Election 2020: What may Tremendous Tuesday imply for the way forward for the Democratic Celebration? | The Economist

published on July 3, 2020

here's the race for the Democratic

presidential nomination entering a

crucial phase and what does it mean for

the future of the party both in America

and in the rest of the Western world

hello I'm John Prado and the us editor

at The Economist and I'm the host of our

new checks and balance podcast on

American politics for the latest episode

I was joined by Charlotte Howard our New

York bureau chief and by John phasma and

our Washington correspondent to talk

about why it is that both parties in

America seem to have lost control of

their nominating processes with Donald

Trump performing something like hostile

takeover at the Republican Party in 2016

and Bernie Sanders doing something

similar to the Democrats in 2020 hope

you enjoy the episode Bernie Sanders

makes a big show of running against the

Democratic establishment doesn't he and

Harry Reid as a former Senate Majority

Leader is about as establishment in some

senses as it gets

but when Sanders says he's running

against the establishment is he running

against people like Harry Reid or what

is the Democratic establishment in in

2020 really anyway almost scenes when

Bernie Sanders attacks it to me like

it's a bit of a kind of Mirage I don't

what is the Democratic establishment I

have no idea I mean it's in you have you

have people who sort of used to be very

much part of the Democratic

establishment so from rahm emanuel to

the clinton's etc but rahm emanuel who

of course got his career started in the

clinton administration then went on to

be a congressman then served in Barack

Obama's White House before becoming

Chicago mayor he you cannot imagine

anyone sort of more part of the

traditional machine than he is and he

has been out making this point that the

Democratic electorate is not looking for

revolution there are lots of Democrats

who won and 2018 who helped to turn the

house blue who won in moderate districts

these are not firebrand

Sanders acolytes but the thing is it

does anyone really care what Ron Manuel

is saying you know I mean I really doubt

that the people who are coming to the

polls for Bernie I have read Rahm

Emmanuel's op-eds or be if they did

would care about it whatsoever and so I

think that there's there are people who

are in the establishment who are kind of

ringing the alarm bells the question is

whether

will make any difference so John Faceman

is the Democratic Party establishment

losing its mojo is it having another

1972 moment do you think I mean it

certainly looks like it doesn't it

you can talk to I have talked to no

shortage of freshmen Democrats of sort

of establishment Democrats with centrist

Democrats who are really panicked and

worried and they're all about to do

something and when you ask what is it

you're gonna do there's no real firm

answer I mean they they they Bernie

Sanders has just attracted more votes

than any other candidate has so far and

unless that changes he's going to be the

nominee whatever anybody thinks to it

you saw the development after McGovern's

loss of the Democratic Leadership

Council the DL C which has since no more

but it had a pretty impressive run of it

through the 90s helping to move the

Democratic Party to the center and

particularly during the during the

Clinton era and there was this book that

came out in 2008 called the party

decides and the and the thesis of that

was essentially that party endorsements

the the party's method of helping to

endorse specific candidates was the best

predictor of delegate winning that of

course just as completely looks obsolete

in this day and age it looked up it

looked somewhat obsolete in 2016

certainly in 2020 there's this feeling

that the people who were who sought

incremental change including Bill

Clinton and including Barack Obama

sought the vote of people who had low

incomes and African Americans but didn't

really do enough to change America to

help them they were too quick to

compromise they tried to seek deals with

Republicans that didn't bear fruit and

there was a disillusionment with that an

entire idea and so I don't think it's

surprising that the DLC is no more or

that you see this surge of support for

Sanders but it is worth pointing out of

course I mean if you added up the votes

of all of the moderates they would

exceed the support of senator Sanders

but nevertheless he has been able to as

a single candidate capture the

imagination and support of voters in a

way that no other single Democratic

it has Charlotte you heard in that clip

of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

debating in the last cycle in 2016 him

going after Hillary Clinton's ties to

Wall Street and there is that Wall

Street democratic party Nexus which I

guess senator Sanders has right in his

crosshairs and that he considers to be

the establishment right I'm positioned

here in New York and I have been having

conversations with different people who

are involved in New York Democratic

politics and in national politics

through their donations and there is

this sense of frustration I mean there

for many people they admire the policies

of Mike Bloomberg but Mike Bloomberg's

pitches you know I'm a good manager and

speaking with someone who said basically

you know he thinks that's gonna win him

votes is he insane that wins the support

of no one except that people were in the

Business Roundtable of course being the

organization of more than 150 CEOs and

so I think that there's this sense of

frustration among establishment

Democrats who make up a big share of

Democratic party giving giving that

there isn't a strong enough candidate to

really coalesce behind and and push

forward do you think that establishment

Democrats especially those who are in

business will come off the sidelines if

Sanders is Nam is the nominee do you

think they rally behind him do you think

they donate him you think a set up super

PACs where do they keep the money in the

pockets I think it really varies by

donor there was one person was speaking

with it was who's absolutely not a

Bernie person but is all in for Bernie

in the election if he becomes the

nominee and the reason for that is that

they see his policies as as poor they're

not the policies that they would choose

but Trump is operating a different plane

because of his attacks on the

institution of the presidency and he's

on a different plane in in moral terms

they see Sanders as not someone who's

gonna put children in cages one of the

things that I find really interesting

thinking about the collapse of

centralized party authority over a few

decades is how embarrassed essentially

the party establishment is to try and

exercise its authority I mean if you

look at the debate that took place

in South Carolina on Tuesday night in

the Democratic primary you had two

people on that stage in Bernie Sanders

who only joined the Democratic Party who

so he could run for its nomination and

Tom Steyer who's never held office for

the Democratic Party yet there they are

on stage and you know running as

Democratic primary candidates the party

could easily write rules saying you know

that's not okay you know you can only be

on that stage if you're a you know

recent of or current holder of office

for the Democratic Party and you have to

have been a member of the party for the

past five years or something that would

instantly kind of exclude some of the

insurgent candidates but there's a sense

of kind of awkwardness about that that

you know undemocratic for the party to

behave in such a way and therefore and

there's a Lexington column in this

week's Economist squarely on this which

is really good I vouch people to go and

read it there for both parties have

really made their party's wide open for

insurgent candidates who can come from

the outside is Donald Trump dead in 2016

as Bernie Sanders is doing in 2020 and

and capture the nomination it's a very

odd situation it is and I think the only

way you get over it is for one of those

insurgents to lose I think had Trump

lost in 2016 you would have found the

party taking that I forget what it's

called the autopsy that said they need

to sort of become more open to non-white

voters much more seriously

I think if Sanders loses in 2020 you

will see the party become much more

serious about trying to prevent those

insurgents candidacies again the problem

is Trump won and has sort of turned the

Republican Party into a very trumpets

party if Sanders wins I don't know what

his effect will be on the Democratic

Party but it will set the same precedent

that the party is essentially a vehicle

for individual candidates and their

ambitions rather than having the

organizational an intermediary function

that it's always had I'm gonna put both

of you on the spot here we're talking

just a couple of days before Super

Tuesday when we're on the next podcast I

expect we'll spend a few minutes

digesting the results do you think

Bernie Sanders will be unstoppable after

Super Tuesday or do you think there's

still a chance that one of the moderate

candidates might be able to catch him I

think that it would have to require

politicians to do what they are not

naturally suited to do which is

knowledge that their vanity needs to be

set aside and they need to act quickly

to throw all their weight behind one

moderate and so you'd have to let's say

that Bloomberg doesn't perform well in

Super Tuesday for instance he needs to

immediately take all of his cash

pour it behind someone else Chlo Bashar

I think has had an impressive

performance and different debates but

the the run that she's had to date

suggests that she's not going to be the

person who's he so you know there's

evidence already of people frankly who

should drop out and then after Tuesday

that evidence will be more compelling

and so it's really a question of acting

very quickly to put both resources and

their own political bases behind

whichever moderate is most successful

yeah I think if the field I think you're

absolutely right I think that the field

stays fractured he's uncatchable he

maybe uncatchable anyway if he wins by

enough in California and pulls out a win

in Texas I mean that's a lot of

Delegates and at that point the field

will inevitably winnow after Super

Tuesday but he will have already

accumulated a massive delegate lead and

whoever it is who's emerges as that as

the moderate from the field will be

playing catch-up and really has to run

the table in the rest of the States

which is gonna be tough since we

recorded this episode South Carolina has

voted in the Democratic primary the

result that wasn't a surprise in one

sense Joe Biden won we've been ahead in

the polls the whole way through his

campaign had long described South

Carolina as his firewall state of

insurance policy against him doing

poorly in the early states what was a

bit of surprise was the scale of the

victory

and that changes the dynamics of the

race a bit going into Super Tuesday if

Joe Biden can continue some of that

momentum he can turn this into a two

horse race if he can't and Bernie

Sanders wins handsomely in Texas and in

California the two biggest states up on

Super Tuesday then the conversation will

all be about where the Sanders can win

the nomination outright before the

convention in July and Milwaukee or

whether the Democrats end up with

tested convention so we'll be talking

about that a little bit on the next

episode thanks for watching if you'd

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