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Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton raised eyebrows by cattily advising erstwhile rival Bernie Sanders to “follow the rules” in the 2020 primary, ignoring how her own failure to do so in 2016 netted her the nomination.
“Let’s follow the rules, we had rules last time, we have rules this time,” the two-time Democratic candidate told ABC with a cackle on Tuesday, referring derisively to Sanders’ complaints about superdelegates, the DNC-appointed convention VIPs who aren’t bound by the will of their constituents.
I think it’s always a good idea to follow the rules.
Clinton somehow managed to memory-hole the acrimonious 2016 Democratic primary contest, in which the Democratic National Committee engaged in a plethora of dirty tricks to deliver the nomination to Clinton on a silver platter.
Sanders supporters in multiple states sued the DNC for disenfranchising them when the details of just how rigged the primary had been were made public via internal DNC emails published by WikiLeaks. They accused the party of favoring Clinton and ignoring the people’s will, only to be told that the DNC could “go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way” if they so chose because there was no obligation to remain neutral.
The “rules” agreed after Clinton lost in 2016 were a compromise that failed to satisfy Sanders and those who felt he’d been cheated out of the nomination by the party elites – a conspiracy documented in the leaked DNC emails. Instead of banning superdelegates, the party agreed to restrict them to the second ballot at the convention, meaning a candidate would have to sweep the primaries with an insurmountable delegate lead to avoid them. During last month’s primary debate, Sanders alone among the candidates called for the winner of the popular vote to become the nominee, while his rivals were willing to leave it up to the party elite.
The Democratic primary trainwreck of 2016 has been a hot topic of conversation in 2020, making Clinton’s “rules” dodge even more brazen. President Donald Trump himself has accused the DNC of trying to steal the nomination from Sanders again, and Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel was rebuked to her face on Tuesday when she suggested to former DNC vice-chair Donna Brazile that the nomination would be stolen from Sanders at the 2020 convention.
Brazile infamously admitted in 2017 that she had helped rig the primary in Clinton’s favor while at the DNC, but all she had to say to McDaniel was “go to hell.” Apparently, primary-rigging had transformed in the intervening four years from appalling reality to “Russian talking points.”
Twitter had a lot to say about Clinton’s chutzpah, starting with naming some of the rules she’d broken – including funding her campaign through donations meant to fill the party’s coffers.
Others pointed out that it was Clinton herself who’d been crowing about the sanctity of the popular vote when she’d beaten Trump by that measure in 2016, but lost in the electoral college.
But some saw it as a prediction of what was to come at the convention, which has already been stacked with Clinton loyalists – including her former campaign director John Podesta, whose hacked emails helped reveal the plot to steal the primary.
The former first lady came out with a few more howlers, urging voters to “be more understanding and realistic about what it takes to get change in this big complicated pluralistic democracy of ours.”