Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Where Bernie Went Wrong

Fusion author Terrell Starr gives us a very good postmortem for the Sanders campaign on why they lost to Hillary Clinton, and it's because while both campaigns absolutely took black voters like myself for granted, Clinton at least made an effort to listen to that criticism and tried to correct it, while Sanders continued to assume that black voters would magically just go to him over his message.

It didn’t have to be that way. But his campaign never explained how black people fit into his vision of a radically changed America. And, according to a series of Fusion interviews with former staff members, campaign leadership didn’t really see the point in trying.

Those former staffers described a campaign that failed to give its black outreach teams the resources they needed, that never figured out how to connect to black audiences, and that marginalized black media.

In the process, the campaign missed a chance to capitalize on a revolutionary message that otherwise might have appealed to black voters frustrated with the current political order.

Instead, Sanders was clobbered by Hillary Clinton among black voters in state after state after state, including some where Sanders either won white voters or lost them narrowly. The gap made it all but impossible for him to win the nomination.

Sanders himself was “sincere to the core,” said Roy Tatem, the campaign’s former deputy director for African-American outreach. But he said he felt that neither campaign manager Jeff Weaver nor other high-ranking figures thought Sanders could overcome Hillary Clinton’s appeal to black voters.
“I think they felt that the relationship with Hillary was so strong that they didn’t have confidence in doing much of anything to change it,” Tatem said. “Some people felt he had a better chance at winning the Latino vote and the millennial vote than the black vote.”

In other words, as Elon James White has been saying for the last 12 months, "Earn this damn vote or lose."  Bernie made no effort to do so, none at all.  Hillary has made some effort to do that at least, but still has some ways to go.  The difference?  She realized that no Democrat can win nationally without the black vote.  Bernie did not. He blew chance after chance to do so.

As such, Bernie lost.  There is a lesson here for those who wish to learn it.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails