A Grand Bargain for the Bern-man
Okay, BernieBros and SanderSistas, have I got an offer for you! For weeks now you’ve been telling me that delegate math is less important than momentum and youth turnout. And you’ve been howling that since Bernie does better in head-to-head match-ups against Donald Trump and the rest of the GOP ne’er-do-wells than my gal Hill does, he will make the stronger fall candidate. You don’t think it’s fair to have to play delegate catch-up to her Super Tuesday southern primary blowouts or to have to win the hearts and minds of the mean, establishment super-duper delegates that Debbie Wasserman “Shifty” Schultz handpicked to cheat Bernie out of his rightful nomination.
You just want the nomination bestowed on the Bern-man based on effort, energy, and overcoming a 60-point deficit in a mere 9 months. Do I have that right?
Well, okay, then – here’s my offer: I’m agreeing with you!
That’s right. Stop the presses! Hold your Make-America-Great-Again hats! Kevin Kelton is about to change the rules for getting the Democratic nomination. Or at least, change the rules for earning my endorsement.
As of today, April 8, 2016, I am willing to concede that if Bernie Sanders can win at least four of the last five big primaries – NY, NJ, PA, MD, and CA – he should be the Democratic nominee. Yes, even if he is behind in pledged delegates!
Why am I making this magnanimously generous concession?
Because, as I’ve said since the very first days of this campaign, I want the strongest general election candidate to go up against whomever the GOP settles on in Cleveland. And frankly, I think a front-runner like Clinton should be able to win big state primaries that she is leading by double-digits in the polls just a few weeks out. If Clinton cannot hold her leads in New York, Pennsylvania and California this late in the race, I don’t want to go into October and November wondering if she is going to suddenly tank again in those key electoral college states.
In short, if she’s got four more Michigans in her future, it’s a future I don’t want to be a part of.
On the other hand, if Michigan was a one-off, I can live with that. But if it turns out to be a foreshadowing of a weak candidate who consistently blows big leads as she thrashes about for ever-shifting campaign strategies, I want off this ghost train before it leaves Pennsylvania Station in July.
Last fall, Clinton promised us that she had learned the painful lessons of her 2008 primary debacle and had her caucus organizations down pat. That promise turned out to be 100% wrong. As the first woman running for the presidency, she was supposed to have the women’s vote locked tight. That hasn’t necessarily been the case, either. (Sanders tied her with women in Wisconsin, and he has consistently dominated with women under 30.) On the plus side, Hillary has shown tremendous strength with minority voting blocks. But if she flounders in New York, Maryland and California, that will tell us that her support with them is slipping, too. And if Hillary can’t withstand a late Bernie surge in working-class Pennsylvania, you have to wonder if she’s got the legs to hold that key state or Michigan and Ohio against her GOP challenger in November.
I still have serious doubts about how Sanders would hold up in a general election once the dirty laundry of his socialist past starts to get real scrutiny. I suspect that his negatives would suddenly rise and his lovable angry-grandpa act would lose its charm. But hell, it’s just possible that America can tolerate an aging Jewish socialist who might blow up our tax rates more than it can tolerate a misogynistic billionaire megalomaniac who might blow up the world.
So forget about all that “he has to win 60% to be viable” Mathnasium chitchat. Oh, I’m sure most of my Hillary compatriots will still insist on that lofty metric. After all, in the final analysis, nomination races are all about delegates…super or mortal.
But to earn the Kevin Kelton Seal of Approval, all your man has to do is win by a solid margin – say 52-48% or better – in four of those big five states. Hell, I’ll even throw in New Mexico. If Bernie can win four out of those six contests, he has my endorsement. No 60% threshold. No pledged delegate lead required. No bickering over popular vote tallies. No annoying lobbying of super delegates before the convention.
So there you have it. Congratulations on a hard fought, hard won primary. I’m already starting to #FeelTheBern! Now all you have to do is win four more teeny-weeny elections out of six. Two thirds. How hard can that be? You’ve got Bernmentum. You’ve got the world’s most lovable curmudgeon candidate. You’ve got the youth vote, and you’ve got the passion. All you need is 52% of the votes, four times out of six. Easy, right?
Because if you can’t deliver on the goods, then you can’t claim the Democratic party nomination as your birthright. So go out there and let’s win this thing for the socialist Gipper, Eugene Debs.
And if you can’t, please return the Kelton Seal of Approval. Hillary may want to wear it instead of a flag pin.