Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

Blame last night’s debate debacle on Nancy Pelosi

Bread and circuses ….

Democracy is a ringside seat to the power struggle between factions fighting for control over public capital and the mechanisms for carrying out law and order.  Last night’s gladiator match between the candidates for the Democratic nomination did not shed any light on what should be the two most important questions for anyone following politics: “How can I create political power?” “How can I leverage political power?”

If you are intrigued by the football aspect of the debates, it is fair to say that each candidate came out either very bloodied or ignored.  Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, made it their point to cast all billionaires in America, including their billionaire opponent on stage, Michael Bloomberg, as the scourges of democracy who are willing to buy the entire election.

Senator Warren also attacked former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg for his acceptance of money from forty plus billionaires while the once emerging but seemingly stalling on the debate stage Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, attacked Mr Buttigieg on his lack of experience.

The “You Go Girl” alliance apparently took a hit as Senator Warren attacked the brevity of Senator Klobuchar’s healthcare plan, which amounts, according to Senator Warren, to two paragraphs.  While Senator Klobuchar handled the jab with a little grace and a steel jaw, it was becoming clear that Senator Warren wanted to push the Minnesota senator further down the steps while pulling on Mayor Buttigieg’s feet in order to trip him up and clear a path to a possible third place finish in the Nevada caucuses this coming Saturday.

Kudos to Senator Klobuchar for not offering any handshakes after the debate, an indicator of how nasty the campaign has become.  To paraphrase that infamous line from the movie “Tombstone”, one’s hypocrisy can go only so far…

A lack of focus flowing from impeachment …

For three years, the Democrats have focused their political capital on impeaching President Donald Trump.  Almost every candidate has opened their campaign spiel with pleas for impeaching the President, making it clear the number one mission of the party and the campaign was, to use Senator Sanders’ words, “To defeat the most dangerous president in America’s history.”

But with impeachment in the rear window and the President’s job approval rating actually getting a bump upwards post impeachment, the Democrats now have only themselves to feed on at least between now and their convention this July in Chicago.  Last night was just a taste.  As one commentator put it on Twitter last night, “This is the Red Wedding of the debates.”  I believe there is more feasting to come.

My response to those who feel Sanders supporters should stick with the Democrats …

Hostage takers don’t hang around with the police and have coffee if the cops foil the hostage takers’ attempts at collecting ransom….What we are seeing is an emerging willingness to let the system burn if things don’t go your way. Why would Sanders supporters acquiesce to a system that they believe is failing them just because their candidate comes up short in an election?

The best move for them would be to go “off grid” and determine alternative solutions to their political problems should Sanders lose. It is high time that Americans get brave enough to realize that the “lesser of two evils” concept is bullshit.  If I am a Sanders supporter, and he loses the nomination, why would I support the other bastard? That means entertaining the farcical notion that “anyone but Trump” is a viable result.

Will Ocasio-Cortez resonate enough as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders in Iowa?

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, joined U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, on the campaign trail this weekend in Iowa as candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination try to persuade potential Iowa caucus voters to select them during the February 3 caucuses.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez exuded her usual youthful exuberance today during a rally in Ames, Iowa as she introduced Mr Sanders, who by now is now stranger to the state during this, his second run for president.  One of his ardent supporters, Mr Sanders is relying on Ms Ocasio-Cortez and other surrogates to help him campaign in Iowa as he and 99 other senators sit through the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Mr Sanders is doing well in the political prediction markets.  On the PredictIt exchange, the chance of a “yes” event is selling at $.40, roughly translating into a probability of .4 that Mr Sanders will win the Iowa caucus.  A “yes” contract on his closest rival, former vice-president Joe Biden, is selling at $.35.

Higher probability of a win doesn’t necessarily translate into a sure thing. Just flash back to Hillary Clinton’s expected coronation in 2016.  Conventional polling is putting Mr Biden ahead of Mr Sanders.  Real Clear Politics has Mr Biden polling at 21% of potential Iowa caucus participants voting for the former vice-president while 20.6% of Iowans are expected to give Mr Sanders the nod.

The Hill, citing a USA Today/Suffolk University survey, has Mr Biden polling at 25% while Mr Sanders is polling at 19%.

According to analysis by Reuters, what may be working in Mr Biden’s favor is his perceived electability, with the concern regarding who is more likely to beat Mr Trump looming on Iowans’ minds. Mr Biden also appears to be making the case on his foreign affairs experience given the criticism President Trump has received after a U.S. attack in Iraq on a high ranking Iranian military officer.

And with U.S. Senator Amy Klubachar, Democrat of Minnesota, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, joining Mr Sanders in Washington for the Senate impeachment trial, Mr. Biden has the Hawkeye state practically all to himself, given him opportunity to get his message out.

Question is, can Ms Ocasio-Cortez provide effective surrogacy on behalf of Mr Sanders?


Sanders, Biden lead in Iowa. Is Buttigieg a buy?

Biden, Sanders nipping at the heels …

The latest Real Clear Politics poll has former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden garnering 20.7% of the nod among likely voters in the Iowa caucus.  U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is nipping at Mr. Biden’s heels with 20.3% of likely caucus participants supporting the independent senator from Vermont.

While Mr. Sanders continues to draw on the support he had during the 2016 campaign for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Biden has been able to maintain his front-runner status based on a more centrist approach to policy and political capital built up among black voters given his eight years as vice-president in the Barack Obama administration.

Buttigieg rising …

Meanwhile, Real Clear Politics polling data sees former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg still in the hunt polling at 18.7%. A relative unknown two years ago, Mr. Buttigieg has been able to leverage, according to Axios, $2.3 million in television advertisements, 100 staff on the ground, and 20 field offices in Iowa to put him in striking distance of a win in Iowa.

Mr. Buttigieg’s third place status behind Messrs Biden and Sanders exposes his unknown factor.  He has done well nationally given that he was not known outside of South Bend until recently.  Whether he can raise his media profile in the next three weeks enough to get him over the top remains to be seen.  Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders receive much more mentions from media, thus taking up needed oxygen for Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign to fuel itself on.

In addition to media, the philosophical space that Mr. Buttigieg seems more inclined to occupy has been taken up by Mr. Biden.  Mr. Biden moved to the middle immediately on his decision to run, his centrist approach being of no surprise to many observers.  Mr. Sanders, on the other hand, has stuck with his progressive policy rhetoric, positions that have endeared him to voters occupying the far left including a significant number of young and college-aged voters.

Mr. Buttigieg, while recognized as a moderate, cannot dominate the middle among Iowa voters and will seem less than genuine should he move left.

What may also be weighing on Mr. Buttigieg’s ability to leap ahead of Messrs Biden and Sanders is the view of black Americans toward his candidacy.  Although blacks are waning demographically, they still comprise a significant voting block within the Democratic Party.  Mr. Buttigieg has very little support among black voters and expression of this lack of support will manifest itself on 29 February when voters go to the South Carolina primary.  The specter of this onslaught may be looming over the polls in Iowa as Iowans who are more concerned about selecting the candidate best situated to beat Donald Trump decide to make a perceived securer choice in either Mr. Biden or Mr. Sanders.

The prediction markets …

The political prediction markets are giving Mr. Sanders the highest probability of winning one day after the last debate prior to the Iowa caucus.  PredictIt is pricing an affirmative on a Sanders’ victory at $.46 while pricing an affirmative on a Biden victory at $.32. Mr. Buttigieg’s chances at victory as determined in the prediction markets looks more in line with his poll numbers where PredictIt is pricing his chances of winning at $.17.

Is Buttigieg a buy?

Locking in Mr. Buttigieg at $.17 with the hope of a 500% return on the chances of a Buttigieg win would require two things.  First, Mr. Buttigieg will have to increase his media exposure by continuing to message via broadcast media, social media, and newspapers.  Second, he would need monumental gaffes on the part of both Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders.  While Mr. Biden is known historically for misspeaking, Mr. Sanders has been very disciplined in his messaging.  This week’s allegations that Mr. Sanders shared with Senator Elizabeth Warren in 2018 his doubts about a woman beating Mr. Trump in 2020 seems not to have had much of an impact on his campaign.

What could cause some disruption in the Biden campaign is any testimony offered during the Senate’s removal trial of Mr. Trump where such testimony describes any impropriety on the part of Mr. Biden in his son’s service on an energy company’s board in Ukraine.  Even so, we believe that such testimony would only serve to secure Mr. Sanders’ lead.


We don’t see Mr. Buttigieg winning Iowa.  Iowans want to increase the chances of selecting a candidate that can go toe to toe with the President.  While the payoff would be substantial, the chances of a Biden or Sanders fall in Iowa are not high enough.