Feeling The Bern

I’ll admit I’m not big on conspiracy theories. I can accept that Oswald killed JFK even though I find it hard to believe that that little peckerwood could hit the side of a barn within spitting distance with an automatic weapon.

But I digress.

What has me fired up this morning is the aftermath of the fiasco in Iowa during the Democratic caucus. I’m still feeling the Bern — but I wonder if this isn’t the first attempt by the Democratic National Committee to make sure that Bernie doesn’t get the nomination.

Put yourself in the shoes of the establishment elite who make up the bulk of the DNC and who hold the power positions in government, media, businesses and nonprofits in DC and NYC.

Would they like to see a nominee who is a declared Democratic Socialist? Or would they be more comfortable with one of their own? Let’s say a Joe Biden or a Mike Bloomberg.

Here’s from Mark Penn, a talking head on Fox News:

First, in an era of PACS and social media the very concept of starting in a small test market no longer makes sense. These are national campaigns with televised debates and significant budgets; the early primaries should rotate so no region has an advantage and so that the voters in the early primaries are broadly representative of the Democratic primary electorate.
Second, the method used to run the caucuses is inherently suspect. You need to have lots of time to show up to spend hours in the caucus. The screening of who votes has always been loose and the counting of the votes somewhat suspect.

Hillary Clinton always believed that the results of the Iowa caucus, which she lost to Barack Obama in 2008, were unfair but she had no way to check the count nor question the results. All she could do was move on. Most caucuses only get about one-fourth of the vote of primaries.

And third, the demographics of those involved are far from typical. Polling of those participating in the caucuses on Monday night found that 58 percent were women, 96 percent were white and they were overwhelmingly liberal.

The Iowa caucuses are one of the reasons that the Democratic Party is tilted away from diversity and away from moderate candidates as everyone vies for an upset victory.

As to the results, that as of this writing, have not been revealed officially, we have heard that three candidates — former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — all did well compared to the other candidates.

If this holds up this would be a significant result and a big victory for the left of the party, which typically has been dominant in the Iowa caucus.

Moderate votes would have shifted from former Vice President Biden to Mayor Pete. If this is the case, Sen. Amy Klobuchar would not have gotten the vote she claimed in her eloquent “victory” speech on Monday night.

It’s been clear for a while that there are two basic lanes in the party right now — the moderate lane and the left lane and that we can expect one candidate from each lane to make it to the end and battle it out at the convention.

Obviously this is the result billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg needed if he was going to have a chance to carve out more than a niche in the Democratic Party.

So it appears that Joe Biden dodged a big bullet last night, which might of saved his campaign.

But what about Bernie? His polling numbers before the actual voting debacle had him solidly in the lead. So inquiring minds (at least mine) want to know if this was just a predictable result based on the ineptness of Iowa Democratic Party leaders. (Most I take it are old and white, which means, based on personal experience, that most would not have any clue how to use a telephone app. I digress.) Or could this be, and dare I say it, the first of many attempts to deny Bernie the nomination?

The Dems in Iowa say they will release the official results later today. In the meantime, here’s from an email from Bernie’s campaign that I received this morning:

Rob –

Last night was a bad night for democracy, for the Democratic Party, and for the people of Iowa.

But because you have done so much for this campaign, and in the interest of full transparency as we wait for the Iowa Democratic Party to release results, we want to share the numbers that we have at this moment:

As a result of an extraordinary grassroots campaign, fueled by thousands of volunteers who knocked on hundreds of thousands of doors, our internal results sent to us by precinct captains around the state indicate that with close to 60% of the vote in, we have a comfortable lead. Our numbers also show Pete Buttigieg is currently in second, followed by Elizabeth Warren, then Amy Klobuchar and Joe Biden.

Let me reiterate that these are unofficial results, but we wanted to share them to let you know we feel very good about where we are at right now as we head to New Hampshire.

Okay. I’m still feeling the Bern. And I’m going to continue to contribute small amounts to both his campaign and to Tulsi. (Hillary appears to hate her with a passion. That’s a good enough endorsement for me.)

I’d like to see a campaign in the fall where the candidates at the top of the ticket are not for sale.

Of course that depends in large part on Bernie getting a fair shake this time around from the establishment DNC and the other power brokers who control much of what happens in DC and NYC.

As far as conspiracy theories go, it doesn’t look like we are off to a very good start.



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Rob Jewell

I’m Rob Jewell and I live and write in Woodland Park, Colorado, the City Above the Clouds. I've been fortunate. I worked for 29 years at BFGoodrich in Akron, Ohio. I started editing employee publications and ended as vice president of corporate communications. Then I started a public relations consulting company before becoming a full-time faculty member in the School of Journalism at Kent State University. I taught courses in writing, public relations and mass communication ethics. And I supervised a student-run public relations firm, called Flash Communications. During my tenure at Kent State I was honored to receive the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award. During most of this time I've been a dedicated runner. OK, jogger, if you take speed into consideration. But while my times are not much to write about, I was and am committed. For almost 30 years I ran at least 1,000 miles each year. (Except for one year when I tore my calf muscle playing tennis. So much for tennis.) Being on the road most mornings at 5 a.m. gave me some time to think. It also led to some amazing friendships that now span more than three decades. And my longtime love affair with running helped me shape my first novel, Then We Ran, which is available wherever electronic books are sold. And just so you don't think that all I did was work and run, I have other interests as well, many centering on family. My wife, Mary, was a successful and highly regarded career teacher in the Akron public schools. She now devotes her time and energy to a host of social and athletic activities in Woodland Park. My son, Brian, teaches at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs where he is also the head soccer coach. And my daughter, Jessica, has completed her doctorate at Kent State University where she is also an administrator with the Wick Poetry Center. I've done a lot of writing during my career -- but Jessica is the real writer in the family. I'll try not to make too many errors in this blog. I'm sure she'll be watching.

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