Robert Borosage explores the meaning for progressives of Bernie Sanders’ resounding popular-vote win in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary and the political jockeying in the contests ahead.
In this one-hour discussion sponsored by the Public Leadership Institute on Wednesday, Borosage said that the last two primaries not only reveal the potency of the issues Sanders is raising, but open up questions about Clinton’s electability in a general election that had been directed at Sanders.
“Clinton comes out of Hew Hampshire and Iowa with real problems,” Borosage says, most critically because “she has made herself in many ways the candidate of continuity, wrapping herself in Obama at a time when voters generally and Democrats particularly want significant change.”
“For Sanders the challenge is clear,” Borosage adds: getting past the “gatekeepers” in the next series of primary states who have allied themselves with Clinton. “He is going to have to find a way to get a hearing for his message. I think there is little doubt that if he can get a hearing, his message will get traction in those communities.”
“He’s got a long way to go there, and it remains to be seen if he gets there,” he said. But the oft-discussed “firewall” in states like South Carolina that is supposed to protect Clinton’s march to the nomination from the Sanders insurgency “may be more permeable than we think.”