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Sanders: It Doesn’t Appear That I’m Going To Be The Nominee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said that while he does not think he will be the party’s nominee for the Nov. 8 election, he will likely speak at the Democratic National Convention in July, according to an interview with C-SPAN.

It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee,” Sanders, a U.S. Senator from Vermont, said in the interview, which is set to air on Wednesday. “If for whatever reason they don’t want me to speak, then whatever. But I do think I’ll speak at the convention.”

Reporting by Alana Wise

Photo: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders delivers a statement after his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama (not pictured) at the White House in Washington, U.S. June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Clinton, Sanders Fight On In Indiana

On the eve of Indiana’s primary, Hillary Clinton is looking to add the state to her list of electoral victories over Bernie Sanders. But even if Sanders were to somehow win the state, Clinton will likely still capture the party’s nomination.

Indiana is crucial for both camps. Going into Indiana, Clinton has 1,645 delegates to Sanders’s 1,318. With 83 delegates up for grabs, even if Sanders were to win the Indiana, the margins by which he would do so would not change the dynamics of the race by much.

And even then, he would have to pull an upset victory. FiveThirtyEight has the Vermont senator’s chances of winning Indiana at just 9 percent — not entirely out of the question, but highly unlikely.

Nevertheless, the two have been eager to pick up endorsements in the state. Clinton counts congressman André Carson, the second Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, Senator Joe Donnelly, and former governor Evan Bayh among her supporters.

Sanders’s most notable endorsement comes from United Steelworkers Local 1199, which represents 1,400 members due to be laid off by Carrier Corporation.

“The decision by United Technologies to ship 2,100 jobs from Indiana to Mexico is the latest example of how NAFTA and other trade policies have been a disaster for American workers,” said Sanders shortly after the closure notice, recorded on a worker’s phone, went viral. “In my view, we have got to fundamentally rewrite our failed trade policies so that American jobs are no longer our number one export.”

He also has earned the support of Indianapolis city councillors Zach Adamson and Jared Evans.

But Sanders seems to have seen the writing on the wall. In Indiana, he was reported to have scaled down his ad operation, taking $200,000 out of an initial $1.2 million ad buy, according to Politico. He and advisor/wife Jane Sanders — despite arguing that superdelegates should switch to their side — have openly discussed how they would advocate for progressive reforms to the Democratic Party’s agenda after the primary process is over.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, hasn’t spent any money on ads in Indiana, or any of the other remaining primary states, for that matter, an indication that she is getting ready for a general election battle against Donald Trump, barring a literal miracle for God’s anointed candidate.

“We’ve got a real assault going on, on the rights we have in our country, and in fact you’ve got it going on right here in Indiana,” Clinton said at a rally Sunday, referencing the incredibly restrictive abortion law signed recently by Governor Mike Pence. “I will work against the divisiveness, the mean spiritedness, the hateful rhetoric that we are hearing from Donald Trump and others.”

New York’s Politicians Overwhelmingly Endorse Clinton

New York’s primary is still two weeks away, but Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have already brought the full force of their campaigns to the Empire State, opening offices and staging town halls and rallies heralding the upcoming vote.

Clinton, as the race’s frontrunner and a former two-term U.S. senator from New York, has been able to rely on the endorsements of nearly every established Democrat in the state, among them Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York’s two most prominent political figures. She also has the backing of most of the state’s super delegates, party fixtures including (obviously) former President Bill Clinton and Senator Chuck Schumer, who many predict will become the next Senate Democratic leader. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York’s junior senator, also endorsed Clinton.

Sanders’s supporters aren’t nearly as high-profile.

Luis Sepulveda, the Bronx Assemblyman who spoke at Sanders’s rally last week, told the New York Observer that he was opposed to Clinton’s support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bill Clinton’s tough-on-crime legislation, the Defense of Marriage Act, and the trade agreements of the 1990s.

“I’ve never really understood the Latino and African-American population’s fascination with the Clintons,” Sepulveda told the Observer. “All these things she’s supported I’ve found very disturbing.”

Sanders has also collected the endorsements of Bill Perkins and James Sanders, Jr., two popular state senators from Harlem and Queens, respectively. Perkins was also the first elected New York official to endorse Barack Obama in 2008. Rafael Espinal, a New York City councilman, echoed comments made by Sanders’s other endorsers that the Vermont senator is the best choice to make his constituents’ voices heard.

The state’s primary could make or break either campaign. If Clinton loses in New York, Sanders can claim victory in the second biggest Democratic primary of the season, in his opponent’s own home state. If Clinton wins, it will give her a delegate advantage Sanders can’t hope to recover from, all but finalizing her claim to the nomination.

As political commentator Van Jones explained during a recent interview with Democracy Now!, “New York City is the war to settle the score inside the Democratic Party. The Clinton forces understand there is a rebellion in this party. Under ordinary circumstances, it would already be over, because the big donors would have taken the checks back. There are no big checks. This is a people’s movement. They are going to have to bury this movement in New York City, and they know it.”

The latest polls show Clinton leading Sanders by 11 points in the state. In a closed primary like New York’s, only registered Democrats can mark a presidential preference — tougher conditions for Sanders, who has relied on his popularity with independent voters to bolster his polling numbers. Nevertheless, the Vermont senator started off more than 20 points behind Clinton in the state, and with two weeks of heavy campaigning ahead, a lot could change in the meantime.

Photo: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Sanders’s Meeting With New York Daily News Didn’t Go So Well

Maybe Bernie Sanders wasn’t ready for the detail-heavy lines of questioning lobbed at him by the New York Daily News‘s editorial board this morning. At the very least, he didn’t sound ready.

Sanders, who has brought his message of economic justice and tougher financial regulations to the forefront of the Democratic nominating process, appeared unprepared to explain the specifics of his plan to dismantle the nation’s largest, riskiest banks as president.

As the most outspoken of the two Democratic candidates on the need to dismantle banks that are “Too Big To Fail,” Sanders couldn’t articulate how, in his first 100 days, he would address these institutions:

Daily News: Okay. Well, let’s assume that you’re correct on that point. How do you go about doing it?

Sanders: How you go about doing it is having legislation passed, or giving the authority to the secretary of treasury to determine, under Dodd-Frank, that these banks are a danger to the economy over the problem of too-big-to-fail.

Daily News: But do you think that the Fed, now, has that authority?

Sanders: Well, I don’t know if the Fed has it. But I think the administration can have it.

Daily News: How? How does a President turn to JPMorgan Chase, or have the Treasury turn to any of those banks and say, “Now you must do X, Y and Z?”

Sanders: Well, you do have authority under the Dodd-Frank legislation to do that, make that determination.

Daily News: You do, just by Federal Reserve fiat, you do?

Sanders: Yeah. Well, I believe you do.

The uncertainty in Sanders’s response was red meat for the punditocracy: The Atlantic wrote, “Even on bread-and-butter matters like breaking up the big banks, the Democratic presidential hopeful came across as tentative, unprepared, or unaware.” On Mediaite, Sanders was described as in “way, way over his head.” The Washington Post called it a “disaster.” And things didn’t get better as the interview went on:

Daily News: Okay. You would then leave it to JPMorgan Chase or the others to figure out how to break it, themselves up. I’m not quite…

Sanders: You would determine is that, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. And then you have the secretary of treasury and some people who know a lot about this, making that determination. If the determination is that Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan Chase is too big to fail, yes, they will be broken up.

Daily News: Okay. You saw, I guess, what happened with Metropolitan Life. There was an attempt to bring them under the financial regulatory scheme, and the court said no. And what does that presage for your program?

Sanders: It’s something I have not studied, honestly, the legal implications of that.

Given the central role that breaking up banks plays in his platform, until this morning it seemed highly unlikely that Sanders wouldn’t have some cursory knowledge of relevant legal precedent or executive authority. But the interview showed a level of unpreparedness that’s surprising, especially this late in the game.

Sanders’s bungled answer is unlikely to hurt him much in the Wisconsin primaries, where he has a slight lead over Hillary Clinton as voters head to the polls today. But reactions may be different in New York, whose primary is on April 19th.