Late Night Schadenfreude Open Thread: Sandernistas in Disarray!

I’m a small, petty person rooted in Irish-American grievance culture; of course I’m enjoying this…

After a pair of setbacks this week — the acrimonious shakeup of his staff in New Hampshire on Sunday and loss of the Working Families Party’s endorsement to Elizabeth Warren a day later — Sanders’ allies and former aides are worried that recent disappointments are not one-off stumbles but rather emblematic of larger problems in his bid for the White House. The concerns are particularly acute in New Hampshire.

“Seeing the campaign not be able to outshine Warren with WFP progressives doesn’t have me questioning WFP’s process,” said Rafael Shimunov, a former national creative director for WFP and 2016 Sanders volunteer. “It has me questioning where the Bernie campaign could have done better, because I want to make sure the strongest candidate unmasks Biden and unseats Trump.”

The worries come as the campaign enters a critical, more urgent phase. After Labor Day, more voters typically tune in to an election and begin to make up their minds. Expectations for Sanders are sky-high, especially in New Hampshire, where he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 22 percentage points…

Jeff Weaver, a top Sanders adviser, told POLITICO that numerous rank-and-file members in the WFP support Sanders and that his ground game in New Hampshire and other early states is strong. The Sanders campaign says it has 14 times as many identified voters in the Granite State than it had at this time in 2016 and it is doubling his field staff there from 26 to 50 employees. He said the campaign’s national and states staff are in daily contact, and that he has a regular “states call” in which he asks his aides across the country to be honest about the problems they’re seeing…

[Professional cynics point out that Tad Devine jumped ship on Sanders, but Comic Book Guy / Best Bernie Bud Weaver seems determined to hang on to the bitter end. Some of these professionals say that Weaver’s loyalty is… not necessarily the best for the Sanders campaign.]

Sanders’ top brass told Joe Caiazzo, his New Hampshire state director, that he was being reassigned on Thursday. Around the same time, the Sanders team also parted ways with Kurt Ehrenberg, a well-respected liberal activist in the state. Though the campaign had days to prepare a media rollout of the staff changes, the news broke on Sunday shortly after Sanders’ aides told his state steering committee that Caiazzo would be shipped off to be Massachusetts state director.

By that point, members of the committee were going public with their concerns. POLITICO spoke with nearly a dozen current and former Sanders advisers and allies, some of whom declined to discuss internal dynamics on the record because of fear of retribution. Since Sunday, campaign staffers have been calling members of their steering committee, asking them not to speak to the media because stories about the internal shakeup were published, according to three people who received the calls…

“It’s another example of the campaign bungling things,” said a person with knowledge of the situation. Instead of talking about “making aggressive moves here and building out Super Tuesday states … they’re answering bad press about why they’re moving their New Hampshire state director.”…

At the same time, some Sanders supporters are distressed that he didn’t win WFP’s endorsement. The loss especially stung because they believe he has the most progressive labor plan of any presidential candidate in history: His proposal calls for European-style collective bargaining across industries. Sanders has also stepped up his efforts to win more institutional support than in 2016, and his national political director, Analilia Mejia, previously was executive director of the New Jersey Working Families Alliance.

Many Sanders’ supporters blame WFP’s leaders for making the wrong choice and knock them for not releasing their individual vote tally of online members. But some, like Shimunov, said they didn’t question it and noted the campaign had agreed to abide by the rules ahead of time…

“I think he will do well here, frankly, but I’m a bit of a contrarian on that. Everyone seems to be in a big rush to write him off,” said a top New Hampshire Democrat and veteran of many presidential primaries in the state. “John McCain and John Kerry were both deemed ‘dead men walking’ at this stage, too, and came back to win the New Hampshire primary.”

And we all remember how winning the NH primary led to further stunning (not)victories for both McCain and Kerry, too!

I, for one, will be happy when Dave Weigel and Charlie Pierce get over their romantic infatuation with Senator One True Leftist…

(Yep, this will probably happen; AOC is a lot smarter than her detractors would like to believe. She endorsed Ed Markey over young progressive dreamboat Joe Kennedy III, for instance — even *before* JoeIII made an official announcement.)

85 replies
  1. 1
    Gretchen says:

    I’m with you, another member of the Irish-American grievance culture. The sooner the Bernie-bros go away, the better.

  2. 2
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:

    Steep signing in from Delta 789. Just left Las Vegas and heading for Detroit City. I’ve got a drink, a snack and a 56 mph tailwind. Yee-haw (as some would say).

  3. 3
    Amir Khalid says:

    Have you seen this story I linked to in the thread downstairs? I think it’s worth frontpaging.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Vermont is known for its sap.

    Just sayin’.

  5. 5
    NotMax says:


    a snack and a 56 mph tailwind

    Yeah, I’ve had snacks like that.


  6. 6
    NotMax says:


    BTW, thanks for your recommendation of Trader Joe’s instant coffee. Brought some back from NY (no TJ’s here) and have been making occasional use of it as an added accent to certain bread doughs and cake batters. A little goes a long way in those applications.

  7. 7

    And we all remember how winning the NH primary led to further stunning (not)victories for both McCain and Kerry, too!

    They did, however win their respective party’s nominations though.

  8. 8

    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): Have a good flight, Madame informed me the kid is leaving Bali today.

  9. 9
    sukabi says:


  10. 10
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Glad you like it. It meets my modest (~5 cups a week) needs. I, too, have used it to perk up certain recipes.

  11. 11
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Cool. Wasn’t she cavorting with elephants?

  12. 12
    NotMax says:


    Turned out to be not much solace in winning NH by double digits for Paul Tsongas, Gary Hart and Ed Muskie, nor for Estes Kefauver (twice – the second time by a margin of 70% over eventual nominee Adlai Stevenson).


    The NH Democratic primary is weird. Both Reagan and Nixon received around 5% of the votes (in ’84 and ’68, respectively).

  13. 13
    SRW1 says:

    Almost as if creating an effective/chaotic campaign organization is a leading indicator for the leadership abilities/deficits of a candidate. Almost.

  14. 14
    Amir Khalid says:

    Wilmer is experiencing what it’s like to be no longer the new hotness, as he was in 2016. He is now being examined on his merits by more of his base, and his merits don’t look that good. His unravelling campaign org in New Hamster is a sign of poor leadership and CEO skills. His polcy-fu is as feeble as ever, a serious liability this time out. He is being vastly outperformed by Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail. He seems like Grandpa Simpson compared fo her, and no one wants Grandpa Simpson in the Oval Office.

  15. 15

    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): Yes, that was the day before yesterday. Yesterday was a ride on a big swing of some sort.

    ETA: I guess I should be happy that she didn’t find a perfectly good airplane to jump out of.

  16. 16

    @NotMax: True, AL’s examples, though did end up winning the nomination. Here’s a bit of trivia for ya, Adlai Stevenson was born in LA, in the area I was shooting last Sunday.

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    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:

    Passing over Colorado Springs.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:


    Heh. ~5 cups is called morning ’round these parts.

  19. 19

    @NotMax: Per Madame, next on the kid’s travel list is your rock.

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    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Gee, previous response marked as spam upon edit.

    I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was about 30. On the road a lot for a software company and had those dreadful “breakfast “meetings. Coffee, orange juice and bad pastries.

  22. 22
    satby says:

    @NotMax: INORITE?
    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Bali is on my bucket list, and @Amir Khalid: thinking of adding your fair city when I take that trip. Hope you’re in town for a meet-up!

  23. 23
    satby says:

    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): safe travels and happy homecoming to your furbaby, Steep!

  24. 24
    satby says:

    @Gretchen: I think we’re going to need a bigger couch for us all to fit.

  25. 25
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Thanks. Detroit at 6:45 EDT, depart for Dulles after an hour and arrive around 9:20. My friend works until 6:00, so I’ll give her a ride home and collect the housecat. Will grab some sleep during the day.

    Assuming my place is still there. I always have apocalyptic post-trip fantasies about my place having burned down and/or my car being stolen in my absence.

  26. 26
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Thanks. I was so ready for this trip to be over.

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    After nine months. there is still someone who wants to argue with me in YouTube comments over whether Stevie Wonder was right about Chuck Berry, not Elvis, being the true king of rock’n’roll. SMH.

  28. 28
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    I don’t understand why they’re fighting over this endorsement. Wilmer had this endorsement in 2016 and he proceeded to lose Manhattan by 30 points, the Bronx by 38 points and Brooklyn by 20 points. What good did do him.

  29. 29

    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): That’s about when I quit drinking coffee.

  30. 30
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:

    I’m in the middle of Kansas-Nebraska. Altitude 35,000 feet, ground speed 554 mph, tail wind 32 mph. Outside temp −56°.

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    satby says:

    @Amir Khalid: stupid people often will argue to the death over their incorrect assumptions.
    Edit: see tweets from the Wilmerites above as examples.

  32. 32

    @satby: She seems to have enjoyed her time in Bali.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s especially annoying when people tell me that Stevie freaking Wonder doesn’t know enough about music to say that.

  35. 35
    satby says:

    I was offline most of yesterday. The guys I hired to clean out the back raised bed did an outstanding job. Well worth the money because what would have taken me weeks with my schedule took about 4 hours, and no poison ivy exposure (one of the guys is immune, he handled it). 😊
    The porch trim was all cleaned and painted by young market friends who needed a quick job to make some cash, plus it gave me young people to feed. And I got almost all the housecleaning and laundry done and some soap made. Super day for me to get a bunch of projects done.

  36. 36
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Yep. Nothing down there but the remains of bankrupt soybean farms.

  37. 37
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Yay! I love days like that.

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  39. 39

    @satby: I ended up trimming the bushes coming over from the neighbors on Tuesday, I’m going to strongly suggest that my landlord hire a gardener. The alternative is I’ll share with her my rate for doing any work around here($50/hour billed in hourly increments). I’m a tenant not a homeowner.

  40. 40
    satby says:

    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): me too. I just have to let go of the desire to save money by doing it all myself. My little “retirement job” is 32 market hours per week and about 20 more in prep and product creation. Not much else has gotten done but the basics, so now that I’m finding good help to hire, I’m going to do it. It’s delusional to think I could do it all myself.

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    satby says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: yeah, it’s standard in these parts to discount the rent by however much yard work the tenant does. You should.

  42. 42
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:



  43. 43

    @satby: Yeah, when the rent was 1K, I had no problem with doing quite a bit of stuff around here. Now that it’s over 1.5K, I feel a whole lot less motivated and want to peruse more profitable endevours so I can pay the fucking rent. I do have my garden area that I’ll maintain, since I don’t want a repeat of the mass CA poppy killoff.

  44. 44

    On a personal note, today would have been my dad(and his twin sister)’s 100th birthday. They obviously had one of the coolest birth dates(9/19/1919). It’s also 9 years since I gave up the booze.

  45. 45
    satby says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: have you looked into selling some of your photos as stock? Could be a small but steady stream, especially of your fantasy combinations, if you have ones you don’t want to reserve for your own store.

  46. 46
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Yep. As my brother said when he had some pros come in to revamp the grounds at Sighthound Hall, at some point you realize (or decide) that you’ve got more money than time (and energy).

  47. 47
    satby says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Congratulations on your 9th year! And requiesce in pace to your dad and aunt.

  48. 48

    @satby: I looked at a bit, though all of my fantasy photos are in the store now. I’ve been putting together a patreon site/page.

    ETA: I think I may have mentioned this, I have some of my best photos on as a slide show for my wallpaper. Sometimes(it happened this week), I’ll see a photo and think “that looks like crap” and end up reprocessing them. This week it was some of photos I took on my first trip to Joshua Tree 2 years ago.

  49. 49
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Congratulations on your sobriety. 🙏

  50. 50
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    September 18, 2019 at 1:45 p.m. PDT

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) parted ways with his Iowa political director in recent weeks, his campaign confirmed Wednesday, part of a series of staff shake-ups in key early states.

    First he blames the campaign team in NH, now he’s blaming the campaign team in Iowa.

  51. 51
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:

    Now I’m in the middle of Iowa-Missouri. I can see Columbia, where I went to college about 100 years ago.

    ETA: Let’s get some Rust Belt action going here! (On the flight path, not the blog.)

  52. 52
    satby says:

    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): my rep as a gardener is kind of undeserved, because I like to putter. I know a bit about plants and can research fast, but I don’t like the hot humid weather when gardens often thrive. So though I don’t really have all that much money, I would have saved a bit if I had not stubbornly insisted to myself I would get to it “soon”. Next year and until I really retire, I won’t make that mistake.

  53. 53
    satby says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: well be sure to tell us when the patreon is live.

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  55. 55

    @satby: Will do, it was a bit more involved than I thought. I also had to set up some stuff on the smugmug side as well.

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  57. 57
    satby says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: it’s his m.o. his entire life, and old dogs….

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:

    Congratulations on your milestone👊👊

  59. 59
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Bro’ Man is a bona fide, certified master gardener, and he loves doing it, but he has a demanding, full-time job and is still a few years away from retirement.

    When he bought Sighthound Hall, the back yard was a blank slate, so he had the pros do some leveling and terracing, and he revamped the patio with a nice chimney fireplace.

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  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Sometimes a little money goes a long way😊

  62. 62
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Thanks! And good morning! 🙏

    Currently over northern Illinois heading toward Chicago.

  63. 63

    @rikyrah: Thanks.

    Another bit of trivia for this date in LA history…President Wilson visited Los Angeles to drum up support of his League of Nations treaty.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Thanks for the link😢😢😢

  65. 65
    JPL says:

    Local news has mentioned the Trudeau story several times, and no mention of the explosive piece in the Washington Post. bah

  66. 66

    @JPL: The same here and the Chair of the Intelligence Committee is local(my congresscritter).

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  68. 68
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Neat story about your dad’s and aunt birthday, and congrats on your anniversary.

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    satby says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: 😂😂😂
    @rikyrah: Good morning 🙋
    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): sure you don’t want to drop in? I can be there in an hour and rikyrah’s there already 😉

  71. 71
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Gon’ be a while. I’ve got an hour plane change/​layover in Detroit and get to Dulles about 9:20 EDT. A good friend is picking me up, and we may segue into breakfast/​brunch. Right now I’m starting to feel the need for IHOP.

  72. 72
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    Currently zooming over Gary and the bottom of Lake Michigan. Think I missed my window.

  73. 73
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:

    Starting to descend into Detroit. May lose wi-fi soon.

  74. 74
    satby says:

    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): did you see me wave as you went by?

  75. 75
    J R in WV says:

    @Amir Khalid: 5

    Everybody knows that!

    The only competition Chuck has is Bo Diddley, who invented several important beats for many songs by many bands.

  76. 76
    frosty says:

    @Amir Khalid: Of course it’s Chuck. End of discussion.

  77. 77
    frosty says:

    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): The B-17s flew at the same altitude with the waist gunners standing at open windows. Counting on the electrically heated suits not to fail.

  78. 78
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    I thought some cranky white lady was shaking her fist.

    Currently at gate B6 in the Detroit airport. I passed up a McDonald’s and then found that my gate is in a backwater with no amenities. I haz a hungry. 😠

  79. 79
    cleek says:

    normie winemoms

    Keep on splitting. You’ll find the pure people yet.

  80. 80
    Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi) says:


    I know. Hard to imagine.

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    Barry says:

    @Steeplejack (sky-high wi-fi): For on-the-road breakfasts, bring Cliff bars; that way you don’t have to eat the slop they serve.

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  84. 84
    Kathleen says:

    @Gretchen: Count me in. With AL regarding weariness with DaCha, but they will stand by their man regardless. Slanders evokes memories of jaded youth and “taking it to the man”. Or the woman.

  85. 85
    artem1s says:

    Sanders’ allies and former aides are worried that recent disappointments are not one-off stumbles but rather emblematic of larger problems

    Not nearly enough grift to go around this time. I’m figured he would be out after Super Tuesday so this is happening a little sooner than I thought. That’s what happens when you have competition from a half a dozen other pretty ponies. The bros have to spend too much time discrediting and stealing voter lists from 12 other candidates instead of one.

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