Looking back a week, the dominant media narrative was that Bernie couldn’t be stopped and Biden couldn’t be helped. TV pundits – always focused on what’s really important – were wringing their hands about there still being too many candidates to fit on a single Chyron.
Then this happened:
What you’re looking at is a 101-cent swing in the Democratic nominee market in only 10 days, away from Bernie and toward Joe. Pick a Democratic primary-related market and you will find the same thing: down has become up and up has become down. There were big swings in Maine (148 cents), Texas (119 cents), and yet-to-be-decided Georgia (55-cents). There may have been people who predicted a Super Tuesday landslide, but literally not one said out-loud that it would break Biden’s way.
We’re dizzy. Every time we get something down on the page, another Democrat drops out of the race, changing everything. Who can blame them? With Bloomberg’s per-delegate cost of $11.4-million implying a $22.6 billion outlay to capture the nomination, and Amy Klobuchar getting shut-out in her home state, the exits are looking pretty good. As we write this, the only remaining never-gonna-happen candidates are Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard, and we can’t see Warren wanting to hang-out in that company for long.
Widely credited with the change is avuncular South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, who put his mouth to Biden’s limp campaign and blew-up the race. Overnight, old man Joe was youthfully rampant, thrusting vigorously through the mid-south to a deeply satisfying Super Tuesday climax. The result is newly triumphant fans of Joe overrunning the threads to do something they haven’t been able to do before: crow about their man.
“Come on, Bernie Bros!” teases KaiserCarl on the who’ll win Georgia board. “Don’t get discouraged! Remember, Bernie did SOOOOOO well in GA in 2016! There’s no way he’ll lose here!”
“Bernie is going to crush here (West Virginia) just like he did in 2016,” echoes Redemption2016. “Just like he did in Oklahoma right?”
“Other than a heart attack,” says Smartest Pundit in America, who we’re certain is not named after Hugh Hewitt, “there’s no way Joe loses this. Bernie NO is the easiest money on PI.”
Feel the burn?
There are also how-Bernie-drops-out scenarios imagined.
“I actually think Bernie will drop out in his announcement 45 mins (after Warren) and let Biden take-on Trump,” says Ryopus. “He knows all the primary campaigning is meaningless at this point and the coronavirus makes rallies very dangerous.”
Coronavirus at political rallies? Whoa, there, Ryopus! That’s kind of scary. We’re flashing on thousands of MAGA-hat-wearing zombies pouring out of arenas and sneezing at us. Were not liking that at all. We’re also not looking forward to the sure-to-result conspiracy theories which, we predict, will include people we knew in high school posting on social media that coronavirus was developed by the DNC to kill old, feeble Trump supporters. We shudder, but prefer to remain in denial, so we’ll focus instead on the “he knows all the primary campaigning is meaningless” part of Ryopus’ theory.
Bernie and his supporters don’t find meaning exclusively in winning. More important is remaining true. They are unlikely to game-out the next few weeks, decide victory was unattainable, and go home. If admitting the obvious were important to them, they would never have run in the first place. Obviously, America wouldn’t elect a grumpy, Jewish, socialist Friend of Fidel with a bum ticker even if he didn’t cut his own hair. But with defeat looming, Bernie and his Bros will hang-in as long as possible before taking to the hills, living off the land and writing long manifestos about income redistribution while planning their 2024 defeat.
The counter-argument, as advanced by threadster HM1980, is that Bernie is a rational actor and will, to advance the progressive cause, drop-out, throwing his support to Warren. (He’d better hurry.)
“It is his only chance to get a progressive on the ticket,” HM1980 says. “He clearly can’t beat Biden one-on-one, and if she drops-out, half her support will go to Biden since she is less factional than Sanders.”
We actually think all the Bernie-is-finished talk is premature. Biden has less than a third of the delegates needed to secure the nomination and is one cognitive lapse from throwing the markets into turmoil. On election night, he introduced his wife as his sister which — unattractive Freudian implications aside — makes it enticingly probable that he’ll inadvertently blurt-out something racist enough to be a Trump tweet, and the markets will invert once again.
(Full Disclosure: we own a small amount of Bernie YES stock in a short-term play that the Senator will get dead-cat bounce of a few pennies.)
COMMENT OF THE DAY
From Starve Venom on the Dem nominee board:
“How badly do you have to be failing at life to still own Clinton shares?”
Very badly, we believe. Very very.
MEANWHILE, ON THE NEXT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE TO LEAVE THE COURT BOARD
Threadster is the work product of frustrated author @TomSayingThings, who is apparently not going to get a gig ghost-writing Mike Bloomberg’s speeches.