Last night in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders achieved a resounding and historic win. Bernie became the first Jew to win the state, and by the widest margin of any Democrat in the last 56 years. A great and impressive win, and although I am firmly behind Clinton to be our next president, you will not find sour grapes, bitterness, or attempts to minimize what Bernie accomplished. Good for Bernie.
Good for Hillary. She got in there and fought for it. She worked hard to contest an election that we knew from the beginning would be a loss for her. She didn’t quit. And even with the loss, like Iowa, she walks away with 2 more delegates than Bernie.
Great for Hillary. It’s not fun to lose. But there is a lot to look at in the numbers out of New Hampshire that looks great for Clinton in the general election. Clinton pulled nearly as many votes as the Republican winner. And although Bernie drew over 140,000 votes in a great performance, 72% of voters voted for someone else. While Sanders has done well in the first two states where Republican voters have participated in greater numbers than Democrats, Clinton split those that identified as Democrats. These are clear indicators that a) the majority of people want someone other than the Republican front runner, and b) that Clinton can pull as many votes as anyone on the Republican side. In a one on one in the general, this looks very good for Clinton.
Clinton did everything right. She needed to get in there and fight for votes. She needed to show that she would work for voters even if they had differing opinions or preferred other candidates. She needed to stand up for herself against the ongoing smears and crass characterizations. She needed to look supporters, doubters, and opponents squarely in the eye and address their questions and concerns. And she did.
Now moving forward, this is no longer about Hillary versus Bernie. This is about Hillary and the voters. This is about what Democrats, led by Clinton, will do for the American people and the country. This is about taking the successes of the last 8 years and not only protecting them, but building on them. This is about taking the strategy employed by Obama to move things forward, and pushing the envelope to accomplish even more. This is now about specifics, about what exactly Democrat priorities will be, about the first hundred days.
So good for Bernie. Great for Hillary. Now it is time to look ahead to what exactly we are going to do to move forward with our agenda, to define clearly what the second step will be after Hillary’s first step into the oval office.