Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Outside-In Thinking

This week we take a look at how Bernie Sanders' role as an "outsider" in Washington D.C. is a hidden strength that many have overlooked--especially the mainstream corporate media and establishment political party members. First up, we look at how Independent voters will play a bigger role in this election than ever before.

Can “Outside-in Thinking” Provide the 
First Back-to-Back Democratic Presidents
 Since Kennedy-Johnson?

by Hugh Campbell

Looking at polling data from the point of view of an Independent plurality  which favors Bernie Sanders by 36% over Clinton, we can see it makes Sanders a likely winner against any Republican in November. It is risky for a party that shares only 30% of the electorate to ignore the decisive role that Independents play in choosing presidents. 

 The article Who's Spoiling Now? Polling Indicates That Democrats Underrate Sanders' Electability at Their Peril warns that Democratic voters flirt with peril by using their control over primaries at the front end of a defective run-off process to deny victory in November to the nation's preferred choice, Sanders. 

To win in 2016, Democratic primary voters need to vote strategically, based upon reliable information, in favor of the alliance with Independents that Sanders offers them. 

The polls' most optimistic message can be summarized in the mathematics of the Democratic primary. With 30 percent of the electorate expected to vote 2:1 for Clinton, Democrats provide Sanders half the votes he needs to win the primary. But since he leads Clinton by 36% among Independents, who are 43% of the electorate, he can gain another 14% if his Independent supporters will only deign to contaminate themselves by participating in the primary of the Democrats they otherwise disdain. 

You'd have to go back to 1836 to find a Democrat elected to succeed a two-term president from the same party, when voters elected Martin Van Buren to follow Andrew Jackson.
Bio: Hugh Campbell is a seasoned financial professional, currently providing subject matter expertise on a variety of regulatory topics, including the Dodd-Frank Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and overall compliance monitoring. Hugh has previously held positions as Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Chief Audit Executive (CAE) and Director of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance.
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Now we'll take a look at how Bernie sees himself as an "outsider" and what that can mean for the benefit of all Americans.

Book Review of Outsider in the White House
Outsider in the White House
By Bernie Sanders with Huck Gutman
Verso Books

They say the mark of integrity in a man is consistency. Bernie Sanders is the world's most consistent man.

It's 1996 and Bernie Sanders is running for Congress for a fifth time, but this time it's different. The Republicans are out for blood. Bernie has been making waves in Washington standing up for ordinary citizens, and the Republicans feel they must end this precedent of an Independent Congressman with progressive ideals. They throw millions of dollars at his Republican opponent Susan Sweetser. Sweetser hires a professional firm to create negative TV ads and mass mailings telling Vermonters essentially that Bernie is an evil socialist who isn't good for their state. 

All seems bleak, doesn't it? But Bernie Sanders isn't a quitter. He continues to campaign like he always has, attending parades and town hall meetings, shaking hands and listening to what the voters have to say. He'll admit that he's had some extremely close races in the past. In fact, he won his first bid to be mayor of Burlington by a whole ten votes! His first run for Congress wasn't easy, either, but hese hard-won victories have taught him a lesson: Stay the course, and keep your constituents and their concerns foremost in your mind.

Of course, Bernie regained his seat in 1996. Outspent and out-advertised, he won it handedly over Sweetser and her wealthy backers. How? Simply put, the mud Sweetser slung at Bernie didn't stick. Vermonters didn't believe a word of it and felt insulted anyone would try such a low-handed tactic. After all, they knew who the real Bernie Sanders is, a man who keeps his word and fights for what he believes in without resorting to negativity and mudslinging, always doing his best to help his fellow man. The voters were too smart to fall for the lies of an expensive, slick ad campaign based on the empty promises of the Republicans.

Outsider in the White House is a second edition of Bernie Sanders' 1997 book Outsider in the House, but its contents are more relevant than ever. The first part of this edition shows how much of a scrapper the senator from Vermont is, how tough a campaigner, no matter how great the odds or the dirty tactics his opponents use. As the only Independent in the House--and now the Senate--he's fought hard to be taken seriously by his fellow legislators and has made friends in both major parties. Neither Republican nor Democrat, Bernie has been able to use his outsider status to form alliances for the benefit of the American people, one recent noteworthy cross-aisle alliance being his work with Sen. John McCain to improve veterans' access to health care. 

The second part of the book Bernie tells us how he sees America's challenges. Remember, this book was written in 1997. You'd assume he's changed his positions somewhat, right? Wrong! Bernie Sanders is still talking about our growing income inequality between the workers and the CEOs, America's loss of jobs due to NAFTA (and now the threat of TPP), the need for universal health care, the crisis in our educational system and the necessity of protecting our environment. He even warned us in '97 about the corporate media and how a handful of billionaires can dictate information we receive as they deem fit, preventing the American electorate from becoming knowledgeable and informed voters.

On page 279 he warns us that we're in danger of becoming an oligarchy, where only the rich are represented and their wants and desires catered to at the expense of working Americans. Eighteen years later, this very nightmare has come true in the 2008 mortgage crisis and in the form of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. Why oh why didn't we listen to Bernie earlier?

A foreword by Bernie and an afterword by John Nichols bring the narrative up to the present day, detailing the excitement and enthusiasm generated by Bernie's run for the White House. Bernie's desire to help all Americans live healthy, peaceful and productive lives  explodes from the page and is contagious. You can't help but cheer "Yes! Go Bernie!" after every point he makes.

Integrity, consistency, positivity and honesty attract voters. Lucky for us, Bernie Sanders possesses these characteristics in abundance. To become a part of his "future to believe in", read Outsider in the White House and get out and vote in your state's Democratic primary in the coming weeks. You--and all of America--will be glad you did.

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Finally, some comments by a supporter who's definitely on the "inside" with Bernie...

I listen to Bernie, and I love his message. He is my candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. My name is Marc, and I am from Massachusetts, and I voted for Charlie Baker.

As someone who in the past has worked on Republican political campaigns, I want to share with you my opinion. Please have Bernie focus on the senior citizen vote, the African-American voter who remembers Bill Clinton's crime bills, and immigration!

Good Luck!
And go Bernie!
Marc Wells


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Nate Silver: I believe Hillary Clinton is not “electable” and Sanders will be the one standing there saying “I told you so.”

    “We’ve got an unpopular set of presidential candidates this year– Bernie Sanders is the only candidate in either party with a net-positive favorability rating — but Trump is the most unpopular of all. His favorability rating is 33 percent, as compared with an unfavorable rating of 58 percent, for a net rating of -25 percentage points.

    By comparison Hillary Clinton, whose favorability ratings are notoriously poor, has a 42 percent favorable rating against a 50 percent unfavorable rating, for a net of -8 points. Those are bad numbers, but nowhere near as bad as Trump’s.”

    The economy and terrorism will be closely associated with Hillary Clinton in quite a few ways. Senator Bernie Sanders is an outsider and not as associated with the economy and what’s going on overseas. Many of his plans and ideas, such as breaking up the big banks, will soften up these financial panics which are bound to happen.

    My personal thought is the only way to win against Trump is with Bernie Sanders.


  3. Bernie has worked inside the DC system for years. He's great at building consensus among disparate parties. We must give him the Congress he requires to drive through genuine change for the people of this country and the world.


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