Monday, February 1, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Iowa's Big Winner: Senator Bernie Sanders


...Iowa isn’t about who wins the most delegates; it is about who gains momentum and legitimacy. Whether he wins or loses in the final caucus count, Sanders is already assured of coming out of Iowa with momentum and legitimacy. The “fringe” candidate is for real. The prohibitive favorite has been pushed to the wall.

Divided Democrats

Final Quinnipiac Iowa poll gives Sanders slight edge: “…relying on first-time Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has 49 percent, with 46 percent for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton … Sanders tops Clinton 62 – 35 percent among Democratic first-timers, while Clinton leads 52 – 41 percent among voters who attended prior caucuses…”
Bernie “most on-message and disciplined of the candidates” says NYT: “Many parts of his one-hour crowd-pleasing speech come off as easy asides dropped into a serious discussion at the last minute. But everything, from the pithy recurring phrases to the thoughtfully placed pauses and seemingly folksy anecdotes are actually well-planned-out … it is especially striking to watch young people who go to hear Mr. Sanders, sit, rapt, without moving or texting.”
Hillary Clinton “upbeat” reports NYT: “Mrs. Clinton’s speech did not veer far from her usual script, but she delivered it with new enthusiasm, pouring 10 months of campaigning in Iowa into a single speech focused on rallying caucusgoers to her pitch as the Democratic candidate best suited to defeat the Republicans in the fall. ‘I want to keep making the case until the caucuses are over because I feel so strongly we can’t afford to make a mistake,’…”
“Labor For Bernie Is Booming In Iowa” says Larry Cohen in “…I have been stunned by the increasing excitement of working women and men as they volunteer in droves … This excitement cuts across unions and includes workers at the sandwich shop and hotel clerks. Six months ago writers stereotyped Sanders’ support as affluent and middle class…”
NYT’s Charles Blow talks to African-American Iowa caucusgoers: “…there existed a staggering level of ambivalence and absence of enthusiasm. A surprising number of people said that they were undecided and started an answer with the clause, ‘If I had to choose …'”
Iowa big test for Sanders, says TNR’s Jeer Heet: “Sanders … believes that … a move to the left would bring back into the Democratic fold demographic groups that have felt alienated by the party, particularly working-class whites, rural voters, and older voters … [Iowa] is overwhelmingly white and has a large student and rural population. If Sanders can win in Iowa based on a coalition of students and working-class (often rural) whites, then his revolution will have legs.”

Divided Republicans

Iowa Republicans decide between Cruz or Trump. Bloomberg: “The outcome in Iowa will come down to whether caucus-goers believe ‘strength’ or ‘purity’ is the better path to a Republican redemption … On Monday, Cruz will deliver his ‘purity’ sermon in Jefferson, Iowa, and complete his year-long odyssey to visit all 99 of the state’s counties. Trump will be in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, Iowa … his Iowa state co-chair, Tana Goertz, was spreading a familiar message … ‘Don’t waste your vote on a wimp.'”
Top GOP donors divide between Rubio and Cruz. NYT: “In the last six months of 2015, F.E.C. records show, a ‘super PAC’ backing Mr. Rubio raised $14.3 million, including $2.5 million each from the hedge fund founders Paul Singer and Ken Griffin … But the steady rise of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas … has unleashed a new counter-establishment of conservative donors, some from outside the universe of traditional Republican giving. They include wealthy evangelicals, libertarian businessmen, Israel hawks and others disenchanted by the party’s past nominees…”

Breakfast Sides

Rough road ahead for TPP, says American Prospect’s David Dayen: “This week, emissaries from 12 Pacific Rim countries will meet in New Zealand to sign off on the Trans-Pacific Partnership … The 12 nations must now ratify TPP … all the highest-profile candidates for president—Ted Cruz and Donald Trump on the right and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the left— have publicly opposed TPP … The administration is trying to sell the deal not only with flawed studies, but against the backdrop of troublesome news.”
Backlash in Nevada over solar power rates. Jacques Leslie in NYT: “Effective Jan. 1 … new tariffs will gradually increase until they triple monthly fees that solar users pay to use the electric grid and cut by three-quarters users’ reimbursements for feeding electricity into it … the 17,000 Nevada residents who were lured into solar purchases by state-mandated one-time rebates of up to $23,000 suddenly discovered that they were victims of a bait-and-switch … The outcry among solar users and providers has been so vehement that the commission has agreed to hold a hearing next week to reconsider…”

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