It’s not been a great night for former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who is losing the New Hampshire primary to Vermont senator Bernie Sanders by a margin of more than 20%.
Though there’s reason to believe that Clinton will bounce back in the Nevada caucuses on February 20 and the South Carolina primary on February 27, there’s one low-hanging piece of fruit that she could pluck that might instantly boost her campaign’s chances. It’s a policy that could attract Sanders supporters, emphasize the historic nature of her candidacy to become the first female president of the United States and put the eventual Republican presidential nominee on the defensive, all at once.
It’s paid parental leave — and the United States is one of the few countries in the developed world that doesn’t guarantee it. The OECD average is 17 weeks of maternity leave, the United Kingdom offers 39 weeks, Mexico offers six weeks, and many European countries offer far more to both mothers and fathers (though not always paid at 100% of one’s income):
It’s hard to compare one primary contest to another.
Each race has its own dynamics, and the 2008 contest among then-senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards was as different from this year’s race as the 2000 election between vice president Al Gore and former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley.
But if there’s one thing that we can compare, it’s the margin of victory between the first-placed candidate and the second-placed candidate. Exit polls showed that 12% more of the electorate considered themselves ‘liberal’ than the 2008 Democratic electorate, for example, an effect of growing political polarization that surely boosted Vermont senator Bernie Sanders into landslide territory.
If you had a sense of deja vu to former president Bill Clinton’s weekend harangue against Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, it’s understandable.
The attack was reminiscent of Clinton’s bristling criticisms of then-senator Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination contest, when Obama upset Clinton’s wife Hillary Clinton, who is running again for the nomination against Sanders, a septuagenarian democratic socialist. Sanders essentially tied Clinton in last week’s Iowa caucuses and is projected to win tomorrow’s New Hampshire primary.
But Clinton’s remarks are also eerily reminiscent of the attacks that former British prime minister Tony Blair mounted against the insurgent candidate of the hard left, Jeremy Corbyn, when it looked like Corbyn, another elderly socialist, might win the Labour Party’s leadership last summer. Continue reading Why Bill Clinton’s attack on Sanders won’t work→
It’s not often that I write about American politics because there are already so many pundits doing it, and the comparative advantage of a website like Suffragio lies in deeper analysis of global electoral politics and foreign policy informed by that analysis.
But we’re now just over three weeks away from the most competitive Republican presidential nomination contest in memory, and we’re six months into the era of Trumpismo. For what it’s worth, no one knows exactly how the spring nominating process will end because there are so many variables — and you shouldn’t trust anyone who says otherwise.
Still, we’re not on Mars and, while there are certainly new factors in 2016 that matter more than ever, there is deep precedential value from prior contests.