Bernie Sanders Allies Criticize His Campaign's Failures, Including a Lack of Early Outreach to Black Voters

Comments

1
Typo: You mean "beginning of his campaign."
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@1: Gah! Thanks, fixed.
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Also, if you only appear to give a shit about a constituency after you start running for President, people (black, white, or purple) are going to be reasonably dubious of your pitch.
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I think it’s weird that people speak of Sanders’ campaign as though it exists in a vacuum and not in the real world where he is running against a candidate who is extremely popular with African-Americans. It’s really hard to peel support away from someone who has invested decades building a coalition. I don’t think he’s ever stood a chance because Hillary is really well liked with the Democrats' most loyal voters.
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What @4 said. You could name for Hillary any one of the 50 largest neighborhoods in the country by African American population, and I'd bet she could list for you off the top of her head 5 important political, community, and/or faith leaders in that neighborhood, and will be on a first-name basis with all of them. You can't expect to overcome that kind of direct, long-term engagement as a Johnny-come-lately asking people who've never heard of you before to vote for you for POTUS.
6
It's been a uniquely frustrating experience to finally have a presidential candidate who roughly shares my values on foreign policy (the willingness to occasionally criticize Israeli apartheid, "no" to nation building, scaling back of unaccountable drone warfare, someone willing to essentially call Henry Kissinger a war criminal in a presidential debate), but then watch him fail to even attempt to form a coherent foreign policy narrative until two weeks after Iowa and New Hampshire.

I'm not convinced Sanders ever thought his candidacy was anything more than a symbolic protest. A true "political revolution" would have enlisted down ballot support for his ideas and tried a hell of a lot harder on many fronts.
7
Perhaps African-Americans are better at detecting BS than white folk.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/04…
8
Great job corporate media. When Bernie does well there's no stories about it. Now, when he's won 7/8 of the last contests and he's poised to win in Wisconsin (as tons of polls show) and also as he's gaining in New York AND California, we get a negative stories like this from NY times.

Also, did anyone look at this article? First sentence is...

"The morning after he lost the Nevada caucuses in February, Bernie Sanders held a painful conference call with his top advisers."

Uh yea, he actually won Nevada.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Sa…

As for what the Slog is writing about this.

1) A failure to take his own campaign seriously early on.
Tons of people, including myself, mostly ages 17-30, took his campaign seriously from the start, You might remember it was actually the corporate media and the Clinton campaign that didn't take his campaign seriously. Perhaps the media's influence is so strong that it altered your thoughts?

2) A failure to directly point out Hillary Clinton's flaws early on.
Maybe you should go watch the first debate again?
9
Bla bla bla. Since the all knowing press (LOL), was surprised to see Bernie's success, why would you think Bernie wasn't surprised. We paid Bernie's way, I'm sure he never expected to have such a big war chests from small independent contributors. You want to criticize start with the media who if anything has been manipulative and dropped the ball. Their is enough media BS much fabricated like this propaganda article to write a book on the questionable integrity of the media and how regulation is sadly needed because self regulation and integrity are questionable if non existence. We'll get to this industry in time as it's screaming for reform and everyone knows it.
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#8 Makes some excellent points. Framing this article as a set of "failures" is unveiled biased. Admittedly, Sanders issues with minority outreach in comparison to Clinton's is indeed a "weakness." But hardly "failures."

Like others have pointed out Clinton has had decades of insider democratic machinery to build transitional support.
11
A piece about the Sanders campaign in Slog that isn't about "bernie Bros". Must be snowing. Yet, before discussing failings, shouldn't you also discuss successes? at some point?

"A failure to invest any serious time campaigning for the attention of black voters before "

Well. at least, now you implicitly acknowledge that Sanders' problem with black voters was name recognition rather than a preference that black voters would have for Hillary over Bernie.
12
you don't launch a political revolution by taking the black vote for granted.

Unless, of course, you are riding in on the coattails of a husband who was popular with black people, in which case you can indeed take the black vote for granted.
13
The corporate media hates Sanders because he's the only candidate that supports campaign finance reform, which threatens the massive ad-spending payoffs that they receive during election years.

Both Clintons were an absolute disaster for African Americans during their respective terms in office, and they have extensive financial interests in both the private prison industry and the for-profit college-scam, which have disproportionately victimized people of color. I'd welcome hearing from people of color why Clinton is viewed positively by their communities.
14
As I remember it, Sanders was taking the "Class, not Race" stance back last summer and into the fall. And I don't think that posture engages with the issue fully enough and he's paying the price for it now.

The fact that Sanders isn't actually a Democrat seems to elude people at times.
15
More hacktacular regurgitation of conventional media wisdom by Slog. Please let's have some more commentary from mainstream Hillary supporters, like Krugman, to tell us how we need to accept our corrupt system and not hope for anything better.

Considering the obstacles that Bernie has faced, a relative unknown, battling the corrupt political machinery of the Clintons, DNC and corporate media, I think he's been doing alright. Even though these corrupt parties like to talk about his campaign in past tense, it still is actually happening. In fact, there's a very important primary tomorrow.
16
Its kind of a wonder to me that people can be utterly cynical about every aspect of American Politics *except* for the one politician they favor.
17
The dog wasn't expecting to catch the car, and surprised himself when he almost did. Probably for the best that the car got away. Dogs are good at barking and sticking their head out the window, but aren't known to be that great at the actual driving, "Go, Dog, Go" not withstanding.
19
Didn't Bernie let BLM have the mic at his first Seattle stop? He was willing to listen. I think here black as a culture is just voting the biggest D on the ticket if its not Obama. If Bernie gets biggers, he'll get that vote.
20
@8 -- cf. cbslocal:
Clinton ... was projected to win 20 of the 35 delegates up for grabs. Saturday’s results reduce that projection to 18
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@20 Are you so stoned that you forgot what the article said I linked in my post? I'm pretty stoned, but the numbers don't agree with your link-lacking post.

From Democracy Now!
"In a surprising reversal in Nevada, Sanders could actually end up winning the majority of Nevada delegates, even though Hillary Clinton won the first round of the Nevada caucus in February. On Saturday, Sanders won the support of 55 percent of the delegates at county-level voting."

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/4/hea…

This is from my post @8

"The final delegate count from all the county conventions across the state was 2,964 for Sanders and 2,386 for Clinton. Now the Sanders campaign will send 1,613 delegates and Clinton campaign will send 1,298 to the state convention in May."

How does that translate into Clinton winning 18 of 35 delegates?

22
Eli's takeaway isn't mine - that, "you don't launch a political revolution by taking the black vote for granted," but rather that Sanders never had the "black vote" to begin with. In terms of his relationships with communities of color, Sanders began this process at home plate rather than third base. A White, secular Jew who espouses democratic socialism has a good of work to do in this regard.

And I have to call bullshit on the frame of this article in another respect. To a person, six months ago, Sanders' allies and supporters wouldn't have bet more than a day's wages that he would even still be in the race at this juncture.

Oh, that and your candidate sucks, Eli :-)
23
@21, You're counting county delegates at the state convention and he's counting state delegates at the national convention. Bernie winning won't change much delegate-wise because they are allocated proportionally.
24
Why don't African-American voters in the South like Bernie? Is it because he is Jewish? an old white man? a socialist? Is it really that Hillary is popular with them because she knows a few names? anyone have any real insight? awkward silence on the issue in the media, considering its impact.
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@24 Yes, Hillary is popular with African-American voters in the South because she knows a few names. Thirty years worth of names. Bernie who?
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24, although relations between Jews and African Americans are not what they were back in the civil rights days, I doubt if Southern AAs dislike Bernie because he's Jewish. I think it's more likely that they don't really trust anyone who has no relationships in their area of the country. The Clintons can still claim Arkansas, even though they've been northerners for decades and are multimillionaires, while the Sanders couple is middle-class, if that.

However, his being Jewish doesn't help. It doesn't help anywhere, as several of the comments above shows.
27
I would like to say once again, Kate Brown for VP! For whichever D candidate wins the nomination. She is liberal, she is the governor of a west coast state, she has been serving in the Oregon state government since 1991, and she has a degree in Environmental Law from Lewis and Clark College. She would be an asset to either candidate.
28
It is always going to be very difficult for a Jewish person to get large amounts of votes from black communities. There is a ton of mistrust there due to a long history of Jewish landlords and black tenants in major cities. There is a lot of anti-Semitism in the black community, just like there is a lot of transphobia and homophobia.

Besides, as long as her last name is "Clinton," Hillary CAN take the black vote for granted, despite her husband's welfare reform scheme (which she also fought for) destroying tons of black communities and black families, in addition to the Clinton's unwavering support for the expansion of incarceration rates as well as private prisons.

If anything, this election cycle has proven this.
29
@21, @23 -- Knowing how democracy actually works is SUCH tedious business!

Much detail on the Nevada process and prospects at The GreenPapers, including links to consensus projections AND a radical advo projection more favorable to Sanders, both taking Saturday's developments into account.

Sorry if I've left anybody's headspace littered with actual factuals.
30
Obama, Clinton Pushed Trade Deal [with Panama] Amid Warnings It Would Make Money Laundering, http://www.ibtimes.com/panama-papers-oba…">Tax Evasion Worse
31
Let me try this again: Obama, Clinton Pushed Trade Deal [with Panama] Amid Warnings It Would Make Money Laundering,Tax Evasion Worse
32
Bottom line, If you had a time machine and went back 1 year and told your one-year-ago self that in April '16 Bernie Sanders would be giving the Hilary machine a run for its money in the primary and seriously threatening the coronation, your one-year-ago self would be completely fucking astonished. And now we are talking about Bernie's "failures"?

As for black voters, they are, and always have been our smartest voting block. They always turn out for the democrat at 80-90% or more, never vote against their own interests like poor whites ALWAYS do and they do not fiddle around with boutique candidates that tempt liberal, upper class whites, like Nader. Hilary has the name recognition, campaign machinery and war chest to win a general and they know losing is not an option. If Bernie ever became a viable candidate in the general, it was well after the south had voted. I support Bernie, but I cannot argue with America's most pragmatic voting bloc. If black voters are preferring Clinton by big margins, they have my attention.
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@32 Bernie was competitive before primaries in the South. He essentially tied Iowa and crushed Clinton in NH. There was no excuse to think he didn't have a shot at the nomination by the time people voted in the Southern primaries.
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@32: Unsure if we can declare who is the "smartest" voting bloc based on race, but it likely also has to do with the fact that if you are black and do not vote Democrat, you are considered a sellout and an "Uncle Tom" by your community, for the most part.

Racist whites called other whites "race traitors" for voting for Obama, and it goes the other way, too.
35
I listen to WNYC's the Brian Lehrer show where the democratic race is a daily topic of discussion, and the black callers who are voting for Hillary tend to state that they are drawn to her pragmatic approach rather than what they see as Sanders' vaguely described policies which they aren't convinced will work. They also tend to be skeptical about his claims of being able to create a political revolution when you live in the real world with a lot of strongly held different points of view. Some state that they think Bernie is extreme and will create more problems and backlash than Hillary would. They don't seem to share the enthusiasm white voters have for the "symbolism" of what a Sanders victory would represent.

There was also this article written by a black woman about why she thinks black people are voting for Hillary:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/20…
36
Oh, and one other thing that I found interesting about this WNYC show is that more than one black caller has stated that Sanders' supporters turned him off because they looked exactly like the hipsters responsible for gentrifying their neighborhoods. So that observation might also contribute to Sanders being seen as the candidate of the privileged liberal.
37
I don't speak for anyone except myself and it makes me nervous when a large community of folk are conceptually shoehorned into a like-minded demographic, "block" or "vote" and speak on their behalf. Can't have it both ways (make generalized claims in a meaningful way without losing granularity), but I would suppose that there are significant difference between and within POC constituencies, and that Sanders' rhetorical style and his policy planks may not resonate within those constituencies. Obama is a master at seamlessly traversing those points in space. Sanders not so much.

Sanders' campaign can be critiqued, looking in the rear view, on his inability to incorporate a diverse group of folks in leadership rol… earlier in the campaign as a way of bridging the divide. In that regard, there are two women who did Sanders a uuuuuuuuuuuge favor not so long ago.

That said, winning helps. Sander's is about to chalk up another victory in a few hours. Ain't over yet folks.
38
This is so 2008