Today’s paragraphs come to us from the latest commentary of Tim Alberta, the Chief Political Correspondent at politico.com.
They concern the difference between the Democrat Party’s primary-season structure in 2016 and the one it is dealing with today:
In 2016, Hillary Clinton was served the Democratic presidential nomination on a silver platter. With a monopoly on the left’s biggest donors and top strategists, with the implicit backing of the incumbent president, with the consensus support of the party’s most prominent officials, and with only four challengers standing in her way—the most viable of whom had spent the past quarter-century wandering the halls of Congress alone muttering under his breath—Clinton couldn’t lose. The ascendant talents on the left knew better than to interfere. She had already been denied her turn once before; daring to disrupt the party’s line of succession would be career suicide.
This coronation yielded one of the weakest general-election nominees in modern American history—someone disliked and distrusted by more than half of the electorate, someone guided by a sense of entitlement rather than a sense of urgency, someone incapable of mobilizing the party’s base to defeat the most polarizing and unpopular Republican nominee in our lifetimes.
Democrats don’t have to worry about another coronation. Instead, with two dozen candidates battling for the right to challenge Trump next November, they are dealing with the opposite problem: a circus.
Three days after the maelstrom in Miami, top Democratic officials insist there’s no sense of panic. They say everything is under control. They tell anyone who will listen that by virtue of the rules and debate qualification requirements they’ve implemented, this mammoth primary field will soon shrink in half, which should limit the internecine destruction and hasten the selection of a standard-bearer. But based on conversations with candidates and campaign operatives, it might be too late for that. The unifying objective of defeating Trump in 2020 likely won’t be sufficient to ward off what everyone now believes will be a long, divisive primary.
The only thing Mr. Alberta left out (though it is somewhat implied): 2016’s primary process was completely rigged in Clinton’s favor….which could have been accompanied with the fact that just about every place Ms. Clinton has ever gotten in her public life was either pre-assured or rigged in some way.
That aside, I award Tim Alberta Paragraphs Of The Day honors for stating the realities of 2016 and 2020 just about perfectly.