Hillary Clinton’s Giorgio Armani jacket cost $12,450, and in April during the New York primary campaign she delivered a speech on income inequality in America, the new poverty, the jobs that must be created. That revelation comes from the New York Post, and it marks the new look of a lecturer who collected a $325,000 fee for a public speech and considers herself already in the White House.
She’s not the Hillary of 2008, when she wore no designer clothes, and often repeated outfits. Then the race did not go well. Today, eight years later, it seems that things are going better, and therefore also the “presidential look” is to give the idea of a candidate who has already won. The New York Post is a rag, but, in the meantime, in recent days the news of the Armani jacket in combination with the speech about social injustices was distributed through blogs of different orientation, as yet another proof that Hillary is twofold, ambitious, distant from the common people and their problems, interested only in power.
If the idea of her strategists — who of course are also involved in the candidate’s look — was to confer her a “presidential” elegant look, the effect was the opposite. It is considered further evidence, according to the leftist voters and the multitude of detractors, that in any case Hillary does not represent them: She will not get their support or their vote. But do Hillary and her strategists want the support of the Democratic establishment? Or are they thinking of a path that cuts the left off to defeat Trump in November?
The Associated Press decision — on the eve of the primaries in California, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and New Mexico — to announce that Hillary has achieved the magic number of delegates, 2,383, needed to secure the nomination was a low blow against Bernie Sanders and his movement.
First, the announcement is based on the count of superdelegates — senior party officials, members of Congress, governors, etc. — who in droves, on the eve of the California Super Tuesday, suddenly decided to stand for Hillary. Not to mention that their “real” vote will be cast only at the convention, and that, therefore, between now and July 26, they might decide to vote for Bernie.
So now Clinton has 1,812 delegates and 571 superdelegates, while Sanders has 1,521 and 48 respectively. The timing is indecent. The announcement was made on purpose to discourage the part of the electorate that swings toward Bernie and, of course, likely reconsidered their decision, knowing that now the die is cast and that there is no more room for Sanders’ ambitions. The waiver, even of a non-significant group of pro-Bernie voters, could have helped deliver victory to Hillary, who, of course, hoped round off her Democratic race with a grand finale in the Golden State. On the other hand, a defeat there would have been a serious political blow.
So strategy to announce the achievement of the nomination suggests a coordinated move by the Clintonists, both in view of the Philadelphia convention and, above all, in view of the presidential elections in November. Hillary wants to bring over a large portion of the Sanders votes without having to come to terms with her rival. She will also reach an agreement with Sanders during the convention on the party platform. The 15 member committee that makes that decision has six Clinton supporters. Four are Debbie Wasserman Schultz — the Clinton supporter and chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee — or people chosen by her. And five will go to Sanders supporters (they are the philosopher and African American activist Cornel West; Keith Ellison, who is also black and the first Muslim elected to Congress; environmentalist Bill McKibben; Deborah Parker, a feminist and Native American activist; and James Zogby, an Arab Catholic of Lebanese background).
But this agreement could prove a congressional staging of little practical value, in the absence of a more broad and solid pact, primarily on the appointment of the vice-presidential candidate and the composition of the future government. The declaration of victory while the polls were still open indicates a candidate who takes a different path, centrist and moderate, in an attempt to block the road to Donald Trump, subtracting the votes within the Republican electorate that do not feel represented by the New York magnate. This path suits her. It is the classic Clintonist line to conquer the center. She will seek votes in the left, focusing on the novelty of a female president, challenged by the most misogynistic presidential candidate in American history.
It is a calculation that, perhaps, has its roots in the past, but in today’s America, it could prove to be wrong and suicidal. And it shows the extraordinary success achieved by Bernie Sanders, which is not ephemeral, but that interprets a new era, possibly long-term, of the political struggle in the U.S., between two sharply opposing ideas and visions, left and right, of the future of American society.
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