The Bern has continued to dwindle over the past couple weeks. The Senator recently admitted that it is unlikely he will be the nominee, and even stated that he would vote for Clinton to prevent a Trump presidency.
The struggle continues, however, for the Vermont Senator, who has decided to stay in the race.
Secretary Clinton has won 2,220 pledged delegates, compared to Sanders’ 1,831, resulting in a pledged delegate differential of 389. This leaves the Secretary 142 delegates short of the official nominating number of 2,382. She will not cross that threshold until the remaining 712 delegates — often labeled “superdelegates” — cast their vote in July.
This means that, technically, Bernie Sanders could win the primary if only 141 of the super delegates vote for Clinton and the rest support Sanders. This hypothetical outcome is Bernie’s only path forward to the White House, so his campaign is attempting to persuade superdelegates to back him at the Democratic convention.
If history is any indication, it is highly unlikely Sanders will walk away the nominee. From the beginning of the primary, the Democratic establishment has thrown its support behind Secretary Clinton with unmatched historical precedent. Never before has the Democratic party so obviously displayed its preference for one candidate over another. In fact, prior to the casting of any primary votes, more than 400 superdelegates pledged their support for Clinton. The system has been against Bernie all along.
Additionally, the state primary outcomes provide no support for Sanders in his case for the nomination. While he won an impressive twenty-two states, he lost the overall pledged delegate contest by a significant margin. He also lost the popular vote total, even if you include all of the caucus voters normally left out of published tallies.
Bernie’s survival, then, depends on making an extremely persuasive case to the superdelegates who by and large already support Clinton. Fortunately, he is in a position to do so.
There are many arguments Sanders could make, but one stands out in particular: he has pledged to end the revolving door between the executive branch and the corporate world.
Investopedia defines this phenomenon as the following.
“The movement of high-level employees from public sector jobs to private sector jobs and vice versa. The idea is that there is a revolving door between the two sectors as many legislators and regulators become consultants for the industries they once regulated and some private industry heads receive government appointments that relate to their former private posts.”
The revolving door is a vehicle for the Elite to maintain oligarchical power and instantiate the “rigged economy” that Sanders often speaks of. It allows for former private sector executives to head regulation agencies that oversee the industry they just left. In short, financial executives run the Fed, Monsanto executives run the FDA, and pharmaceutical executives run the CDC. This arrangement allows special interests to directly dictate government affairs.
We know that Bernie Sanders is the best candidate for jamming the revolving door between executive agencies, Wall Street, and corporate America. Not only has he pledged a commitment to do this — and supported legislation on the issue — he has run a campaign that would actually allow for him to combat the problem.
The Sanders campaign has relied on small contributions from individual donors, rejected money from corporations, and refused to have a Super PAC. Thus, he can enter the White House without owing political favors to campaign contributors. The value of being in this position cannot be underestimated. It allows him to honestly make promises like this one.
“Under my administration, top executives of Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street CEOs will no longer go through the revolving door from Wall Street to government.”
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, cannot make an entirely legitimate case to end the revolving door. Her own tenure as Secretary of State shows how much she values Wall Street’s advice in governing affairs.
Clinton was reluctant to support a recent bill — The Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act — that would end private sector bonuses for employees who transitioned to public service jobs. At the behest of advocacy groups and other Democratic officials like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Clinton finally endorsed the legislation. Some argue that her sluggish support is the result of her previously employing Wall Street executives. The following is according to the Intercept.
“One possible explanation for Clinton’s lack of interest in banning golden parachutes is that she tolerated them when she ran the State Department — for two of her top aides. Robert Hormats and Thomas Nides previously worked as executives for financial firms Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, respectively. Both received benefits tied to their Wall Street employment contracts for entering public service.”
It is worth noting that Thomas Nides was a “six-figure bundler” for previous Clinton campaigns, and a rumored candidate for high-level positions in a Clinton White House. Even after supporting legislation, Clinton refuses to denounce the practice of hiring Wall Street executives in the Treasury department. The Wall Street Journal reports the following.
“… Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said she would work to ‘end the revolving door’ between Washington and Wall Street—but stopped short of ruling out continuing her party’s recent tradition of turning to the financial industry for Treasury secretaries.”
Both her husband and President Obama filled dozens of administration positions with Wall Street officials. Three of the last four appointed Treasury Secretaries under President Obama have ties with CitiGroup Inc. We have every reason to believe that Hillary Clinton will follow in their footsteps.
In ending the corporate control of government is a top priority, Bernie Sanders truly is the best candidate.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]