A number of Hillary Clinton's supporters in the Senate say they are ready to reel Bernie Sanders in, encouraging the Independent senator who caucuses with Democrats to be realistic about his chances at the Democratic nomination, as Politico reports.
Hillary Clinton is projected to have won 1,147 delegates so far, compared to Sanders' 830, with more than 2,000 delegates still available via state nominating contests. There are also more than 700 superdelegates available. Nearly 500 have pledged their support to a candidate, with the vast majority of them (467) endorsing Clinton publicly. Yet those endorsements come with no legal obligation or recognition from the Democratic National Committee—the superdelegates are free to vote however they wish once the Democratic convention begins in Philadelphia.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) said she was more concerned about how Sanders campaigns—targeting his opponent, Clinton—rather than whether he actually drops out. "If the contrast is now about what separates us from Donald Trump, then I think it's fine," McCaskill said. "I just hope that we can begin to focus on unifying because obviously a lot of us are perplexed that we could be facing a country led by someone who seems to be a buffoon."
McCaskill would be well-served by the maxim about throwing stones in glass houses. Nevertheless, her comments belie the idea that a significant portion of Democrats are unwilling to support Clinton, as polls mightsuggest. One recent poll had a full third of Sanders supporters saying they would not support Clinton in a general election, and a majority of Democrats consistently find Hillary Clinton untrustworthy.
Yet for all the apparent distaste for Clinton's transparent politicking, it's hard to imagine Democrats won't fall in behind her in November. And while Donald Trump may seem like a powerful motivator to get Democrats behind a deeply flawed candidate, it's important to recognize that Democrats (and Republicans!) have consistently painted their opponents as extremists in an effort to avoid engaging their own flaws.
If Barack Obama is a socialist, what does that make Bernie Sanders? If Mitt Romney is a bigot, what does that make Donald Trump? Remember, until the clashes at Trump rallies started to resemble something you'd see in a third world shithole, liberal "thinkers" like Ezra Klein were arguing Ted Cruz was "scarier" than Trump. Last month, Vox.com was more (troll) concerned about Marco Rubio, the "Republican Obama," than the demagoguing Trump.
Then there's the "chaos scenario" for Democrats—what happens if Clinton is indicted in relation to the investigation into her e-mail security breaches. "That's not going to happen," Clinton said at the last Democratic debate. Yet the Obama administration has been aggressive in prosecuting government employees it accuses of leaking classified information or facilitating such leaks. It remains to be seen whether that will extend to Clinton.