Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a near lock on the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, yet Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her only rival, continues to campaign hard from the rear, winning primary races, whipping up crowds and ignoring calls for him to drop out in the interest of party unity.
I’m sure she can relate. Eight years ago at this time, Clinton was the die-hard rival who refused to quit in the face of near mathematical certainty that Barack Obama would be the Democratic nominee.
She was the one who, like Sanders, was pointing to polling data suggesting that, despite her opponent’s lead, she was the most likely winner in November against the Republican nominee.
“The White House is won in the swing states, and I am winning the swing states,” she told her supporters after clobbering her opponent in the West Virginia primary on the second Tuesday in May 2008, just as Sanders clobbered her on the second Tuesday in May 2016. “This race isn’t over yet. Neither of us has the total delegates it takes to win.”
Clinton today is not directly calling on Sanders to withdraw, but subtly turning the focus on her campaign to the fall, just as, on May 16, 2008, Obama challenged Republican nominee John McCain to a foreign policy debate.