I recently read in a book about a politician whose big trait was that he, in the words of one supporter, “is not afraid to speak his mind.” This politician was endorsed by a bevy of white supremacists, ostracized by the party he claimed to be a part of and won most of the Deep South. Of course the man I am talking about is former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, perhaps the closest thing America has seen to demagogue Donald Trump.
To no surprise, The Donald won the Republican side in Mississippi on March 8. What was surprising was the amount of faux-surprise in the media in response to Ted Cruz’s loss in Mississippi, and all the talk that this must be some sort of disaster for the Texas senator. Unless Cruz is completely blind, he must have anticipated losing Mississippi to Trump, especially after the mogul beat him in Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia.
For whatever reason, the Deep South loves the brash, lying, arrogant, racist, rambling New Yorker, and that was not going to change in the course of one week. The media playing this loss up like some sort of a disaster for one candidate is just plain silly. Mississippi went how
just about everybody expected Mississippi to go.
Michigan, on the other hand, did not. In Michigan, the insurgent, democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders defied drastic odds to defeat Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, when no poll had given him a chance.
You may ask, dear reader, whether I plan to address the beat down Clinton administered to Bernie in Mississippi. The answer is no, because like with the Republicans, that outcome was nothing if not obvious from the beginning.
In particular, Bernie won a large percentage of the African- American vote, which he had proven absolutely unable to do elsewhere in the South. If the Vermonter can continue to win a large chunk of the African- American vote moving forward, that would certainly be helpful for him. But even on the night of his greatest victory, he still feels behind in the overall delegate count. Consequently, it remains difficult to envision a realistic path to the nomination for the senator from Vermont by way of Brooklyn.
Finally, a quick note on Sanders and super delegates, which are Democratic Party Committee members, elected officials and insiders who are given a vote at the Democratic Convention. Those who “Feel the Bern” like to say that while the super-delegates are by and large totally committed to Hillary, that commitment is loose, and these individuals could be swayed to vote for everyone’s favorite socialist if he wins more states. These Bernsters eagerly point to the fact that many of these same super delegates were committed to Hillary in 2008, until then Sen. Obama was able to persuade them to vote for him at the convention after winning the primary.
A few of key points to bring these hopeful souls down to that planet we call Earth: One, Bernie is not Obama. Obvious, but it bears repeating. Two, Obama actually won the majority of the states in his primary, something Bernie has not come close to yet. Three, perhaps most importantly, Sen. Obama was already a rising national political star when he declared his candidacy, being backed by the Chicago Democratic Party, one of the most important Democratic political machines in the nation. Fourth and finally, Obama was the hand-picked choice of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the unquestioned leader of both the Senate Democratic Caucus and effectively of the party itself.
Bernie, I am afraid, is not and will not have the overwhelming establishment support which propelled Obama to the finish line in 2008.