, 2016.
- The NYT is not the DNC.
- Bernie Sanders was not a member of the DNC.
Dang you with your “facts”. I will try to do some research and provide hard evidence rather than just my impressions.
Where is my like button? I’m lol over here!
My search skills aren’t good enough to find posts I made on these forums at the time but it reached a level of absurdity. At a time when Sanders was really starting to catch fire drawing huge crowds and generating a lot of enthusiasm I would read the Times primary round up and he was either not mentioned at all or would get a vague single line reference at the very bottom of their round up.
As for stuff from the Wikileaks email dump, it’s shitty that this stuff was leaked and we know why it was leaked and the damage it did but, nevertheless, there was a lot in there about the party’s effort to undermine Sanders. Example:
The Times is not the DNC but they represented a bias by the establishment in favor of Clinton.
And Sanders was not originally a Democrat but he was a legitimate candidate in the Democratic primaries and the DNC should not have been playing favorites in what was supposed to be a democratic process.
All moot points at this point. I’m not trying to relitigate the 2016 primary, just saying that for 2020, the party should let the process play out and see which candidate rises to the top in a fair and level playing field. That candidate will be the one folks are most enthusiastic about.
Like Donald Trump.
As an aside, these conversations always get a bit contentious because some people perceive them as tacit attacks on Hilary and because Sanders had a lot of supporters who were nuts who went on to support Stein or Trump or some stupid shit. That’s why I’ve tried to be at pains to make clear that I supported Clinton in the end and think she would have made an excellent President.
The conversation started with a discussion of the importance of charisma on the part of and enthusiasm for the eventual nominee. I think the process was flawed in 2016 and while that was not the determining factor in the end, it may have been one of many contributing factors in what was an absurdly close race. And, again, notable that it was only absurdly close because of Russian fuckery.
As noted, there are NYT pieces about Sanders’ candidacy from before even the Iowa Caucus.
The Republican primaries are completely fucked at this point. That is a monster of their own making and particular to their party. It’s both great and terrible. Great because it means they inevitably put forth the worst candidate and terrible because that candidate often wins.