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Bernie Sanders was on the brink of being declared the winner of the Alaska caucus when Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s boyish campaign manager sent an email in which he expressed his worries regarding the Vermont senator. The email was short and to the point, giving us insight on the topic of financing campaigns. It would appear that the Clinton campaign is being outspent by thousands upon thousands of supporters who opt to chip in a few dollars here and there for the insurgent self-declared Socialist senator. The three paragraphs of the message were a combination of optimism and irritation: Bernie was still in the contest.
It may be true that Clinton is still enjoying a healthy lead among the pledged delegates who will choose the Democratic presidential nominee at the party’s convention in Philadelphia in late July. However, shaking off Mr. Sanders has proven to be close to impossible. He has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t plan on giving up anytime soon.
Mook wrote a memo in early February, predicting that the race will be “done and dusted” by the end of March. As it wasn’t the case, tension is rising and nerves are fraying. On Friday, Clinton finally snapped when she was confronted by an environmental activist. She jabbed her finger angrily at the woman and started shouting at her, saying she’s sick of Sanders and his campaign lying about her. It was definitely not the best move in the age of cell phones.
The Sanders campaign is convinced Bernie can still win, with polls showing that he would definitely be a better match against Republicans than her. Even if Clinton manages to snatch the nomination from the Vermont senator, his supporters say he has succeeded in pushing her to the Left on a number of issues, ranging from Wall Street reforms to minimum wage concerns.
The New York Times ran a story a few weeks ago, saying that President Barack Obama had told a private meeting of Democrat donors that the time was approaching when Sanders would give up and the party would rally behind Hillary Clinton. That day, however, hasn’t come, and, unsurprisingly, Team Sanders gave such suggestions pretty short shrift. Here’s what Tad Devine, Sanders’ senior campaign manager, said:
“We agree we are behind, but we also think we are going to win this game.”
Even though most people observed the statement as pointless optimism at the time, Sanders took five of the next six primaries. This allowed him to generate sufficient momentum and overturn Clinton’s lead in Wisconsin in 8 days. If he were to claim Wisconsin as his territory, New York may become rather less of a Clinton formality than polls suggest.
Certain Washington insiders believe that Sanders will keep going until votes have been counted in the California primary – even if he loses New York. If the position looks hopeless then, he will probably pull the plug on his campaign.
When Sanders first entered the race, his initial idea was to give Democrats a “choice,” as well as to start a “debate” which would help Clinton. He was even nicknamed “Don Quixote” of the Democratic Party for his, according to some, eccentric behavior, but Sanders managed to turn the tides around and he is now a serious challenger to the Democratic throne Clinton already perceived as hers.
It all began when Sanders’ rallies, which have resembled revivalist meetings, attracted copious amounts of people. At one meeting in Exeter, New Hampshire, hundreds of supporters ignored police advice to stay off the road due to a strong blizzard and hurled toward the rally point to hear him speak.
These people are hard-working and honest. They are also the ones who are chipping in a few dollars regularly, enabling Sanders to raise more cash than Clinton three months in a row. As the Mook e-mail shows, the former First Lady doesn’t like it one bit.