Bernie in Maddow interview: DNC’s pro-Clinton deck is “outrageously” stacked against us (Video)
I was never a huge Rachel Maddow fan. Used to read Steve Benen’s Maddow Blog daily, though, until his in-the-tank-for-Clinton rhetoric drove me away. Rachel made some effort in this interview with Bernie Sanders at his Vermont home to stifle whatever pro-Clinton bias she has, though (suddenly, as a clear Clinton backer, MSNBC has the Fox problem of being forced to appear “fair and balanced”). Of course, this is the same Rachel Maddow who mocked Bernie’s path to the nomination and told detractors where to send their hate mail, so . . . you decide, I guess. She’s in the Clinton camp, but for the sake of “real” journalism and scoring the interview, behaved herself fairly well.
Maddow started the interview by telling Bernie Sanders that she would have gone to Guam to meet with him – and she tended toward the respectful during the course of the interview.
We think we’ve got a shot in West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon, which are the next three states . . . I think we have a good chance to win California . . . we’re going to fight as hard as we can to win the largest state in this country . . . we are going to spend a modest amount of money in West Virginia and in Kentucky on ads . . . we would like to win a majority of the remaining states. And by the way, if we do that, it is possible that we can end up having won half of the states in this country, some 25 states . . . .
He acknowledged that it is a very steep climb to get the pledged delegate majority, and when she asked what he’d do if he doesn’t have a pledged delegate majority after DC, he responded,
We’re going into the convention . . . if we do not win the majority of pledged delegates . . . we will go into the convention with who knows, 45, 48, 49% of the pledged delegates . . . and if that happens we’re going to wage a very vigorous fight at the convention for a progressive agenda . . . I think we can win those fights . . . .
Maddow mentioned his letter to the DNC in which he said he feels like he is being underrepresented, but Bernie denied that it was just a “feeling,” saying,
. . . That is the objective fact. I think she [Wasserman-Schultz] selected 3 of our delegates and I believe the total number is 60 there. What we want is a fair representation at the convention. We want our people to be in a position to help shape the document of the Democratic platform and the Democratic party. When we have 3 delegates and Clinton and the Democratic establishment have far far more than that, that is simply unfair and we don’t accept that . . . .
As for the “or else” tone of his letter, Bernie was clear:
We will use the rules of the Democratic convention to make certain that there is a vigorous debate on the important issues facing the American people . . . right now the deck is outrageously stacked against us . . . .
If he doesn’t get sufficient delegates, his fight at the convention is two-pronged:
. . . Let me say this in terms of the nomination, we’re going to try to get the majority of pledged delegates . . . but we’re also going to appeal to super delegates . . . well over 400 of the super delegates who are supporting Clinton today came on board her campaign before I was even in the race, before the first vote was cast . . . take a look at the polling, national polling . . . in virtually every instance Bernie Sanders does better against Trump than Hillary Clinton . . . you’re gonna need independents to win the general election . . . we are going to make that point to the super delegates.
Asked whether the Democratic party should get rid of super delegates, Bernie said what many of us think – that the super delegates have too much power:
I don’t know if you get rid of super delegates . . . I think there is a role for established people to play. But as I mentioned a moment ago, it is absurd that you have 400 establishment Democrats on board Hillary Clinton’s campaign before anybody else was in the race . . . that stacks the deck in a very very unfair way for any establishment candidate and against the wishes of the people . . . we’re gonna think it through. There should be a role for super delegates . . . today they have much too much power and it makes it very difficult for an insurgence campaign . . . .
Maddow’s questions were good, and Bernie’s responses were clear and concise.
Well, here it is – take a gander (#FeeltheBern):