There are pros and cons to being a blogger. One of the cons is that when you ask a question that shows off your ignorance, the entire world gets to see it. Let’s do it anyway.
Question: What exactly do people mean when they say that the Democratic establishment “cleared the field” for Hillary Clinton in 2016? I can think of various definitions of this, ranked from least to most objectionable:
- HRC had lots of money and lots of support, and that scared everyone else away.
- Democratic bigwigs actively lobbied prospective candidates to stand down.
- HRC made various promises to superdelegates, but only if they’d support her and make sure that everyone knew they wouldn’t switch.
- The establishment threatened prospective candidates in concrete ways if they showed interest in running.
#1 is meaningless. Someone is always the frontrunner. #2 is more active, but also a nothingburger. #3 is worse, depending on what kind of promises were made. #4 would be clearly beyond the pale.
So what is it? I’m not plugged into the gossip circuit, but I was paying attention during 2015 when candidates were thinking about running. I don’t recall hearing about anything untoward during that time. In fact, what I mostly heard were laments about how thin the Democratic bench was. Anyone care to help out here? I especially want to hear from Bernie supporters who feel like the Democratic establishment screwed them.