Better wake up, it’s all over but the shouting.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook on the AP’s call for her pic.twitter.com/ZGXrakKCIK
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) June 7, 2016
Bernie Sanders went into the final stretch of the Democratic Party primary process already behind by millions of votes and hundreds of delegates. Hillary Clinton had a huge weekend, shutting out Sanders in the Virgin Islands and winning a dominating victory in Puerto Rico. As a result, the Associated Press decided to start contacting superdelegates yesterday and called the race for Clinton during prime time, with NBC confirming their call.
This is a nightmare for many Sanders supporters, some of whom stayed up last night to trend an #APRetract hashtag denouncing the wire service and the superdelegate system.
*NO* delegates vote until the convention.
This line is just more disingenuous, mendacious excuse-making from the Sanders campaign.
— (((Matt Osborne))) (@OsborneInk) June 7, 2016
And there was already a controversy brewing because New Jersey would almost certainly put her over the top with three hours left before polls closed on the west coast. This unfair arrangement of time zones was already giving some Sanders supporters heartburn, for they feared the bad news would cause voters still waiting in line across the Golden State to capitulate in despair. That’s essentially the same complaint they’re making now, just moved up by a few hours’ time.
For some reason, these Berniacs have expressed no concern that the District of Columbia doesn’t even get to vote until next Tuesday, when its residents’ votes are basically not going to matter either, regardless of superdelegates. Did I mention that Clinton will probably win in DC thanks to the demographics there? But I’m sure that has nothing to do with the lack of angst among Sanders supporters for the plight of District residents. Surely!
The Sanders campaign has pinned all its hopes on California, and not just in terms of delegate math or aggregate ballots cast, but in narrative terms. Sanders’s argument for continuing an insurgent campaign considerably weakens if he does not do extremely well in California. This is his final chance to produce that huge new wave of Democratic voters he keeps promising, but which has yet to materialize. If he can’t do it here, then he can’t do it at all.
The odds are against him. Contrary to the fervent hopes and dreams of his enthusiastic fandom, Sanders is unlikely to win California, and not because of a conspiracy but because the term ‘likely voter’ has different meaning to different pollsters. Even if he can eke out a victory, Sanders will almost certainly not win by a margin large enough to overcome Clinton’s substantial delegate lead.
In fact, she will almost certainly have enough pledged delegates — not including superdelegates — to clinch the nomination after it’s all said and done tonight.
This is not unusual, by the way. The remaining uncommitted superdelegates always begin weighing in now, and if history is any guide, those already committed to Clinton are unlikely to break for Sanders. Even if some of them do, they probably still won’t be enough to matter.
(N)o matter which number you use, if only 15 to 28 superdelegates made the switch from second-place Clinton to historic frontrunner Barack Obama during their campaign, you have to question why anyone should expect ten to twenty times that many will abandon Clinton this year? After all, securing the Democratic nomination is not based on who does best in hypothetical match-ups polls with Donald Trump. It’s about who wins the most delegates and the most votes, and Clinton is far ahead on both those counts.
Absent an indictment, a sudden cratering of her poll numbers, or some other bombshell from out of the blue, it’s hard to imagine a compelling rationale for hundreds of delegates to drop the leading candidate in favor of the guy who finished two to three million votes behind. In fact, it would be downright un-democratic, and a Sanders nomination might not be considered legitimate if it overrules the clear will of Democratic voters.
Sanders argues that he ought to win, regardless of the voting and delegate math, because he polls slightly better against Trump. In which case, perhaps we should give up all this messy, expensive democracy and just pick nominees through opinion polls from now on. That sounds much simpler than, say, setting $200 million on fire in a quixotic bid to become America’s first socialist president.
Of course, true socialist democratic revolutionaries don’t care a whit about delegate math or rules or legitimacy, so there are still some Sanders supporters holding out hope that he might join Jill Stein in the Green Party or pursue a write-in effort.
A separatist faction even within the Sanders campaign, these so-called ‘Bernie-or-bust’ folks want him to be the Tonya Harding of 2016, kneecapping Clinton so that Donald Trump can make everyone sorry they didn’t pick Bernie when they had the chance. Just like that time ‘real’ progressive types said that Al Gore and George Bush were exactly the same, and that things needed to get worse before they could get better. Remember how awesomely that worked out for America? We can have it all over again, only this time with an orange orangutan holding the nuclear codes. That’ll show us!
As one veteran progressive warrior recently mourned, during Clinton’s marathon primary victory, the Sanders campaign has brought out the worst tendencies in progressive politics. Magical thinking is rampant, and each injury to their fervent desires is met with aggrieved ignorance on the internet.
It’s the political equivalent of saying the Super Bowl is rigged because you don’t know what an offside or an audible is, and then calling your friend, who does know the game, condescending and mean when he tries to set you straight.
Even the campaign’s errors can be spun into rhetorical gold. Because Puerto Rico officials had cut the number of polling stations, Sanders-friendly media outlets eagerly touted another conspiracy theory on Sunday in which evil DNC officials had connived to cheat their man out of his rightful victory. But then it turned out that the Sanders campaign was itself responsible for the Democratic Party’s decision to have fewer voting booths, making the request because they couldn’t find enough volunteers to monitor all the ones originally proposed.
Get that? The Sanders campaign deliberately made it harder to vote, and then complained about how hard it was to vote, to compensate for — and then deflect attention from — their total lack of a ground game in Puerto Rico. That little vignette explains everything about why Sanders has lost this race to someone who spent years building the machinery that has rolled over him like an armored regiment. If he loses today in California, it will not be due to any conspiracy of party elders, but his vacillation four weeks ago that led to the departure of state director Michael Ceraso and the resultant delay in adopting a GOTV strategy. Sure, Sanders is holding big rallies, but event venues aren’t voting booths.
So will the dream end today in a sober awakening with grumbled apologies, followed by coffee and bagels? Or will the frenetic resistance to Clinton’s nomination victory turn Philadelphia into a war zone of raised chairs and thrown eggs as angry people demand to keep their failed dreams alive?
To the liveblog!
12:08 PM — I just want to add this here so that we can dispense with the idiocies being passed around in social media. It’s Rachel Maddow last Friday night reporting the possibility that the race might get called for Clinton before today. You will need this video clip because idiots are accusing the Clinton campaign of EVIL CONNIVINGS! with the AP in a vast conspiracy stretching over two Atlantic islands. Why? Because the images in a fundraising email that the Clinton campaign sent out last night were made three days in advance. CONSPIRACY!
Except that professional campaigns watch the bloody news and prepare themselves for contingencies, producing copy in advance; only amateurs sniff at the margins of defeat and mumble excuses afterwards.
12:12 PM — “I’m picking up from some sources — I covered the Sanders campaign for quite some time — that the mood in the campaign is a little bit more solemn than you might expect, even for the candidate himself and his family.” Kasie Hunt yesterday on MSNBC:
12:22 PM — Every time I need a good laugh, I check this guy’s delusional timeline:
Sorry Hillary supporter, HRC can’t get pledged delegates needed to prevent contested convention. Bernie taking this all the way and winning
— H. A. Goodman (@HAGOODMANAUTHOR) June 7, 2016
Seth Abramson, the “experimental writer” who gave H.A. Goodman a real race for “most deranged liberal blogger of the 2016 primaries,” nuked his entire Twitter timeline last night shortly after allegedly threatening a Clinton supporter.
12: 59 PM — NY Daily News writer Shaun King is busy destroying whatever was left of his credibility with sheer denialism. “Hillary Clinton did not win the primary,” he whines in his headline. “She won a secret survey of party elites.”
Who asked those new anonymous superdelegates to make their vote known the evening before the primary? Did the AP find them on happenstance or did the Clinton campaign encourage them to come forward.
Never mind that Clinton wouldn’t have been in this position without the voters of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Never mind that this is ALWAYS the moment when superdelegates weigh in. Never mind that astute observers were aware of this possibility on Friday while King and his friends were screeching their displeasure at the unfair arrangement of time zones. No, this must be a conspiracy! ‘Someone’ told the superdelegates to make up their minds because they would never have decided on their own, see?
Someone please explain to Shaun that news which gets announced right away isn’t “secret.”
1:25 PM — Nate Silver gets it exactly right: the way Clinton has won is frustrating, but it just proves that she’s winning by every measure.
In fact, Clinton can still win an elected delegate majority provided that she wins just 215 of the remaining 714 pledged delegates available Tuesday and in the District of Columbia’s primary next week, or 30 percent. Because Democratic delegate allocations are highly proportional to the vote share in each state, that means she’d need only about 30 percent of the vote. Thus, even if Sanders won every remaining contest 70-30 — by 40 percentage points — he’d still only roughly tie Clinton in pledged delegates and even then would very probably still trail her in the popular vote.
There are not many plausible arrangements under which Sanders would have become the Democratic nominee. He’s been aided by caucuses, which have much lower voter participation. He’d trail even if all states had open primaries, which are generally favorable to Sanders. If the Democratic race were contested under Republican rules, with no superdelegates but winner-take-all delegate allocations in states such as Florida and Ohio, Clinton would have clinched the nomination long ago. Clinton has won in those states where the turnout demographics most closely resemble those of the Democratic Party as a whole.
1:28 PM — Amanda Marcotte with a dose of sanity on superdelegates:
The incoherence of the Sanders superdelegate strategy is epitomized by the debacle that was the Nevada state convention. The state party chair of Nevada, Roberta Lange, is an unpaid volunteer. She was also an uncommitted superdelegate, according to research compiled by Sanders supporters. (I’d link more, but a lot of the sites offer personal information that could be used to threaten and harass.) But she became the subject of a vicious harassment campaign after some Sanders supporters decided she was to blame because they were unable to prevail over the popular vote at the Nevada convention. Instead of defending her, Sanders threw fuel on the fire, claiming that “the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place” in Nevada.
Lange hasn’t officially declared for Clinton, but after being treated by Sanders this way, one struggles to imagine she’ll be voting for him.
1:40 PM — Once again demonstrating that your revolution is just not as awesome as his, Glenn Greenwald has decried the “uninspiring, secretive, and elite-driven manner” with which the Associated Press anointed Hillary by, y’know, paying very close attention to a very close race.
This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization — incredibly — conceals.
Gee, Glenn, what could possibly make superdelegates not want to identify themselves individually via the AP? It couldn’t possibly be all the death threats and “hit lists” and other insanity directed at them on a daily basis by Sanders fanatics echoing every single talking point in your pathetic screeds, could it?
Nah, it MUST be a conspiracy to tip the scales for evil $hillary.
Remember, when news agencies contact superdelegates to ask them questions, it’s tyranny. Only when Greenwald uncritically repeats everything told to him by an obscure server technician with an ax to grind do you get REAL journalism!
This seems a good moment to recall that, on the one occasion when Greenwald was entrusted with a bit of progressive electoral money, he and Jane Hamsher spent most of it on themselves, cutting exactly one small check to the most obscure Democrat in the country.
2:02 PM — POLITICO has more sour grapes from the Sanders campaign:
“It was one of the most appalling things I’ve seen in a long time,” senior campaign adviser Mark Longabaugh said of the AP call, noting that the organization had taken weeks to count Sanders’ delegates from Washington state earlier this year, a saga that roiled the Sanders team, but somehow managed to chase down enough undeclared superdelegates to declare Clinton the primary winner on the eve of the campaign’s last big primary day. “Yet here they are haranguing and badgering super delegates before the final votes were cast. On top of the fact that they’re awarding delegates in Puerto Rico when the counting isn’t even finished in Puerto Rico.”
Wow. Just take that masterpiece in for a full minute to appreciate its full absurdity. First, Longabaugh pins Washington state’s slow reporting on the AP, which is just plain false. Second, he has framed superdelegates as mysterious creatures that live in a parallel universe without phones — despite the fact that pro-Sanders websites have provided handy listings of their contact information for MONTHS now in a misguided effort to ‘persuade’ them into switching sides with the aforementioned death threats and hit lists. Finally, none of that behavior is considered “haranguing and badgering” for some reason, whereas the act of calling up a superdelegate to politely ask them whether they’ve committed? Why, that’s practically a criminal act!
2:18 PM — Jeff Weaver needs to go back to his day-job running a comic book store. Having walked right into Chris Matthews’s questions about Sanders’s tax returns last week, today he came back at Matthews by complaining that his wife didn’t show her tax returns when she ran for Congress. Weaver might even have a point if sharing tax returns was a normal part of running for Congress rather than a traditional expectation of presidential contenders.
When it’s all said and done, Weaver will be one of the biggest reasons the Sanders candidacy failed.
2:35 PM — This Daily Kos diary gets Bernie-or-bust logic exactly right: if Clinton wins California, it’s because she rigged the game. But if she loses the Golden state, it proves that she’s weak and unpopular. No matter what happens, it’s her fault because she’s evil.
2:49 — New York Times reporter and “Clinton chronicler” Amy Chozick, who confirmed the AP call:
I won’t be answering calls from unknown numbers today, after third call from Bernie supporters telling me they’d hunt me down in the streets
— Amy Chozick (@amychozick) June 7, 2016
But remember, folks, Sanders is the only candidate promising world peace if elected.
3:17 PM — “There was a time when we could look to Bernie as the conscience of the left,” Bob Cesca writes. “Today, however, his moral high ground position is rapidly evaporating” — and he looks more and more the part of the villain.
The very notion that Bernie and his surrogates continue to behave as if the superdelegates are still in play is the beginning of the end of Bernie’s reputation, even with some of his supporters, including online journalists who are disavowing their support.
[…] Among other reasons, Bernie and his people have been deliberately swindling the public about delegate math and the alleged fluidity of superdelegates for weeks now and, in the past several days, the deception has grown thicker than ever. (Bernie told the National Press Club, for example, that a majority of pledged delegates is 2,383, even though it’s actually 2,026.) The Bernie campaign is telling us that somehow the superdelegates, who have affirmed their support to networks and publications of record, will, for the first time ever, inexplicably abandon the winner of a majority of pledged delegates and the winner of the popular vote for a relatively untested democratic-socialist because… why? California? May polling for the November election? Rally attendance?
3:32 PM — One source indicates that Bernie has a significant shortfall among gay men in the Golden State:
In an informal, non-scientific poll conducted by social app Scruff over the the weekend, Clinton resoundingly defeated Sanders among gay voters, with 59% of respondents saying they intend to vote for her in Tuesday’s primary. Scruff surveyed users residing in California and asked which candidate they intend to support for president. Of the survey’s 1,104 responses, 34% said they were planning to vote for Sanders, and the remaining 7% said they were either not planning to vote or were undecided. In the same survey, Donald Trump received nine votes, and underdog candidates Roque de la Fuente, Jill Stein, and Michael Steinberg garnered one vote each.
3:45 PM — This is me waiting for exit polls from New Jersey:
4:28 PM — Steve M points out that if anyone has been harmed by the AP call for Clinton, it’s not Sanders.
This makes an embarrassing Clinton loss in California even more likely. Sandersites aren’t going to believe the race is over, so now they’re even more motivated to turn out. Clinton voters, realizing it’s over, are now less motivated to turn out. I can’t believe the Clinton campaign or the Democratic establishment wanted that, all for a one-day jump on the inevitable. Why would the Clintonites or the Democrats want to set a fresh round of complaints about the alleged “rigging” of the system from the Sanders camp?
4:48 PM — When superdelegate Nancy Pelosi endorsed Clinton on ABC this morning, she said “Bernie knows better than anyone what’s on the line in the election and that we at some point have to unify as we go forward.” It’s a hopeful and encouraging note, but I remain skeptical until I see some sort of concessionary bow to reality from Sanders.
In particular, he must end the ignorant talk of a “contested” convention. There will be exactly one vote in Cleveland, exactly one candidate will win that vote, and then balloons will drop on the winner, who at this point is absolutely going to be Hillary Clinton. Almost nothing can alter that scenario in the next five weeks. For all his talk that Clinton must “reach out” to his supporters, after tonight, Sanders does everyone a disservice by refusing to acknowledge this.
5:37 PM — And a bombshell drops: in a preview of his potential presidency, serial bankrupt Donald Trump tried to suckle that sweet dictator cash from Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi.
Trump’s uneven access to loans from mainstream banks may have motivated his quest for overseas investments. Trump has no lending relationships with the biggest U.S. banks, including Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, according to his financial disclosures. Instead, he often leans on smaller firms such as Ladder Capital that have less money on hand, the New York Timesreported.
It’s also possible that Trump hoped to license his name to a project funded entirely by the Libyan government and others, guaranteeing financial returns without any new debt or risk involved.
I see one error in Daniel Wagner and Aram Roston’s reporting: Qaddafi surrendered his nuclear weapons program, not actual weapons. Other than that typo, the story is solid. It starts with that bizarre tent Qaddafi pitched on Trump’s Westchester estate in 2009 and ends with Trump trying to coax an extra $50,000 out of his mark.
I can’t wait to hear what Hillary makes of this.
6:14 PM — Chuck Todd just reminded Rachel Maddow of their April 26 conversation after New York Democrats left Sanders with no viable path to the nomination when they agreed it would be premature to make a call like the AP’s. But they agreed just now that transparency and truth-telling are more important than whether news might swing an election.
6:22 PM — James Carville says that Trump may crack under the pressure of the next few weeks. Todd was just saying that Trump still hasn’t secured the nomination in his party regardless of delegates. We’re still a good hour from the first significant news out of New Jersey and the whole race is already seeing drastic changes of character.
6:27 PM — BOOM! Carville says “there is no Trump campaign” — that is, he’s failed to put together the kind of staff that could support him in these critical days as the general election takes final shape. That’s basically what I have been saying for days now.
6:42 PM — I think poor Mr. Goodman is having a meltdown.
@OsborneInk I demand Hillary Clinton apologize for your violent message
— H. A. Goodman (@HAGOODMANAUTHOR) June 7, 2016
6:52 PM — I have no idea WTAH this man is talking about. Is he accusing me of involvement in some sort of social media press gang?
@OsborneInk Please stop the bullying and violent messages, really, Clinton supporters need to chill. You keep hounding me, it’s scary
— H. A. Goodman (@HAGOODMANAUTHOR) June 7, 2016
7:09 PM — To be clear, the MSNBC panel isn’t skeptical about the reality of Trump’s nomination so much as his credibility within that role.
7:17 PM — Sounding conciliatory, superdelegate Sherrod Brown just pointed out that he will likely be head of the Senate Banking Committee under a Clinton administration and expressed confidence that she can handle Wall Street.
7:29 PM — Katy Tur says that Donald Trump will be using a teleprompter tonight as he tries to undo the damage he has done his campaign in recent days. According to the rules of right wing outrage, this is supposed to make him a terrible person.
7:31 PM — New Jersey results are now coming in and Clinton has an immediate advantage.
7:39 PM — Bernie Sanders is apparently planning to campaign in DC on Thursday.
7:48 PM — Expanding on the panel debate over Trump’s credibility/viability, Chuck Todd points out that Donald is supposed to be fundraising this month rather than fighting with his own campaign over whether to make racist attacks on a federal judge.
8:04 PM — As Hillary Clinton becomes the nominee, the USA men’s team is winning their Copa America game against Costa Rica 3-0. COINCIDENCE??
8:07 PM — Clinton is the projected winner in New Jersey, so of course it’s the perfect time to cut away for Trump’s speech. Oy.
8:14 PM — Trump is once again calling out for Bernie supporters to cross over because the Democrats are corrupt etc etc. And it cannot be overstated that Trump’s candidacy is the end result of Obama Derangement Syndrome. But right now, I keep being impressed by how little good effect the teleprompter is having on his performance.
8:19 PM — Will someone in the media please ask Donald Trump when exactly Hillary Clinton “invaded” Libya? Because that’s just not what happened. I should probably not expect him to be grilled about his fascist “America First” slogan, much less his simplistic view of foreign entanglements.
But do you notice how much Trumpism pretends to be Bernieism all of a sudden?
8:22 PM — Protectionism. Trump is basically overturning the entire free market ideology of the conservative movement with a populist pipe dream of full manufacturing employment. And without even seeing her, I can tell that the woman hooting to inspire applause for Trump’s line about “taking care” of inner city African Americans is a campaign staffer preventing an awful silence for his clunky appeal.
8:25 PM — Nicole Wallace is trying to defend Trump’s speech now as “calming the waters.” Maddow thinks this Donald Trump would have failed in the primaries, and I think she’s right.
8:28 PM — WHO destroyed the trust of the American people in their government, Steve Schmidt? Was it elves, or right wing media voices tearing down the establishment with every order of conspiracy theory and the Republican politicians who kowtowed to them?
8:34 PM — Clinton is on track to pad out her aggregate vote lead by another 150,000 ballots in New Jersey. Early returns from New Mexico show she has a substantial lead there, too.
8:36 PM — I’d like Kornacki to explain why two states that are virtually the same, North and South Dakota, are producing such different results right now. Sanders is winning North Dakota while Clinton is walking away in South Dakota.
8:45 PM — TBC, I do know that one Dakota is a (low participation) caucus and the other is a (high participation) primary. Sanders does better with less democracy. That’s my subtle point, one which Maddow is making explicitly right now.
9:12 PM — Covering Clinton’s speech, which is due to start in a few minutes, Andrea Mitchell says that the Sanders campaign will lay off half its remaining staff tomorrow. The New York Times is confirming.
Many of those being laid off are advance staff members who often help with campaign logistics, as well as field staff members who have been working to garner votes for the senator, according to both a campaign official and a former campaign staff member, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. Some campaign workers may move into jobs at Mr. Sanders’s Senate office, but others will be terminated, they said.
9:23 PM — Clinton walking out to empowerment music. The Oprah-like quality of this campaign is what her detractors hate most.
9:31 PM — “I know it’s hard to put your heart into a candidate and a cause you believe in. I know that feeling well.”
9:32 PM — “Bridges are better than walls.” Print that bumper sticker. Hillary is killing it.
9:36 PM — Clinton is hammering Trump while she wins four of the five reporting states. We just got the first results from Montana.
Tuesday has not been Sanders’s best day of the week this primary season.
9:42 PM — “Help us organize in all fifty states.” In contrast, Trump is not building a GOTV machine; Hillary is going to crush him in the Electoral College.
9:49 PM — Chris Matthews and Joy Reid are impressed by Hillary’s presidential demeanor. Todd is pleased with her unifying performance, but says that Trump is making her political life easier right now. “That’s the opportunity cost that Republicans have handed Democrats,” he says.
QED, Chuck. QED.
9:54 PM — Clinton’s speech is done, but her aggregate lead is ballooning in New Jersey. It may grow by a quarter-million before the night ends.
California in just a few moments.
9:59 PM — Presidential historian Michael Beschloss making a great case on MSNBC that Clinton is wise to own her role as the shatterer of glass ceilings and make it part of her appeal.
10:08 PM — The first California boxes are coming in; Kornacki explains that Clinton is guaranteed to end the Golden State primary with a majority of pledged delegates, cutting off all argument about delegate counts. It’s the very catastrophe that the Sanders campaign has denied repeatedly would happen.
History is never divorced from politics, but I’d hope women of all political stripes feel tonight what I felt about Obama eight years ago.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) June 8, 2016
FiveThirtyEight projects that Clinton will win a clear pledged delegate and popular vote majority. https://t.co/a6YcXraArS
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) June 8, 2016
10:24 PM — Everyone who was complaining about the slow results out of Puerto Rico will love waiting on numbers from California. With just the mail-in ballots counted, Clinton is way ahead. If this margin keeps up, it is the absolute end of the Sanders campaign argument.
10:45 PM — Todd is pointing out that Clinton and Trump didn’t congratulate each other on their nominations. That’s a good measure of how angry our politics have become.
10:53 PM — Hypothesis: the huge gap in mail-in ballots isn’t about demographics, but rather reflects the Clinton campaign banking absentee votes during those weeks when the Sanders campaign was still deciding how to compete in California.
11:01 PM — Todd just read a White House statement saying that Sanders will meet with Obama on Thursday when he’s in DC.
11:04 PM — Wow, Todd just made my point about Clinton ‘banking’ votes.
11:06 PM — Nina Turner insists the fight is not over yet! All the way to the convention! Etc.
11:10 PM — Nina Turner’s theory of open elections and independent voters is bogus. “Independent” is not, repeat NOT synonymous with “liberal” or “moderate.” Most independents are actually MORE polarized than the party system they disdain — in other words, they are more conservative than Republicans or more progressive than Democrats.
11:41 PM — Four female campaign trail correspondents agree: Hillary is now less shouty.
12:00 AM — Sanders will speak in a few moments. Meanwhile, results from California look grim for him.
Ezra Klein says that Clinton is winning through an inherently feminine style of politics:
Clinton employed a less masculine strategy to win. She won the Democratic primary by spending years slowly, assiduously, building relationships with the entire Democratic Party. She relied on a more traditionally female approach to leadership: creating coalitions, finding common ground, and winning over allies. Today, 523 governors of members of Congress have endorsed Clinton; 13 have endorsed Sanders.
This work is a grind — it’s not big speeches, it doesn’t come with wide applause, and it requires an emotional toughness most human beings can’t summon.
But Clinton is arguably better at that than anyone in American politics today.
12:05 AM — Sanders staffers have thrown their candidate under a bus.
There are many divisions within the Sanders campaign—between the dead-enders and the work-it-out crowds, between the younger aides who think he got off message while the consultants got rich and obsessed with Beltway-style superdelegate math, and between the more experienced staffers who think the kids got way too high on their sense of the difference between a movement and an actual campaign.
But more than any of them, Sanders is himself filled with resentment, on edge, feeling like he gets no respect — all while holding on in his head to the enticing but remote chance that Clinton may be indicted before the convention.
12:15 AM — Wow. With 24% of votes counted, Sanders is way behind in California. Clinton’s aggregate vote lead will top five million at this rate.
12:23 AM — Sanders has taken the lead in Montana, but it’s almost superfluous now.
12:30 AM — No, Chris Matthews, the Sanders campaign hasn’t just moved Hillary to the left. Sanders has also had to move left on issues like guns. It’s correct to say the Democratic Party has moved in a progressive direction, but the primary campaign has made BOTH candidates more liberal.
12:45 AM — “Thank you for being part of the political revolution.”
This is a stump speech, and the crowd is eating it up, but so far Sanders has reserved all of his fire for Donald Trump. He’s hitting on a theme of transformation, but I don’t hear him browbeating Democrats. Hmm.
There he goes again promising to break up big banks on Wall Street — you know, the ones that won’t loan Donald Trump money. I doubt we see this agenda item actualized.
Um, no Bernie, change often does happen from the top down. Take, for example, Harry Truman integrating the armed forces, or Obama integrating the armed forces. Or what you aim to do to Wall Street banks.
Interesting that Sanders mentions the DC primary and everyone gets so excited.
“I am pretty good at arithmetic, and I know that the fight in front of us is a very steep fight, but I will fight for every delegate…” Oh please, Bernie. You’re not going to pull a nomination from the District of Columbia like a rabbit from a magician’s hat.
But he did talk to Clinton on the phone, he says, so that is another good sign.
1:01 AM — “Thank you, and the struggle continues!”
Repeating a theme I’ve hit on for weeks now, I understand that Sanders wants to finish the race strong, even if he doesn’t win, just like 99.99% of marathon runners do. And that’s totally fine; I’m all good with letting every vote be counted. But there are no more pledged delegates to be won. That’s all there is; there isn’t any more.
1:05 AM — Maddow echoes my complaint that Sanders has basically launched a selfish revolution that will end up being a spent force when he leaves no progressive infrastructure behind.
1:08 AM — Everyone on MSNBC’s panel noticed the change in tone.
1:22 AM — I’m closing out this liveblog with one final thought: by going out like this — with a big loss in the vital state of California and the last vote in DC promising to be a lopsided defeat — Bernie Sanders ends the campaign in a considerably weaker bargaining position than if he had negotiated his surrender after New York. He’s burned a lot of political capital along with that giant pile of grassroots money.
1:56 AM — As I prepared to sign off, my attention was directed to this tweet. Let the record indicate that Abramson denies the charge of making a threat and adheres to pacifist principles.
@BreitbartUnmask I'm serious, Matt. Remove that libel right now. I've never in my life and would never–ever–threaten anyone with violence.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) June 7, 2016