The 2016 Democratic National Convention will take place the week of July 25 to July 28 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia with some events at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This is exactly one week after the Republican Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. There are to be 4,765 delegates. They will officially choose the Democratic candidate to run for the Presidency in November of 2016, the Vice Presidential Candidate, and write the platform upon which the Democratic Party will stand for the next four years.
The Democrats are following the Republican example and holding their Convention earlier that in 2012. Philadelphia was selected as the host city on February 12, 2015. The time of the Conventions are earlier than usual to allow the parties’ next presidential nominees to have access to more campaign cash as they begin their contest for the presidency.
For the first ballot the candidates will be Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley. Whether there will be more than one ballot depends on whether one of the candidates can achieve the 2,383 delegates voting for them. As of Wednesday, April 27th Hillary Clinton had 2,165 primary and caucus delegates, Bernie Sanders has 1,357, and Martin O’Malley has 0 delegates. The race is actually between Hillary and Bernie.
While the Republican Party leaders are able to control their conventions by rule changes every four years the Democratic Party is able to do the same thing with Super delegates, who are not elected by the Democratic public voting and caucusing in the individual states and territories. These delegates are all free to vote for whoever they wish. These are all Democratic members of the House and Senate, sitting and former Democratic governors, elected members of the Democratic National Party, distinguished party leaders consisting of current and former presidents, vice presidents, congressional leaders, and DNC chairs. They are unbound delegates. Taken together these are a formable number of votes that are not obligated to vote for any candidate. These unpledged delegates are seated solely by being current or former elected office holders and party officials. They are not bound in any way and may support any candidate they wish, including one who has dropped out of the presidential race. And they are in addition to the other 4,765 bound delegates who are committed to a specific candidate for at least the first ballot.
In the current 2016 election where Hillary Clinton is currently leading by about 800 delegates Bernie Sanders strategy will be to get these Super delegates to vote for him at the Convention in order to make up for his possible shortfall of bound delegates against Hillary Clinton. Will he be successful?
For Republicans there are 3 unbound Super delegates in each state. These are the state chairman and two RNC committee members. This gives them a total of 150 Super delegates. For the Democrats the number is far greater.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a well-known figure in the United States for over the last ¼ of a century. She was the wife of a president, Bill Clinton, who served two terms at the tail end of the 20th Century, later a Senator for most of two terms for the state of New York, a Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2009, and a Secretary of State for Barack Obama’s first term as President. Because she served on important committees and attempted to set up a universal health care system during his husband’s first term as President and is a liberal she has been considered as a threat by most Republicans. She was the first and only first lady to have to testify before a grand jury. She was also the first former Secretary of State to have been vigorously questioned by seven separate investigative committees over the vicious attack at Benghazi in October of 2012, when three American diplomats were murdered at the American consulate. It would seem the Republicans want to discredit her by placing the blame for the vicious action on Clinton even though it was the Republican dominated House of Representatives that had cut the protective funding for embassy protection. The official Report on the last Congressional Benghazi investigation held in 2015 which found nothing against her will probably be released by November of this year when she is running for the Presidency. All this has occurred in spite of the fact that the House Intelligence Committee issued a report in November of 2014 after in intense investigation stating that there had been no wrongdoing in the administration’s response to the attack.
Kevin McCarthy the Republican Whip in the House of Representatives, who could well be a relative of the dummy entertainer, Charlie McCarthy, and often has a problem coming out with a coherent sentence, came out with a statement to the press in 2015 that the Benghazi Hearings were hurting Hillary’s standing in the 2016 Presidential Race. Some of the Republican prospective candidates for the 2016 Presidential Campaign have called her “the worst Secretary of State ever.” She is definitely a threat to the Republicans and the last thing they want is Hillary Clinton replacing Barack Obama as President of the United States.
Trey Gowdy’s House Select Republican dominated Committee, which will produce its findings between now and Election Day in November has spent 6.5 million dollars of taxpayer monies attempting to defame or discredit Hillary Clinton. There have been many more addition millions spent by the prior congressional committees trying to do the same thing. Congress has now spent four years in numerous investigations which are being held for purely political reasons. This has been the longest investigation of an incident in the entire history of the United States and has accomplished nothing but a massive expenditure of money. Will they be able to discredit Hillary Clinton? Gowdy promises eye-opening evidence; but he has been promising that since the last hearing began. For a political party that’s very money conscious the Republicans are free to spend taxpayer dollars for political purposes.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is a liberal democrat interested in the welfare of the people of America at a time when there is intense economic disparity and unreasonable treatment of various economic and racial groups within the nation. She is a voice for the majority at a time when they are being pushed into a slow downward economic spiral by the super-wealthy minority.
She has focused her presidential campaign upon middle class incomes, the universal establishment of preschools and making college more affordable and she would like to improve Affordable Health Care. Even though she is the first woman to successfully run for the presidency she is no doubt one of, if not, the best prepared candidates in the entire his of the country.
Ultimately she is pragmatic, capable of compromise; which may be necessary with a split Congress. President Obama, after his first two years in office, was forced to work with a politically split Congress where the Republican House absolutely refused to work with him. In fact for the last five years the Republican led House of Representatives opposed virtually everything he attempted. Hillary, as President, may find a similar condition. But Hillary may be able to get under their skins and to a certain extent work with them.
Bernard “Bernie” Sanders is the other viable Democratic candidate. He is the junior United States Senator from Vermont. Sanders has been the longest serving Independent in U.S. Congressional history. He was a member of the House of Representatives from April 6, 1981 through April 4, 1989, eight years, and a member of the U.S Senate from January 3, 1991 to January 3, 2015, 24 years.
Even though he ran as an Independent Bernie Sanders considered himself as a Socialist. As a candidate for the presidency he has called himself a Democratic Socialist. He has continually caucused with the Democrats as an Independent and formally changed his party registration last year so he could run as a Democrat in the Presidential Race.
Initially, I believe, he saw himself as a protest candidate in the 2016 Presidential Race. No one, and I believe that includes himself, saw him as having a possible chance to win the election.
Bernie Sanders has spent his life in protest movements. In early 1969, while he was a student at the University of Chicago, he was involved in the Civil Rights Movement as an organizer for the Racial Equality and worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1968, after settling in Vermont, he ran unsuccessfully as a third party candidate for both governor and U.S. Senator. From 1981 through 1989, as an Independent, he was elected mayor the city of Burlington. In 1990 he was elected to the House of Representatives.
Sanders rose to national prominence in 2018 following his filibuster against the proposed extension of the Bush tax cuts. He favors policies like those of the social democratic parties in Europe, especially those in the Nordic countries: free health care for all, free education through college, parental leave, and LGBT rights. He has demanded campaign finance reform, an end to corporate welfare, adherence to global warming and income inequality. He has been a critic of U.S. foreign policy and has opposed the Iraq war. He has strongly criticized the racial discrimination within the justice system and supported civil liberties and civil rights. Most of what Bernie Sanders has stood for very few Democrats will argue against.
The best way to describe Bernie Sanders is to quote the last part of the article about him in the free internet encyclopedia that describes his political position:
“Sanders is a self-described socialist, and progressive who admires the Nordic model of social democracy and is a proponent of workplace democracy. In November 2015, gave a speech at Georgetown University about his view of Democratic Socialism, including its place in the policies of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. In defining what democratic socialism means to him, Sanders said ‘”I don’t believe government should take over the grocery store down the street or own the means of production, but I do believe that middle class and working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a decent standard of living and their incomes should go up, not down. I do believe in private companies that thrive and invest and grow in America, companies that create jobs here, rather than companies that are shutting down in America and increasing their profits by exploiting low-wage labor abroad.’”
“Sanders focuses on economic issues such as income and wealth inequality, raising the minimum wage, universal healthcare reducing the burden of student debt, making public colleges and universities tuition free by taxing financial transactions, and expanding Social Security benefits by eliminating the cap on the payroll tax on all incomes after $250,000. He has become a prominent supporter of laws requiring companies to give their workers parental leave, sick leave, and vacation time, noting that such laws have been adopted by nearly all other developed countries. He also supports laws that would make it easier for workers to join or form a union.
“Sanders has advocated greater democratic participation by citizens, campaign finance reform, and the overturn of Citizens United v. FEC. He also advocates comprehensive financial reforms, such as breaking up ‘”too big to fail’” financial organizations, restoring Glass-Seagull legislation, reforming the Federal Reserve Bank and allowing the Post Office to offer basic financial services in economically marginalized communities. Sanders strongly opposes the U.S. invasion of Iraq and has criticized a number of policies instituted during the War on Terror, particularly mass surveillance and the U.S. Patriot Act.
“Sanders has liberal stances on social issues, having advocated for LGHT rights and against the Defense of Marriage Act. Sanders considers himself a feminist. He is also pro-choice, and opposes the de-funding of Planned Parenthood. He has denounced institutional racism and called for criminal justice reform to reduce the number of people in prison. He advocates a crackdown on police brutality, and supports abolishing private for-profit prisons and the death penalty. Sanders supports legalizing marijuana at the federal level. On November 15, 2015, in response to ISIS’s attack in Paris, Sanders cautioned against Islamophobia and said ‘”We gotta be tough, not stupid in the war against ISIS,’” and that the U.S. should continue to welcome Syrian refugees.
“Sanders advocates bold action to reverse global warming and substantial investment in infrastructure, with energy efficiency and sustainability and job creation as prominent goals. Sanders considers climate change as the greatest threat to national security.”
I believe most people will largely agree with Bernie Sanders position on most things. The next question is: Could he achieve most of what he wants? Will expanding Social Security payments to everybody’s total income create enough to significantly raise Social Security payments? Will taxing financial dealing generate enough money to pay for free college tuition throughout the United States? The answer is probably in the negative. In addition financial dealings would significantly increase the cost of such practices and could bring down the economy in a massive depression. Also how would free medical care for everyone be paid for?
While much of what Sanders wants does exist in most other industrial nations it is paid for by everyone in their taxes. Is the population of the U.S. currently willing to accept this responsibility?
Another consideration is: Can Bernie Sanders bring about legislation to allow much of this change to occur? Barack Obama was elected under the theme, It’s Time for a Change. After two years in office stopping a Great Depression and bringing about Affordable Health Care, a Republican majority was elected to the House of Representatives, and thereafter no bills were passed helping him govern. In all probability Bernie will have the same legislative problems. Currently both the House and the Senate both have Republican majorities. The Republicans do not believe in anything Sanders wants. The Senate may become democratic again in 2016 but the probability is that the House will retain its Republican majority. Bernie will be in the same position that Obama has been in for the last five years, unable to get any progressive legislation through Congress. How will he adapt to that?
While Bernie may be tough, still there has to be a limit as to how much frustration he can take. There’s a good possibility that that limit will be reached with his four year presidency.
Currently Hillary is leading in the number of delegates. She has 2,165, Bernie has 1,357. On Tuesday, April 26th Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island held their primaries. There were a total of 354 bound votes available.
In the recent, April 26th, Super Tuesday Hillary Clinton won four of the five state primary contests raising the number of delegates who will vote for her in the July Democratic Nominating Convention to 2,165. The required number required to become the Democratic Candidate in 2016 is 2,583.
There are still 14 states and territories to go. Indiana is on Tuesday, May 3 and the Democratic nominating conventions will continue through June 14th with a total of 1,207 delegates still to go. Bernie Sanders currently has 1,357 delegates pledged to him. The probability of Bernie overtaking her and achieving 2,583 votes in practically nil; he would need virtually all the delegates plus a small number of unbound delegates to just reach the total.
Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the next Presidential Candidate for the Democratic Party in 2016.
What Sander can realistically do at this point is to get as many of his ideas as possible drafted into the Democratic Platform. After all with a few exceptions he and Hillary are philosophically not far apart. Continuing to battle her might, in his mind, increase these possibilities. Sanders has announced that he will stay in the race to the end. He must be hoping that enough of the unbound or Super delegates will vote for him or that Hillary and the Democratic Party will accept most of what he wants added to the platform. Either way he will be a winner even if Hillary Clinton is elected to the president.
- At Harlem’s Apollo, Bernie Sanders Slams the Clintons on Poverty and Race (harlemcondolife.com)