Does Cruz Exit Help Sanders? Will Hillary Appoint Bill Her "Minister of Jobs and Trade"?
Clinton wants to bring her husband "out of retirement."
by Gaius Publius
The two topics in the headline are related.
We're in the next phase of the campaign, with an uncontested candidate in the Republican Party (who knew that would happen first?) and a still-contested race on the Democratic side. How much does this change the dynamic?
For one thing, if Sanders continues to battle to the convention, as he's promised again and again to do — and also to combat Clinton regarding the culture of corruption (my phrase) in the Democratic Party — Clinton will have to fight on two fronts, Sanders and Trump. Whether she will fight on two fronts, or whether she'll just "pivot" to the right, battle Trump, and try to attract those "mythical centrist moderates," is anyone's guess.
Does she think she's such a shoo-in that she needn't bother further with Sanders voters and their issues, that they're going to along for the ride anyway? There are some indications of that, like this...
Two Clinton Advisors Support TPP "Adjusted on the Margins"
From a recent report sourced to the AP (my emphasis):
Laura Rosenberger, foreign policy adviser for the Clinton campaign, said Clinton still supports the goal of a TPP that advances US interests in the region. However, she said, the pact in its current form doesn’t meet three conditions needed for a trade deal: to create good jobs in the US, raise wages at home, and advance US national security.So Clinton plans to "adjust TPP on the margins" so legislators can "sell [it] back home." Does that sound like a firm commitment to "good jobs" and "raising wages"? Or a commitment to making things simply look that way? This certainly sends a TPP signal to Sanders voters. It also sends a TPP signal to her big-money campaign contributors.
Kurt Campbell, who was Clinton’s top lieutenant on East Asia at the State Department and is now advising her campaign, describes TPP as a “strategic commitment” to engage in Asia. The 12 participating nations account for about 40 per cent of global GDP, and other Asian nations are interested in joining.
Campbell said that a full-scale renegotiation would be “very difficult”, but that adjustments could make it more politically palatable in the US[.]
“There are always opportunities to adjust on the margins and figure out how to ensure that we’ve got an agreement which legislators can sell back home,” Campbell told the Truman Centre think tank last week, without giving specifics.
And then there's this...
Bill Clinton's Role in the Next Clinton Administration
In the clip at the top, the reporters frame Hillary Clinton's comment regarding Bill's role as being about "jobs," but as you can hear in this longer, though still edited, clip, the context of the discussion is trade. Here's one interpretation of the session:
During a campaign event this week, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton capitalized on the nostalgic popularity of Bill Clinton when she told a room full of supporters that she plans to put Bill to work because he has so many “good ideas.”Clinton is clearly pivoting to the right on TPP, though only the readers of the first piece above — and now you — know that yet. And she plans to make "NAFTA" Bill Clinton her virtual "minister of trade"? Before the primary is even over?
Clinton was talking extensively about trade, an issue that she has gotten a fair amount of push-back on from opponent Bernie Sanders.
That's quite a pivot. Just the optics alone are horrible, even if Bill just works to create a "manufacturing renaissance," as asserted here. The man is still, in most eyes, Mr. NAFTA. That was the core of his 1992 campaign against Ross Perot. Is this Ms. Clinton's new message, that "the guy who got killed your last job, will now get you your next one"?
... or question their agents as well.
I hope Bernie Sanders is all over this, from now until the last vote is cast. Because...
Will Pivoting to the Right Hurt Clinton Badly in the Primary?
Yes, in the primary. Remember, Ted Cruz has now dropped out, and we're still in the primary on the Democratic side, not the general election. In a piece called "5 Reasons Bernie Sanders Wins Big With Cruz Dropout" writer Seth Abramson includes these as the second and third reasons (bolded emphasis mine):
2. Sanders will pick up a huge number of what would otherwise be Trump votes in states where voters are still able to register for upcoming Democratic primaries, or are able to cross over and vote in the Democratic primary due to being a registered independent.And by ignoring Sanders completely in order to deal with Trump — as it certainly looks like she's doing — she risks even further the loss of (a) independent and Democratic voters in the primary, and (b) Sanders voters in the general election.
Sanders’ vote share in nearly every upcoming primary and caucus just increased, though we don’t know by how much. In some instances, it could be a substantial bump, given that there’s no strategic reason to cast a vote for Donald Trump anymore — now that the Republican National Committee has officially declared him the presumptive nominee and a John Kasich dropout is likely imminent.
3. Clinton will have to start spending a great deal of money to fight a two-front war against Donald Trump, who’ll begin his ultra-negative primary campaign against Clinton immediately, and [against] Bernie Sanders, who will avoid attacking Clinton directly but has nevertheless vowed to take the Democratic primary to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
This is the worst imaginable scenario for Clinton, as her negatives have always gone up when she’s in the midst of a campaign — and now she’s in the middle of two at once. With Clinton’s attention divided, her ability to respond to any Bernie Sanders surge in upcoming states will be limited.
Sanders Can Still Win the Nomination with Pledged Delegates
Yes, the path is narrow, but not impossibly so. After his win in Indiana — and hopefully, after Clinton's betrayal (that's the word) of her implied, though heavily parsed, objection to TPP — Sanders starts the fourth quarter of this four-quarter game very strong. As I have it calculated, he could fairly easily enter the convention less than 50 pledged delegates down. And with a string of very good wins in the many states favorable to him, he could even overtake her by something like 5-10 delegates.
In other words, not over. As Abramson wrote in the same piece:
Sanders was already looking strong in Oregon, West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Dakota, and California, but given that he’s within single digits in New Jersey (where Trump is very popular) and performed incredibly well with nonwhite voters in Indiana (meaning New Mexico could be in play), it’s not unthinkable that Hillary Clinton could lose all of the remaining primaries and caucuses and therefore as many as thirteen or fourteen contests in a row to finish the Democratic primary season.It's not out of range that Clinton loses every remaining contest but New Jersey and DC. If that's the case, losing by how much will tell the tale. And even if she wins the pledged delegate total — just one of the three simultaneous races being run — that's how she enters the convention, a loser in almost all of the fourth-quarter contests.
What will the nation think as they watch her nominated, if they do get that sight?
This isn't over. As I've been recommending for a while now — Block to the whistle. Tackle to the ground. Play till the end of the game. It's the only way you win the tough ones.
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