Male candidates "shake up their campaigns;" while for female candidates, "chaos reigns behinds the scenes," I've noticed.
— Melissa Jordan (@MelissaEJordan) September 15, 2019
NEW: Some of Bernie Sanders’ fiercest supporters are sounding the alarm that the campaign is bogged down by disorganization, personality clashes, and poor communication between state operations and national headquarters. https://t.co/dbAMGGw20y
— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) September 17, 2019
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!
Up until yesterday, left-wing groups had not really split up over the competition between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. With Working Families Party’s endorsement of Warren, that’s changed: The socialist magazine Jacobin says the WFP “has written itself out of history.” https://t.co/RLF2uXROAP
— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) September 17, 2019
This is a pretty weird claim given how polls show that tons of "very liberal" voters have defected from Sanders to Warren. So have groups like https://t.co/J6fg8ZrYlw. WFP members endorsing Warren is exactly what you'd expect given the trends we've seen elsewhere. https://t.co/tsH5KFf7pE pic.twitter.com/qKETudrH3R
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 17, 2019
Warren worked for it, she talked to them, listened to what they wanted. Bernie decided it was his turn and that was that.
— Je Suis Corn Pop (@agraybee) September 17, 2019
If Bernie lost tbe Working families endorsement bc party leaders were for Warren, then maybe the conclusion should be that Bernie should have done a better job of outreach to party leaders
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) September 18, 2019
I, for one, will be happy when Dave Weigel and Charlie Pierce get over their romantic infatuation with Senator One True Leftist…
one underrated 2020 story is how much Dave is being forced to begrudgingly defend normie winemoms because of how toxic and dumb his social circle has gotten https://t.co/0z3dELlM9T
— local jack please ban the nazis person (@pleizar) September 18, 2019
What will happen when aoc endorses Warren over Bernie?
— Monjula Ray (@queerBengali) September 17, 2019
(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.)