...in the latest Iowa poll.
But it's still unclear who won the Iowa Caucus. Hillary squeaked by with 4/10ths of a percent.
|UPDATE: Tonight I watched the Iowa caucus minute-by-minute — on both CNN and MSNBC.
Yes, it was a surprise Ted Cruz won the GOP vote (and Trump place 2nd
while Marco Rubio took a victory lap for coming in 3rd). But the real nail-biter was the Democratic race.
The last count (as 10:43 pm Pacific, 1:43 Eastern) Hillary had 696 delegates (49.8%) to Bernie's 692 delegates (49.6%) — with 99% of the votes in. It doesn't get any closer than this.
But what's odd is, 2 hours earlier — when Hillary had 601 delegates (50%) to Bernie's 594 delegates (49%) — Hillary was already declaring victory. Media pundits weren't sure if it was a victory speech or not. (It could have been a calculated move by her to discourage Bernie supporters from voting).
At the time, NBC News still said it was too close to call. During her angry-sounding "victory" speech, when Hillary said she was a "progressive", some people in the crowd started booing her.
Then about an hour later Bernie took to the stage and spoke: "Even though the results aren't in, it looks like we have about half of the delegates." He didn't concede defeat, but he did congratulate Hillary for running a good campaign (something Hillary didn't do, congratulate Bernie during her speech.)
MSNBC had last reported that they still can not announce a victory to anyone (not tonight anyway) because it's still too close to call. Media pundits (Chuck Todd, etc.) were asking why Hillary had already announced a victory -- and that maybe that was a "blunder" by the Clinton camp.
The Iowa director of elections also says they can not declare a victory yet. And the pundits said there could also be recounts and legal challenges as well.
Just now (on MSNBC) they’re saying it could literally come down to a coin toss!
The Hill (February 02, 2016, 12:33 am) Clinton wins Iowa delegate after coin toss
A brand new Quinnipiac poll released this morning has Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton in Iowa 49% to 46%. Among first-time voters, Sanders leads Clinton 62% to 35% percent, while Clinton holds a 9-point lead among those who have caucused before — who are mostly older voters. (The survey of 919 likely Democratic caucusgoers was conducted Jan. 25–31 via landlines and cellphones with a margin of error of 3.2 points.)
In Michael Moore's recent endorsement of Bernie Sanders, he notes that the pundits, politicos and the mainstream media talking heads are claiming that there’s no way a "democratic socialist" can get elected President of the United States:
That is the main talking point coming now from the Hillary Clinton campaign office. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary recently announced the most looked-up word in their online dictionary in 2015 was “socialism.” If you’re under 49 (the largest voting block), the days of the Cold War and Commie Pinkos and the Red Scare look as stupid as Reefer Madness. If Hillary’s biggest selling point as to why you should vote for her is "Bernie’s a socialist!" or "a socialist can’t win!" — then she’s lost.
Hillary Clinton has also been making false claims about Bernie Sanders and lying about her so-called "accomplishments".
Hillary Clinton's husband deregulated the banks in 1999 by revoking Glass-Steagall, which greatly contributed to the Great Recession. Hillary downplays this because it would be admitting that her husband screwed up, and wants to only direct our attention to "shadow banking" (which is also a part of the problem, but only a part). That's why she says she won't reinstate Glass-Steagall, and defends her husband's actions while criticizing Senator Bernie Sanders (who voted against revoking Glass-Steagall).
Now Hillary is in Iowa trying to convince voters to elect her to be our next president, putting her husband back in the White House as one of her economic advisors. She says she's not running for her husband's third term in office, but wants to build on his and her "accomplishments". In other words, maintaining the status quo.
With Bernie, we can move the Overton window further to the left (where FDR was) — much more so than Hillary Clinton would ever go (she will just mostly maintain the status quo and give us another 8 more years of Obama or another 8 more years of Bill Clinton.
But the people want real change — not more lying politicians who pander for votes, take money from banks and make promises they think people want to hear, without any intention of really changing much of anything at all. Some people are just hungry for the job as POTUS for personal ambition, not because they want to do anything of any real significance for working people. Authenticity counts, and Hillary has zero.
We are where we are today partly because of the Clintons and their current supporters in Congress; now she wants to build on her husband's and Obama's "legacy", but she says she's not running for her husband's third term — or Obama's third term.
Edited excerpts from the Nation: Note to Hillary: Clintonomics Was a Disaster for Most Americans (By Robert Pollin / January 26, 2016):
In trying to burnish her credentials as a can-do populist and to portray Bernie Sanders as a purveyor of naive socialist fantasies, Hillary Clinton has increasingly invoked Bill Clinton’s presidency as her economic policy lodestar. When Hillary was asked at the January 17 Democratic debate whether Bill Clinton would be advising her on the economy, she responded, “I’m going to have the very best advisers that I can possibly have, and when it comes to the economy and what was accomplished under my husband’s leadership in the ’90s—especially when it came to raising incomes for everybody and lifting more people out of poverty than at any time in recent history— you bet.”
Wall Street flourished under Clinton. By 1999, the average price of stocks had risen to 44 times these companies’ earnings. Historically, stock prices had averaged about 14 times more than earnings. A major driver here was Wall Street’s craze for Internet start-ups. Throughout the bubble years, Clinton’s policy advisers, led by Robert Rubin (co-chair of Goldman Sachs) and Larry Summers, maintained that regulating Wall Street was an outmoded relic from the 1930s. They used this argument to push through the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall financial regulatory system that had been operating since the New Deal. The Clinton team thus set the stage for the collapse of the Dot.com bubble and ensuing recession in March 2001. They also created the conditions that enabled the even more severe bubble that produced the 2008 global financial crisis and Great Recession. [The Clintons got $125 million from the banks for speeches since they left the White House when they said they were dead broke. Later, Obama's administration never prosecuted any of the bankers, they just find them.]
Clinton’s position on global trade was virtually identical to that of his Republican predecessors, proclaiming the universal virtues of free trade. Clinton moved quickly after taking office to push through the final passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that had been promoted by Presidents Reagan and Bush. The Clinton administration did almost nothing to support unions or working people generally. [And there was PNTR for China as well, costing the U.S. over 3 million good-paying union manufacturin jobs.]
Spending on food stamps and other nutritional assistance programs dropped sharply under Clinton. Clinton’s campaign to “end welfare as we know it” was one major factor. Under Clinton, the pressures on private soup kitchens and food pantries increased dramatically ... The unemployment rate did begin falling after Clinton took office in 1993, but unemployment started rising again soon after the bubble burst. [And there were the bankruptcy laws as well. See this video of Elizabeth Warren talking about when she met Hillary Clinton.]
In sum, Bill Clinton’s presidency accomplished almost nothing to improve conditions for working people and the poor on a sustained basis. Gestures to the poor and working class were slight and back-handed, while wages for the majority remained below their level of a generation prior. Wealth at the top exploded with the Wall Street bubble. But the stratospheric rise in stock prices and the debt-financed consumption and investment booms produced a mortgaged legacy. The financial unraveling began even as Clinton was basking in praise for his economic stewardship. Throughout the current presidential campaign, this reality needs to be recognized every time Hillary Clinton invokes her husband’s record as a compelling argument for supporting her own candidacy. [Much more is documented in compelling detail by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in his 1994 book, The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House]
And what can Hillary do that Bernie can't (if elected) — or what Obama couldn't do right now? If she has some great "plan" now, why doesn't Hillary present her ideas to her BFF Obama to implement it right now? After all, why wait until the next president is elected? The Republicans despise her — maybe more than Obama. What can she get passed through Congress that Bernie can't?
Speaking of which, I thought Hillary said she wasn't running for President Obama's third term. But her recent op-ed says otherwise. From Hillary at the Huffington Post (January 20, 2016)
"On January 20, 2017, America will begin our next chapter. A new president will stand on the steps of the Capitol, raise one hand, and take the oath of office. From that moment on, he or she will decide whether we defend and build on the progress we've made under President Obama -- or tear it all away." [Or make it much better perhaps? You and your husband had a chance, and you led us to where we are today. You can't blame the Republicans for all your "mistakes".]
The Guardian (January 31, 2016):
Obama's true heir is Hillary Clinton. But that is a blessing for Bernie Sanders, who should let Clinton claim Obama’s legacy while he strikes out for something new ... For the first-time voters who flocked to the polls [in 2008], inspired by a candidate who spoke of lasting changes, the past eight years have been ones of political disappointment ... Today it seems that the Gilded Age is back and entrenched even more deeply than before. Back in 2008, Clinton presented herself as the realist’s alternative to Obama the dreamer. She’s describing herself the same way today ..."
Hillary Clinton (January 26, 2016) "I'm not running for his [Obama's] third term, I'm running for my first term."
(Listen to a great discussion in the video below) Is Hillary’s narrative now “I’m Running for Obama’s third term?" Hillary Clinton has decided to wrap herself in the mantle of the Obama administration. In the last debate, that was what her reason to attack Bernie for being “anti-Obama”. Clinton apparently thinks that making Bernie out to be “anti-Obama” will convince voters that she’s the right person to carry on the President’s legacy. In other words, her campaign has finally found a narrative. It’s “Hillary Clinton is running for Barack Obama’s third term while Bernie Sanders is running against it. ”
- Hillary Clinton (October 28, 2015) "I'm not running for my husband's third term. I'm not running for President Obama's third term. I'm running for my first term. But I'm going to do what works."
- Hillary Clinton (September 19, 2016) "I’m not running for my husband’s third term or President Obama’s third term."
- Hillary Clinton (May 22, 2015) "I'm not running for my husband's third term and I'm not running for Barack Obama's third term. I'm running to continue the positive results oriented policies that both of them worked for."
* Related Post: Hillary Loses 4th Debate while Running for Obama's 3rd Term
As an aside: A great quote from Dean Baker in his recent article: "We got out of the first Great Depression in 1941 by spending a ton of money fighting World War II. It is hard to see any reason why we couldn’t have ended the depression a decade sooner by spending a ton of money in 1931 on infrastructure, health care, and education. The same story would have applied in 2009." [Bernie Sanders wants to impose a financial transaction tax on the bankers to fix our infrastructure.]