UPDATE: The final tally gives Hillary→ back that 0.3 percent “victory”.
It’s past midnight now in Iowa, which means it’s now Groundhog Day. Formerly-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary→* Clinton has to feel like she’s watching 2008 play out all over again as some unknown senator comes at her from the left and steals her guaranteed Iowa coronation.
As I write this, Hillary→ Clinton is up 49.9 percent to Bernie Sanders’ 49.6 percent, or as the Clinton News Network, CNN, reports it, Hillary→ is winning 50 percent to 49 percent, because they round down at .6 over at CNN when it makes Hillary→ look better.
Hillary→ has given her victory speech. She was probably counseled to not specifically announce that she had “won” Iowa, since 0.3 percent is well within the margin of error. The last thing this candidate who 60 percent of Americans believe is not “honest and trustworthy” needs is to get caught stretching the truth again. She instead issued a “sigh of relief”, a clever way to position herself as a “winner” of Iowa without saying so.
(While I was writing this, new results came in with Hillary→ at 49.8 and Bernie at 49.6, but at least CNN has updated their graphic to show both at 50 percent. So, down now to a 0.2 percent lead.)
The only “sigh of relief” she should be issuing is that Martin O’Malley stayed in the race. More of his supporters would choose Bernie Sanders if it had been a two-candidate race, and it would have been Bernie with the margin-of-error “win” in Iowa tonight.
While Hillary→ was trying to play the George W. Bush Florida Card from 2000 (call a statistical tie a “win” to set the frame that the other guy’s a sore loser), Bernie Sanders wasn’t playing any games and honestly admitted the two of them were “in a virtual tie”. Maybe that’s why the same poll that shows 3 in 5 Americans don’t trust Hillary→ shows that just about 3 in 5 Americans do trust Bernie, the best “honest and trustworthy” rating of any candidate from any party.
Bernie’s humility masks what was an incredible win tonight. Bernie had only polled in the single digits in Iowa at the beginning of the campaign. He faced off against the biggest fundraising machine politics has ever produced, backing the favored candidate of the Democratic Party establishment, the presumptive nominee with the most impressive résumé of any candidate in recent memory, and the cultural importance of electing the first female president.
And he fought her to a tie. Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist septuagenarian Brooklyn Jew from lily-white rural Vermont who promises to raise taxes, cut defense, and fight for free education and health care, used $27 average donations from 3.5 million individual donors to draw equal support from Iowa caucus-goers as a billionaire-supported multi-millionaire with celebrity name recognition third only to Oprah and Beyoncé.
— ege (@kemmyege) February 2, 2016
While Hillary→ was sighing, Bernie was the candidate who was addressing the problems of criminal justice and the need for reforms. With the FBI probing her use of a private email server and retention of Top Secret information upon it, I can understand why Hillary→ doesn’t want the public thinking too much about the criminal justice system she may soon be embroiled within.
Hillary→ Clinton’s time has passed. People from both parties, especially younger voters, are disaffected with all politics. The Sanders/Trump outsider phenomenon has happened because, as I wrote on Huffington Post, “It’s the Rigged System, Stupid”. This is the era of tolerance for gay marriage and legal weed; it took until 2013 for Hillary→ to “evolve” her support of the former and my colleagues Anthony Johnson and Romain Bonilla can tell you all about her terrible positions on the latter.
Hillary→ Clinton breathing a “sigh of relief” for winning Iowa by 0.2 percent over Bernie Sanders is like Apollo Creed celebrating his 15-round split-decision over Rocky Balboa; the fight should’ve never gone that far. New Hampshire’s next, and we all remember how Rocky II turned out.
* I refer to her as “Hillary→” because she was so thoughtful to put her political leanings into her campaign logo, it’s only fitting to remind everyone.