The polls had barely closed in New Hampshire when all of the networks called the race on the Democratic side for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont over Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, senator, and first lady. How was it that the assumed first female president of the United States get such a thumping at the hands of an elderly, avowed socialist?
To put the reason succinctly, Democrats in New Hampshire looked at Clinton and saw that there was no there there, to quote Gertrude Stein. Hillary Clinton’s argument for her becoming president was that she had been married to a previous president and that she was a woman. These reasons proved to be insufficient for enough New Hampshire Democrats to vote for her.
Hillary Clinton did not help herself with a number of self-inflicted wounds.
First, noting that younger women were flocking to Sanders, Clinton surrogates Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright got nasty. Steinem ascribed the phenomenon to silly young things chasing after boys. Albright snarled that women who didn’t help women (i.e. Hillary) were going to Hell. Neither statement was designed to attract women to the Clinton cause.
Second, the late revelation that Clinton, who is vying with Sanders for the Occupy Wall Street vote, was quite effusive to the big banks in her secret speeches to organizations like Goldman Sachs for which she was paid millions of dollars. Democrats formed the natural conclusion that Clinton, while pretending to be an economic populist, was in the pay of the banks and Wall Street.
Sanders, in any other year, would be an asterisk. He is an avowed socialist who makes Barack Obama seem like Ronald Reagan. But he is the only alternative, at least for now, to Hillary Clinton. He also has the advantage of actually believing the things that are coming out of his mouth, even though those things, free stuff for everyone, is economic lunacy.
The conventional wisdom is that Clinton will have the advantage over Sanders in the southern states where African-American voters will gravitate toward her and not the elderly socialist from Vermont. That supposition could be the case. But one remember that Hillary Clinton used to have a lock on female Democrats, which she no longer has. Sanders, who is coming out of New Hampshire with a great deal of momentum, will shortly start pandering to African Americans with a view of taking them away from Clinton as well. #Election 2016 #Democratic Party