The presidential primary contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is a done deal even before California goes to the polls on Tuesday.
This inside information, which will be disheartening to Bernie Sanders supporters, is according to MSNBC anchor/journalist Chris Matthews, the host of the political show Hardball on the liberal TV network.
With the primary results from New Jersey and elsewhere in hand early Tuesday evening, Matthews claims that the big media will make Sanders feel the Bern by awarding the Democrat nomination to Hillary Clinton.
Based on the Real Clear Politics polling average, Clinton currently leads Sanders in California by about 5 percent.
A long-time Democrat who worked for President Jimmy Carter and House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Matthews himself appears to be ready for Hillary, having described her recent foreign policy speech as an exquisitely written masterpiece.
Matthews prefaced his dialogue with Team Bernie campaign manager Jeff Weaver about the Clinton-Sanders endgame by saying he might be starting trouble with his prediction.
“I’m told by the experts on numbers around here at NBC and elsewhere that come June 7, the day of the California primary, which your candidate, I totally understand wants to get to, and maybe has a chance of knocking off Hillary at that event, a big last hoorah, that at 8 o’clock that night, Eastern time, the networks will be prepared, including this one, to announce that Hillary Clinton has now gotten over the top, that she will have won the nomination in numbers, it’s done. What will that do to voter turnout if that’s 5 o’clock Pacific time, with three more hours to vote in California?”
Weaver responded that a premature call by the networks could depress turnout for both candidates, and that nothing is settled until the convention, suggesting that Bernie will try to flip superdelegates to his column there.
Matthews has also pressed Weaver about the fact that Bernie Sanders has only released one year’s worth of tax returns.
The New York Times seems to be on the same page, as it were, with Matthews, insisting that in the run-up to California, Hillary Clinton only needs 73 more delegates to capture the 2,383 required to officially secure the nomination.
“Barring something truly extraordinary, Hillary Clinton will be declared the presumptive nominee for president by the news media, probably on Tuesday after the results in New Jersey. It will happen even if she loses every remaining contest, and it will probably happen before the polls even close in California (no doubt igniting the fury of some Bernie Sanders supporters).”
A Huffington Post columnist disagreed with the media king- and queen-makers anxious to anoint Hillary Clinton as the nominee or the calculation that pre-California, she will salt away enough delegates to lock up the nomination.
“Why is MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, and apparently the entire corporate media apparatus, colluding to coronate Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee on June 7th, even though there is no way for her to win the necessary 2383 pledged delegates for victory?…Sure, Superdelegates who have not yet cast their votes could put her over the top come July 28, but will they? A lot could happen between now and then. And it’s the news media’s job to report the news, not manufacture the outcome…[I]t is not done, it won’t be done until after the Democratic Convention July 25-28, and Matthews and the rest of the corporate media knows it. They also know that Bernie Sanders has rightly been calling out the corporate media for years, and that he is the only candidate in the field who would put teeth into public interest obligations.”
The columnist also chided the corporate media for its massive and disproportionate coverage of the Trump campaign, but since most of the coverage is negative, it remains to be seen if that will be a benefit or a detriment to the GOP presumptive nominee.
New York Daily News columnist Shaun King similarly argued that about two-thirds of the superdelegates pledged their vote to Clinton before the primary season got going and that nothing is official until they actually cast their votes at the convention in Philadelphia next month.
“Even by mentioning it now, that the networks have already set the date and time they are calling the race for Hillary, what Matthews has done runs the very real risk of suppressing voter turnout. It’s disgusting…
“What the Democratic Party, and apparently the television networks, do not want people to know is that superdelegates, and not the American voters, are going to choose who this nominee is. In the future, if the Democratic Party is going to keep the superdelegate system, who these party elites intend to vote for come the convention should not be included in any public tallies of delegates until their vote is official. If that’s at the convention or if the party adjusts the system such that superdelegates vote when their states hold their primary, then fine, but until their votes are officially cast, they aren’t real.This – all of this — is why supporters of Bernie Sanders so often say the system is rigged. It clearly looks that way.”
Aside from Matthews recently admitting that the New York-Washington media elite (sometimes described as the Acela Corridor) is out of touch with America’s gun culture, he has a history of making erratic statements on the air.
The fast-talking Hardball host was widely mocked on social media for ogling Melania Trump, the potential future First Lady, on a live mic when she accompanied her husband to the podium for his Indiana Primary victory speech in early May. “Did you see her walk? Runway walk. My God, is that good. I could watch that runway show,” Matthews exclaimed.
Matthews, 70, is perhaps most famous for admitting that Barack Obama’s oratorical skills gave him a thrill up his leg.
Earlier in May, in an interview with Dr. Ben Carson, Matthews seemed to equate non-white ethnicity to a handicap.
In the immediate aftermath of Chris Matthews leering at Melania Trump, various media outlets, including the Daily Mail, recalled various sexist statements that Chris Matthews has made on the air about Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, among others. In addition, during the height of the GOP presidential primary season, he dismissed candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz as “the two Cuban guys.” Several years ago, he inexplicably claimed that Hitler never used chemical weapons.
In March, apparently before his views on Hillary Clinton evolved, Matthews recalled his Obama thrill up the leg comment by observing that “Hillary can’t match that.”
Ironically, many media pundits predicted a contested convention for the Republicans rather than the Democrats, underestimating how the Trump Train would roll through the primaries and secure the GOP nomination for the controversial New York real estate mogul.
Now it appears that deep divisions exist among Clinton and Sanders supporters.
Do you think that political and media insiders are rigging the system against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton by engaging in voter suppression or other tactics?
[Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP]