Saturday, February 20, 2016

Clinton Nervous About Nevada

She should be; she was supposed to win handily, but now....

"Bernie Sanders tries to chip away at Clinton ‘firewall’" by David Weigel Washington Post   February 16, 2016

LAS VEGAS — In Nevada, which will hold its Democratic caucuses on Saturday, the campaign is heavily influenced by organized labor leaders and a large Latino electorate.

Clinton’s hopes rest on her overwhelming advantage among voters of color — part of a ‘‘firewall’’ her aides have claimed in many states that follow overwhelmingly white Iowa and New Hampshire on the electoral calendar.

What are they implying? 

That Bernie and all those that voted for him are bigots

These narratives from the agenda-pushing pre$$ are getting quite sickening and are no longer working.

But Sanders is betting that his appeal among young and working-class voters, revealed so dramatically in New Hampshire, is now strong enough to transcend race.

Nevada is a chance to disprove ‘‘this firewall fantasy that the Clinton campaign has put out there,’’ said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. ‘‘If we do well, it destroys that myth.’’

Sanders’ aides say there is strong evidence in their internal polling that both young and working-class Latinos are coming his way. Even the Clinton campaign is now downplaying expectations.

That's a way to manage perceptions, 'eh?

In the wake of the New Hampshire defeat, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon pointedly called Nevada ‘‘a state that is 80 percent white voters,’’ universally seen as a way to undercut the story that Sanders is making gains outside of progressive white voters. (In 2008, fewer than 70 percent of caucusgoers were white.)

Look, I don't really care about all this campaign crap regarding the preconceived corporate selection we are going to be sold, and quite honestly, there is not a candidate out there for me. I dread Clinton or Bush and would take anyone but them; however, my main beef is a fair vote and will of the people. Given that framing of things it should be Trump and Sanders. 

That is not an endorsement of either, and I will explain a little more below.

And both campaigns competed intensely in the state over the weekend, with more appearances to come before the caucuses in five days.

Twelve Sanders campaign offices have sprouted up across the state. He is outspending Clinton in TV ads by roughly two to one, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Those ads, which began in November, now feature the Latina politician Lucy Flores explaining why only Sanders can fix the country.

Isn't that Adelson's paper

As for fixing the country, none of these candidates can do that. It's become increasingly clear that this country is broke and beyond the repair of the ruling cla$$. 

Who do you think wrecked it?

More than a hundred paid staffers have hit the ground, aided by Latino pro-Sanders groups from as far away as Los Angeles. On Sunday, Sanders even wound up in the same black Las Vegas church as Clinton, sitting at the opposite end of the first pew.


‘‘The people of Nevada were some of the hardest hit by the Wall Street meltdown,’’ Weaver said. ‘‘People lost their homes, they lost their jobs.’’

A voting public seemingly receptive to Sanders more than Hillary.

Clinton’s performance in Nevada’s 2008 caucuses taught her campaign two crucial lessons heading into this year’s race.

Her win of the popular vote revealed an advantage against Barack Obama among Latinos and Las Vegas union workers — an advantage that they anticipated would grow even stronger against Sanders. And her loss of the delegate count, despite the popular win, revealed an organizational weakness and strategic shortcoming that her aides vowed to correct this time around.

She stole some of his in New Hampshire this time around, and seeing as Bernie isn't really contesting that or the loss in Iowa (coin flips deciding things?), I'm left to think he is just enjoying his role in the play, his spot on the stage, his part of the show. 

It was the same with Ron Paul

He didn't fight for his votes; why should I fight for them?

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, had run that 2008 Nevada campaign. In a January conference call with reporters, the campaign claimed a 25-point lead in the state. The culinary workers, an important constituency, were on the fence and not working on the other side.

One would have thought Hillary would have already had them cooking.


Tightened up a lot since then:

"Nevada Democratic caucus, once a sure thing for Hillary Clinton, gets tighter" by Lisa Lerer and Michelle Rindels Associated Press  February 17, 2016

LAS VEGAS — Nevada was supposed to be one of Hillary Clinton’s safest bets, but in the final days before Saturday’s caucuses, Clinton’s chances of a big victory look far more like a political crapshoot.

Rival Bernie Sanders, who didn’t set up shop in Nevada until months after Clinton’s staffers were there, is barnstorming the state, drawing thousands to rallies where they’re cheering his promises to fight income equality and crack down on big banks. It’s a compelling message in a state that’s still struggling to rebound after years of double-digit unemployment.

‘‘It is clear to me when mom is out working, dad is out working and the kids are out working, wages in America are too damn low,’’ Sanders told 1,700 supporters packed into a Las Vegas high school gymnasium on Sunday. ‘‘It is not a radical socialist idea to say that when someone is working 40 hours a week that person should not be living in poverty.’’

Now, it's not, and if you look at a lot of Bernie's proposals they are really not radical at all. The nibble at the $tatu$ quo is all.

His team is trying to turn the contest into a test of one of Clinton’s major arguments: That her ability to woo the diverse voters who make up the Democratic party — and the country — leaves her the most electable candidate for a general election. Nevada is likely to be a general election battleground, giving it continued importance.

A victory on Saturday — or even a narrow loss to Clinton— would give Sanders’ campaign a boost heading into the more racially diverse contests of South Carolina and the Southern states that vote just days later on Super Tuesday. 

Is that what is going to be reported late tonight or early tomorrow?

‘‘If Bernie logs a win in Nevada it becomes a different conversation about his creditability as a nominee and Hillary’s credibility as a campaigner,’’ said Andres Ramirez, a veteran Democratic operative in the state who’s backing Clinton. ‘‘We change the conversation dramatically.’’

I'm tired of talking about this.

Clinton’s team tried to attribute Sanders’ early win in New Hampshire and razor-thin loss in Iowa to his strength with white liberals. Now, they find themselves also downplaying expectations in Nevada, a state where minorities make up nearly half of the population. Eight years ago, one-third of Democratic caucus-goers were minority voters.

Eight years ago, Clinton won the popular vote here but lost the delegate count. Her current national campaign manager Robby Mook ran that primary race for her.

This time, her team vowed not to repeat previous mistakes. They worked on the kind of intense organizing typically necessary for caucus wins. And they made a concentrated push to expand her edge among Latino voters, who had favored her in 2008.

But Sanders’ appeal among first-time voters has complicated that calculus, given that Nevada’s caucuses allow same-day registration.

Oh, wow, that place is wide-open for fraud!!

‘‘As soon as people become aware about Bernie,’’ they’re attracted to his policies, said 17-year-old Cynthia Salgado. ‘‘It sounds great, especially for the Latino community in Vegas,’’ said Salgado, who switched from a Clinton supporter to a Sanders campaign volunteer after watching a Facebook video about the Vermont senator.


That's where the print copy ended it.

Sanders has also made a major push on television in the state, investing about $3.8 million on paid media to Clinton’s $3.3 million, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG.

The campaigns have been trying to match each other’s every overture toward minority communities.

Clinton crammed last weekend’s schedule with a sandwich run in Chinatown and a roundtable discussion with young immigrants and their families. Sanders, meanwhile, stopped off for a pick-up game of soccer and calls for homemade tamales for volunteers.

‘‘It’s not necessarily that he’s a white older man from Vermont, it’s just that his policies ring true,’’ said Cesar Vargas, a 32-year-old campaign staffer who crafted Sanders’ immigration platform last fall.

Clinton placed one of her seven Nevada offices in the heavily Hispanic East Las Vegas neighborhood, while Sanders added one of his twelve not far away. On Sunday, the two candidates found themselves sitting in the same front-row pew for dueling addresses at an African-American church.

Sanders got applause for a speech condemning mass incarceration and police shootings. Clinton, who received an introduction by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, peppered her speech with praise for Obama

And no applause for her?

‘‘A few African-Americans may be swayed by Bernie because he says so many things about the prison system,’’ said 38-year-old David Carnell, an African-American Clinton supporter. ‘‘But in the end, black people remember what she did and what she’s stood for years ago. I don’t think that’s going to change.’’

Looks like the FIX and NARRATIVE are SET!


I'm sorry, but the only color I see is green:

"Anti-Wall Street stand may play well in Nevada" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  February 19, 2016

LAS VEGAS — Hillary Clinton wants to unmask rival Bernie Sanders as a one-note candidate who, she contends, is unprepared to be president because he mostly rails against Wall Street. This might be the worst possible place to do that.

Nevada, which will hold a Democratic presidential caucus on Saturday, suffered deeply from Wall Street’s insatiable appetite for securities backed by risky mortgages. The state led the nation in home foreclosures for five years in a row during the financial crisis, when blocks and blocks of houses were repossessed by the banks, and the hangover continues.

“If there is one state that should still hate Wall Street with white-hot passion, it is Nevada,” said a former US representative, Brad Miller, a Democrat who represented North Carolina and served on the House Financial Services Committee.

Of course, there are many more states that still hate, but putting that aside it is clear that Bernie should win tonight. 

So often the pre$$ acts as if blacks, gays, immigrants, and women weren't also victims of banks.

Public polls reveal that Saturday’s caucuses are a toss-up, despite the advantage Clinton has among Hispanics and blacks, who make up a large portion of the electorate. Though surveys in this state are notoriously unreliable, Clinton’s own pollster has acknowledged the race is tight.

Nevada is fertile ground for Sanders’ argument that he is the right person to hold large financial institutions responsible for the state’s foreclosure crisis.

On Wednesday, his campaign launched a 30-second ad with foreclosure signs and aerial footage of devastated neighborhoods. Erin Bilbray, a Las Vegas resident with a well-known name in state Democratic politics, speaks straight into the camera about how her neighbors were harmed by cratering home values.

“I’ve watched as the house across the street has sat empty for over six years,” says Bilbray. “I’ve watched good friends have their homes foreclosed on. People are still really suffering, and they’re looking for somebody who is going to create bold change.”

Political observers say that message resonates.

“The economy here was pounded by the recession,” said Jon Ralston, a nonpartisan political analyst who says that Sanders’ economic message is hitting a chord. “A lot of these workers, they think they’ve been screwed. They see people like Sheldon Adelson and [Donald] Trump who happen to have the gleaming edifices right where they work.”

Yeah, I noted that, too. All these voters are in the midst of billionaires and massive wealth inequality.

Even now, in the vote-rich neighborhoods near the Vegas strip, 28 percent of all mortgages in Las Vegas are for amounts larger than the value of the homes. What that means is that Las Vegas has the highest rate of so-called underwater mortgages in the country, according to RealtyTrac, which compiles housing data.

Sanders’ 22-point blowout victory in New Hampshire earlier this month is also prompting the state’s Democrats to give him another look.

“Momentum is a very strange thing in politics,” Ralston said.

Clinton, though, has plenty of advantages. The former secretary of state opened her first office here almost four months ahead of Sanders. She hired some of the state’s top strategists and made frequent trips last summer. After Clinton barely eked out a win in Iowa, Clinton’s staff boosted its goals for contacting voters in Nevada, according to one Democratic strategist close to the Clinton campaign.

As polls tightened last week, Clinton ditched a planned trip to Florida to spend time in Nevada instead. She summoned the press corps on Thursday to witness a post-midnight visit with housekeepers folding sheets and towels in the basement of the Caesars Palace hotel, where she is staying.

That pretty much says it all regarding the relationship, doesn't it?

“So, is it towels and linens every day?” Clinton asked the women. They laughed.

“I flew in from Chicago, so before I went to my room I said, ‘Well, who is still working?’ ” Clinton told the women, before asking if they would caucus for her Saturday. 

She's connecting!

Her final TV ad is geared toward Hispanics, a one-minute spot far more raw and emotional than her typical ads. It features an exchange between her and a Latino girl who said at a meeting in Nevada last week that she’s worried about her parents getting deported. Clinton embraces the girl and tries to reassure her. “Let me do the worrying,” Clinton says.

Clinton’s supporters say that her team is far more organized in the state than Sanders’ and has done a better job of keeping in touch with key leaders.

“It’s possible to run a perfect campaign and lose,” said Andres Ramirez, a Nevada super delegate who is committed to Clinton and is president of a Democratic consulting firm. “But generally the campaign with the better infrastructure and volunteer base wins.”

Though the local state party is officially neutral, some of its actions favor Clinton. The party is running radio ads reminding Democrats about the caucuses targeted at African-Americans, a community in which Clinton has stronger support.

Wow, they really take you guys for granted!

At a caucus training session sponsored by the Democratic party, organizers used “Star Wars” characters as stand-ins for Clinton and Sanders. They selected Princess Leia and Darth Vader. (Leia won the training caucus.)

(Blog editor just rolls his eyes at ceiling and sighs)

Sanders got a break when the Culinary Workers Union, the largest organized labor group in the state, decided to stay out of the race. The union backed Barack Obama in 2008, when Clinton won the popular vote but Obama racked up more delegates due to quirks in the rules. 

Maybe it will be the other way around this time, huh?

Yvanna Cancela, political director of the Culinary Union, said she believes Nevadans are attracted to Sanders’ message because it’s new.

“I think people have had a relationship with the Clinton political brand back to Bill Clinton’s presidency,” she said. “They’ve heard the secretary talk about these economic issues in different ways over the years. They’ve never heard Bernie Sanders. They’ve never heard a politician reach the national stage who talks about economic justice in the way Sanders has.”

They are usually shot first, and I can only surmise that his religious faith has kept him safe (so far, although not from the Clinton death machine. All those people mysteriously ending up dead).

“It means people listen. I don’t know if it means people caucus for him on Saturday.”

Sanders’ field team is asking voters to caucus with economic issues in mind.

Bret Maikranz, 36, a Sanders volunteer, mentioned Wall Street and banks when going door-to-door in a North Las Vegas neighborhood with commanding views of snow-capped mountains.

“We were among the top-hit ZIP codes in the housing crisis,” he said as he walked through one neighborhood. He brought up the investment bank Goldman Sachs and reminded caucus-goers that “others” in the presidential primary have taken thousands of dollars in speaking fees from the bank.

Oh. Who would they be?

Without prompting, neighbors discussed the waves of foreclosures — like chatting about weather or the flu season.

Shane Walley, 42, who was walking his dog, said his parents had to get a second mortgage on their home during the crisis. “Pretty much everyone here talks about it,” he said, after saying he’s going to caucus for Sanders. “It was bad.”

A few doors down was Robert Lujano. He volunteered that he bought a home in 2004 for $250,000, only to watch $100,000 of the value evaporate.

“That’s thanks to the people in Wall Street,” he said, standing in his driveway and nodding his head in disgust.

His 89032 ZIP code still has among the highest foreclosure rates in the state, according to data compiled by RealtyTrac.

But for Sanders, Lujano presents another problem: He says he’s too fed up with politicians to vote. And he can’t make Saturday’s caucuses anyway. He must work a shift at a local golf club.


Let the counting begin!

"In Nevada, high stakes for Clinton and Sanders" by Annie Linskey and James Pindell Globe Staff  February 20, 2016

LAS VEGAS — This state is known for gambling, Celine Dion, brothels, sinful secrets, and quickie weddings. Presidential politics? Not so much.

When Nevada Democrats gather at 250 caucus locations around the state Saturday, it will be only the second time they’ve weighed in on presidential candidates so early in the calendar.

So unlike the first two states, which are steeped in presidential traditions, even the most sophisticated political operations have scant idea what might happen, and the potential for problems at the caucus sites is high.

Adding to the drama: The stakes for the caucuses this time are incredibly high and could either restore Hillary Clinton to her comfortable path to the nomination or cast major questions about her campaign’s trajectory.

“There’s no tradition of getting out the vote,” said Eric Herzik, the chairman of the political science department at the University of Nevada in Reno. “What’s the joke in Iowa? You have to meet the candidate five times before you know him? If the candidate makes five visits out here, that’s a lot.”

Even finding volunteers to phone bank or build out a crowd can be tricky since there isn’t an ingrained political volunteer class like there is in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“There’s always something else to do here,” said Andres Ramirez, a Democratic political consultant and activist in Nevada. “There is always a concert. There is always a show or a celebrity coming to town. You are competing with all of this for attention and everyone is looking for volunteers.”

Yeah, voting for president doesn't matter when there are so many other things to do.

The candidates themselves can get caught up in the glitzy culture: Hillary Clinton stepped out of presidential mode for a few moments Thursday and posed for photos with Britney Spears, who is in Vegas for her “Piece of Me” tour. 

I'm tired of political celebrity (or celebrity politics) being celebrated by the pre$$.

Her caucus-day party will be at the lavish Caesars Palace — hours before singer Mariah Carey preforms there.

How ironic!!

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, too, latched onto the celebrity culture and planned events in the state Friday with actress Susan Sarandon and entertainer Dick Van Dyke.

Liking the rock star treatment, is he?

His caucus-day party is in the Henderson neighborhood of Vegas, which was smashed by the 2008 housing crisis.

Nevada clocked the highest number of home foreclosures for five years in a row, which has had ripple effects on political organizing. The voter lists became scrambled since whole neighborhoods of people were forced to move elsewhere.

Clinton has been working the state for far longer than Sanders, and garnered support from some of the union shock troops used to reliably get voters to polls in Senate and gubernatorial elections.

That includes the Nevada State Education Association, a powerful presence here, which endorsed Clinton and sent teachers out walking door to door to get voters interested in participating Saturday’s caucuses. Members of the Nevada local of the Service Employees International Union also have been making calls for Clinton.

Clinton won the state’s establishment support, as she did in Iowa and New Hampshire. Catherine Cortez Masto, the leading Democrat to take over Senate minority leader Harry Reid’s seat and heir to his formidable political organization, has been stumping for Clinton.

Seems like it would guarantee a Sanders win given the mood of the electorate this year.

Not all the support on the ground here is sanctioned by the Clinton campaign. One new organization called “Hookers 4 Hillary” includes sex workers who’ve endorsed Clinton. One woman, known as Hollywood, is donating extra time to anyone willing to review the group’s pro-Clinton website.

She may want to throw that one back (and keep them away from Bill).

Supporters of the Vermont senator are telegraphing some concern about the caucus process.


On Friday they urged one another to videotape caucus proceedings as a way to guard against fraud or incompetence.

As of last week, many of the state party volunteers who will be charged with running the caucus meetings showed they had much to learn. Some weren’t clear on even who was allowed to participate in the caucuses.

“I have a question,” asked one woman at a Democratic Party caucus training in Las Vegas on Wednesday. “Do people just come to the door and you let them in? Or are they invited? Who are we going to get the caucus votes from, is what I’m asking.”

A party official patiently explained that the caucus is open to all Democrats in the state. The party allows same-day registration, a move that helps it boost numbers.

The complex formulas to determine whether a candidate is viable proved to be confusing.

At one point a Democratic party worker asked the volunteers to figure out how many supporters each candidate needed to be viable under the confounding rules of the caucus. The right answer: 2.7.

And party rules stipulate that in case of a tie at individual caucus meeting places, the winner is determined by a high card drawn from a pack of playing cards.

Not a coin flip like in Iowa?

Anticipating some shenanigans, the Nevada Democratic Party fired off a letter to both campaigns Friday urging them not to spread misinformation about how the caucuses and delegate allocation works.

Nevada Republicans will not hold their party caucuses until Tuesday. That’s led some to believe Republican voters might try take advantage of the same-day registration and show up for the Democratic caucuses to cast votes against Clinton.

Polling for Saturday’s caucus shows a dead heat.

But pollsters have trouble with accuracy here. In 2008, CNN published a poll two days before the Republican contest showing that Senator John McCain was leading with 29 percent and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was in third place with 19 percent.

When the results came in, Romney got 51 percent and McCain finished third with 13 percent of the vote. 

So who the hell knows what fix, 'er, results be presented tonight to support the preconceived narrative of selection.


No matter what happens, at least Hillary has the super-delagates:

"This year, there will be 713 superdelegates, compared with 4,051 voter-elected delegates. To get a sense of that disproportionate power, think of it this way: These 713 party insiders get 713 convention votes. By contrast, 713 regular citizens have the equivalent of 0.08 convention votes. In 2008, Barack Obama had more regular delegates than Hillary Clinton, but not enough to secure an outright majority. Superdelegates put him over the top. And had they broken for Clinton, things could have been different. Imagine that Sanders enters the Democratic convention with a thin majority of voter-chosen delegates, only to find his path blocked by superdelegates, many of whom have already come out in favor of Clinton. Would this tarnish Clinton’s candidacy and the party brand? Or would Democratic voters still line up behind their nominee? Among Republicans, the risk of a full-blown convention crisis is ever more pronounced." 

That side of the aisle is for a different post, and that might bring about the revolt Bernie keeps talking about.

Or at least cost her the presidency the way the GOP dis of Ron Paul did (not that it matters).

"The notion of a surging Sanders even set off musings, far-fetched as they may seem, within the Democratic Party Thursday of a possible contested convention, in which case the party wouldn’t settle on a nominee until July. Senate majority leader Harry Reid, in an interview with CNN, said “it would be kind of fun” if the nomination contest lasts until the summer. Clinton tried to define Sanders as a one-note candidate."

Yeah, thwarting the will of the voters would be fun, uh-huh.

I'm getting sick of the rewrites and such

I know all the stuff has to be cleared through the campaigns, so why bother anymore?

I was getting all nervous because I hadn't finished nearly as much as I wanted to today, but in order to do so now would require I spend the rest of my afternoon, evening, and night here. 

I know you will be anxiously awaiting the Next Day Update here as well as what posts I will be presenting tomorrow. 

Until then, good night.


"Hillary Clinton fights off Bernie Sanders surge to win Nevada" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  February 20, 2016

LAS VEGAS — Hillary Clinton fought off a surge by Bernie Sanders and won the Nevada caucuses Saturday, a display of organizational muscle and support from a racially diverse electorate that put her candidacy back on solid footing as she looks forward in coming days to campaigning in friendlier Southern states.

Clinton secured 53 percent of the vote to 47 percent for Sanders, with nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting. The definitive victory in a state where Sanders’ support grew rapidly in recent weeks should reassure Democrats that Clinton’s campaign is capable of adjusting to adverse conditions and grinding out a victory. It was a crucial rebound for the former secretary of state after Sanders nearly beat her in Iowa and trounced her in New Hampshire earlier in the month.

For Sanders, the loss renews questions about whether he can expand his base of support beyond the mostly white liberals who have fueled his candidacy so far. He will continue to compete in the nomination contest because of his prodigious fund-raising and the strength of his anti-Wall Street message, but a failure to attract minority voters could limit how far his campaign can go.

Exit polls revealed the strength of Clinton’s firewall. She won a full 76 percent of black voters, according to the surveys.

Among Hispanics, the polls showed Sanders winning 53 percent to 45 percent. However, the Clinton campaign pointed to the fact that she won the majority Latino precincts in Clark County by wide margins, casting doubt on the veracity of those results.

As he has in previous contests, Sanders mopped up young voters, gaining the support of 82 percent of voters under the age of 30.

As the polls tightened here, Clinton looked ahead to the South Carolina primary next Saturday, where she still has a commanding lead....


Looks like the illegal immigrants put Hillary over the top.


Cards reportedly used as tiebreaker in one Nevada precinct

Despite win, Clinton still vulnerable to attack

“No matter how Nevada shakes out on Saturday, anything less than a Clinton blowout could be disastrous for her campaign, especially in a state that was once so obviously one-sided that no one had bothered to poll there since December 2015. Even if Clinton ekes out a narrow win, much like she did in Iowa, the fact that Sanders was even close will prove that his minority outreach is working, giving him added momentum going into the South Carolina Democratic primary one week later. Or....

“[A] Sanders loss could even be more impactful because it would set up Hillary Clinton to start running the table over the next two weeks in South Carolina and the southern March 1 states. And if that’s the case, come March 2, she might have a delegate lead that’s impossible to catch up to given the proportional nature of all of the Democratic races. So Sanders needs a win to keep the pressure on Clinton, and Clinton needs a win to finally start pulling away.”

"I think the most interesting thing we've learned after the Nevada primary is that Hillary can lose 30-40 point leads and still be deemed a sure winner."

Also see: 

I won’t vote for Bernie Sanders: His feeble position on Israel is a serious progressive problem 

That's why there is not a candidate to vote for.