Op-Ed: It’s Hillary’s Party

Hillary Clinton

The only thing consistent about history is that it repeats itself, especially in politics.

The first time I saw a fix in a Presidential Primary was in 1976. I was 15 years old and active in my local democratic club in Brooklyn. It was a crowded race for President and the Brooklyn Political Bosses were united behind Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson. The nominating process in New York State was controlled by the Brooklyn Machine that created a ballot with no names of the Presidential Candidates, just the names of the delegates. Column # five was Henry Jacksons delegates in each congressional district and the delegates were the pols from that district. Jackson won New York, but Jimmy Carter won the nomination. Seemed sneaky at the time but as an old-timer said to me, “kid that’s politics.” That fix was just New York. But now, like everything else since then, the fixes have gotten bigger.

John O’Hara

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) recently changed critical rules in how those super-delegates will vote at the Convention next summer. Super-delegates are the party insiders mostly loyal to the Clintons. The DNC now moved them to vote on the second ballot. Other recent rule changes by the DNC on the delegate selection process have been designed to avoid a candidate from getting the nomination on the first ballot. However, securing the nomination on the second ballot for Hillary Clinton with those 714 “super-delegates” is the game-changer. The last time America saw the Democrats go past the first ballot was in 1952.

It’s not a “conspiracy theory” that Hillary controls the DNC, it’s just the way both parties operate. The nominee of the party controls the infrastructure till there is another nominee four years later. Examples of Presidential re-runs are Republican nominee Tom Dewey in 1944 & 1948, and, Democrat Adlai Stevenson in 1952 & 1956. Both nominated twice. Both lost twice. 

In 1968 President Lyndon Johnson scheduled the nomination at the now infamous Chicago Democratic Convention to occur on the night of his birthday. Although Johnson had announced months earlier that he would not run, after Robert Kennedy’s assassination Johnson felt there would be a rousing draft for him to accept the nomination. That birthday call never came. Instead, Johnson sat alone in the White House and watched his convention go up in smoke. 

The Clinton functionaries continue to run the DNC today quietly changing the rules of the delegate selection process to make sure nobody gets the nomination on the first ballot. With Biden and Kamala Harris’ popularity slipping, it explains why Hillary recently attacked Tulsi Gabbard elevating her struggling candidacy in the headlines. Three or four viable candidates ensure Hillary will get to the second ballot.

Candidates who won primaries or caucuses have those delegates pledged on the first ballot. There are a total of 4,051 pledged delegates and if no candidate comes in with 2,026 pledged delegates on the first ballot, then on the second ballot those 714 super-delegates step in becoming 17% of all the delegates. By moving those super-delegates to the second ballot the DNC has delivered to Hillary the largest voting bloc of delegates at a convention that will look like it’s in chaos. 

But the biggest change that the Clinton’s DNC orchestrated was in a few big states such as California and Texas that used to be winner take all are now proportional delegate selection which means if a candidate gets 15% of the vote that candidate gets that proportion of delegates. 

It’s too late to do anything about the DNC’s maneuvers. The first caucuses and primaries are less than four months away.

You’re probably thinking, “But Hillary can’t win in November.” History repeats itself, especially in politics.

John O’Hara is a lawyer. He lives in Brooklyn.