No one should be surprised Hillary Clinton won the New York primary. She was embraced by New Yorkers who first elected her senator in 2000 and reelected her in 2006 by a wide margin. As a born-and-raised New Yorker I wasn’t surprised. New York has a penchant for electing smart, strong, dynamic people to represent it. New Yorkers aren’t worried about where you were born they are more concerned with what you stand for and if you can keep up with them.
It is a state with widely varying interests, strengths and problems. Many would say the differences between New York City and upstate are too great to bring them together in support of one person. Because of those differences only a wise and strong candidate can win support across the state. Hillary is that candidate.
With her big win Hillary now has 2.7 million more actual votes than Sanders and a lead of 250 delegates. Next Tuesday, the primaries in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, in which Hillary has big leads, will put the final nail in Sanders’ chances of winning the nomination; it will be game, set, match. At that time Sanders will have to decide if and why he would keep going. If he continues, let’s hope he stops doing the work of Republicans attacking Clinton.
Hillary wins because she listens to people and doesn’t talk at them. She always understood you start with a principle you believe in, learn from others what they believe and what they want and then craft policies and solutions in keeping with your own principles and goals but helping others to also achieve their goals. It sounds simple but few people, especially politicians, can accomplish it.
For some in political life pragmatism and compromise have become dirty words. But our Founding Fathers set up a government that requires both. Through the system of checks and balances our Constitution made it clear no one person or branch of government was ever going to be in full control. Looking at our history and how far we have come we know making change is a slow, grueling process. It took the Civil War to end slavery and massive negotiations to amend the Constitution to extend voting rights to African Americans and still today some are trying to turn back the clock. We have yet to include women in the Constitution failing to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and we are feeling the backlash against the progress made by the LGBT community.
Voters will reject the far left and far right and elect a progressive pragmatist and the first woman president — a candidate with experience, proven success and a record of fighting for progressive policies and the human and civil rights of all.
Contrary to the Sanders campaign rhetoric, Hillary is winning every state that looks like the Democratic Party, which represents the diversity of the nation. So while Bernie may not drop out yet the time has come for him to tamp down his apparently natural inclinations to be sarcastic, negative and invoke sexism against opponents.
Ego is difficult to contain, especially when thousands of people come out to your rallies and buy into your shtick about free college and single payer healthcare without understanding it won’t happen even if you are elected. Sanders has waited his whole life, nearly 75 years, for his 15 minutes of fame. He now has it and is making the most of it. But he needs to face reality, tone down the attacks against Hillary and remind his supporters that keeping a Republican out of the White House has to be the ultimate goal.
Sanders can be proud he moved the Democratic Party toward his positions. He brought the issue of income inequality to the forefront of political discourse and we should all be grateful for that. But after his loss in New York, his disastrous New York Daily News editorial board interview, his positions on Israel and gun control, he will never be elected president.
Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBT rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.