Voters in Kentucky and Oregon get their chance Tuesday to choose a candidate to run for president of the United States. Donald Trump is the last Republican standing in what once was a 17-candidate field. And the Democrats still have Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders going at one another.
The delegate math is tilted heavily against Sanders. Democrats allocate pledged delegates proportionally to the popular primary vote. That means Sanders has to overwhelmingly win most, if not all the remaining 11 contests to overcome Clinton’s current 283 pledged delegate lead.
Then there are the “superdelegates” — 712 elected officials and Democratic party leaders who are not bound to any candidate. Right now, Clinton has support from an overwhelming number of those superdelegates.
The Clinton conundrum: positioning herself to take on Trump without burning bridges to Sanders supporters.
How Hillary Clinton Should Redefine Herself
Noah Millman – The Week
On balance, Clinton has the odds in her favor — but nothing is assured. If there’s one thing the Clinton camp surely learned from watching the GOP primaries, it’s that sitting back and waiting for Trump’s inevitable implosion is a good way to lose to him. But if there’s a second thing they surely learned, it’s that running a campaign focused on pointing out the many ways in which Trump transgresses the acceptable bounds of discourse is… a good way to lose to him….
Clinton should win. But Clinton could lose. So what does she need to do to turn “should” into “will?”…
Clinton’s clenched-teeth determination never to show weakness has left her in a place where the only thing that humanizes her is showing her pain and vulnerability.
The Hillary Myth
Fred Barnes – The Weekly Standard
Hillary Clinton sounds like Paul Ryan on the economy. She says she’s for “strong growth, fair growth, and long-term growth.” She would abandon the slow-growth economics of President Obama and return us to those wonderful days in the 1990s when husband Bill was in charge. This is a different Hillary Clinton from the one we’ve seen in debates with Bernie Sanders, her socialist rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. It’s the centrist-at-heart Clinton whom conservatives and Republicans eager for an acceptable alternative to Donald Trump can vote for.
Only there’s a problem: This Hillary Clinton is entirely mythical. She doesn’t exist. As the Democratic party has lurched to the left, she has lurched with it.
On November 8, we’ll choose between Clinton and Trump. It’s not so much that he is better, though he is. But she fails to meet minimal standards a conservative or a Republican should insist on. A vote for Clinton would be wrong. Voting for a third-party candidate or not voting would be half a vote for Hillary. To defeat her and the myth, a vote for Trump is required.
Hillary: The Conservative Hope
Bret Stephens – The Wall Street Journal
The best hope for what’s left of a serious conservative movement in America is the election in November of a Democratic president, held in check by a Republican Congress. Conservatives can survive liberal administrations, especially those whose predictable failures lead to healthy restorations—think Carter, then Reagan. What isn’t survivable is a Republican president who is part Know Nothing, part Smoot-Hawley and part John Birch. The stain of a Trump administration would cripple the conservative cause for a generation.
For conservatives, a Democratic victory in November means the loss of another election, with all the policy reversals that entails. That may be dispiriting, but elections will come again. A Trump presidency means losing the Republican Party.
Why Hillary Should Channel Warren G. Harding
Bill Scher – Real Clear Politics
Warren G. Harding tried to jump-start his flagging quest for the Republican presidential nomination with a speech titled“Back to Normal,” in which he declared: “America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration.”
The speech was not an instant success. Harding won none of the final five primaries that followed. But he had recognized the national fatigue with activist progressive government as Woodrow Wilson’s consequential presidency was ending on a sour note with rising unemployment, labor strife, race riots, and backlash against the frenetic quest to establish an international League of Nations. Once Harding snatched the nomination at the Republican convention, he rode the slogan “Back to Normalcy” toward a landslide victory….
Clinton won’t want to embrace Harding’s “stand-pat” conservative ideology. But the current political dynamic gives her an opportunity to redefine American “normalcy.”
This Is One Weak Nominee: Hillary Clinton’s Problem Isn’t Bernie Sanders. It’s Hillary Clinton
David Niose – Salon
Indeed, Clinton concedes that she’s not a natural politician, lacking the charm of her husband or the charisma of Barack Obama. But what should be troubling to those who hope to see a Democrat in the White House next year is that Clinton seems to suggest that this weakness isn’t problematic, that her résumé and policy-wonk reputation will be enough to carry her on Election Day.
Maybe. But don’t be too sure.
Look no further than the 2000 election, when another policy-wonk Democrat with little charm or charisma—Al Gore—failed to ride his impressive credentials to the White House. Gore, a two-term vice president with prior lengthy service in both the Senate and House, lost to an anti-intellectual GOP opponent with no Washington experience. Sound familiar?