Clinton as Nominee is Presumptuous Indeed

By | 6/06/2016 Leave a Comment

The mainstream media is all but tripping over itself in anticipation of the likely announcement on Tuesday that Hillary Clinton will be officially named the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party.

When New Jersey’s results eventually come in they’re expected to push Clinton’s delegate total over the 2,383 needed to claim the nomination. But even though voting will still be in progress in the night’s biggest prize – California – the media is nevertheless planning to blast the airwaves and internet with the news of her coronation as soon as the East Coast is done counting.

But regardless of the ethical or moral implications of such a move, the fact is Clinton will still not have the requisite number of pledged delegates by the end of the evening and consequently will be unable to lay claim to the nomination, despite whatever spin she and the media may choose to put on the results.

This, of course, is because the delegate number that the media is so fond of using in its calculations includes superdelegates – party officials, current and former members of congress and various other party elites – who will not be able to vote (pledge) until the July convention in Philadelphia.

As might be expected, there are many voices – especially among the DNC and Clinton campaign staff – who attempt to drown out that reality by noting that it's extremely unlikely that enough superdelegates would change their minds over the next several weeks to tip the scale in favor of Bernie Sanders, especially considering he currently trails her in both pledged delegates and the popular vote. But that, of course, would not be a fact, merely a “presumption.”

But here is a fact: Hillary Clinton carries with her a great deal of baggage. She is currently under investigation by the FBI over the use of her private email server; she adamantly refuses to release the transcripts of her highly lucrative speeches to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street investment bankers; she faces continued allegations over unsavory and suspicious donations made to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state; and her handling of the Benghazi tragedy continues to raise questions about her integrity and lack of transparency.

And that’s without getting into any of the Clinton family's past scandals and controversies.

With such a laundry list of liabilities and pending judgments dragging on her candidacy, there is no reason at all to discount the idea that circumstances might necessitate or even dictate a reassessment of voting intentions by many superdelegates currently aligned with Clinton.

The upshot:

The DNC has been steadfast in its vigorous defense of the highly undemocratic use of superdelegates in its nomination process, claiming that the rules are the rules and everyone knew what they were before getting into the race.

However, in their desperate desire to wrap up the process and anoint their candidate of choice, they would now prefer to ignore certain specifics within those rules – namely, that as of now superdelegates are unpledged, unofficial votes and will continue to be until the convention rolls around.

But that, of course, won’t stop them or the mainstream media from referring to the “presumptive Democratic nominee” as simply the “Democratic nominee,” however presumptuous that might be.

*Update: 6/7/2016

As it turned out, the media simply couldn’t wait. On Monday night, after conducting interviews with a number of undeclared superdelegates, the Associated Press projected that Clinton had secured enough additional backing to reach the 2,383 delegate threshold to become the presumptive nominee.

Doubtless a considerable amount of arm-twisting was going on behind the scenes in order to persuade those superdelegates to publicly back her now in an attempt to blunt Sanders’ momentum going into today’s race in California. The loss of the biggest electoral prize in the contest would provide considerable embarrassment on a day that was intended to portray her as the party’s clear winner. The final results there, however, remain to be seen.  

And as expected – and predicted in this article’s upshot summary – the mainstream media are now referring to Clinton as the Democratic nominee rather than the “presumptive” Democratic nominee. Here’s a sampling of today’s headlines:

CNN: Hillary Clinton clinches Democratic presidential nomination
Reuters: Clinton clinches nomination before last Democratic races
The New York Times: Clinton Clinches Delegates for Nomination
USA Today: Hillary Clinton clinches nomination
MSNBC: Hillary Clinton clinches the nomination
The Wall Street Journal: Clinton Secures Delegates Needed for Nomination

Declaring that Clinton has already secured the nomination is akin describing an engaged couple as married before they’ve even reached the altar. And remember – there’s always the possibility that either one may change their minds.

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