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I'm not convinced that Sanders is morally superior to Hillary, even though I much prefer his policy positions and priorities. As a matter of practical politics, I'm also not convinced he is likely to be more effective than Hillary, partly because we have never seen him in a senior executive position. But my biggest concern is that I don't know how he will stand up to the right wing media wurlitzer, which will make what happened in Nevada seem like very small potatoes indeed; whereas Hillary has been through that mill for many years now, and there is probably little new they can throw at her.

The other, more general point I would make is that a successful administration is made up of a coalition of many elements - the Cabinet, key advisors, more junior policy development positions, Congress, the Military and foreign policy establishment, and yes, a critical mass of special interests sufficient to overcome the absolute opposition of other special interests.

One special interest is not necessarily morally superior to another one - both are acting, broadly, in their own self interest.  What is important is the degree to which their self interest is congruent with the broader public interest Thus does a candidate support the Oil, gas & Coal lobby or the renewable energy lobby? Are they closely aligned with the Zionist lobby or with a broader humanitarian one? Are their main backers high tech or rust belt industrialists? Are they more likely to be supportive of the interests of high finance or or the consumer lobby? Are they more supportive of public or private healthcare? Of Unions or Chambers of Commerce? Are they ideologically more pre-disposed to market solutions or public state ones?

Sanders is interesting because he has built a broad coalition of ordinary folk not necessarily closely aligned with the big players in the above special interest groups and has, broadly, made the right choices, in my view, of which to support at the expense of the others. I would love to see him and his supporters in very powerful and influential positions in any new administration. I'm just not convinced he has the ability to lead the whole show.  He doesn't have enough allies in sufficient places that matter.

Hillary, in my view, would have the greater capability to do so.  I'm just not convinced to what degree she would actually want to do so. But don't forget you were also pleasantly surprised by Obama. Booman has a post up which argues that she has Wall Street over a barrel rather than the other way around. That may be wishful thinking. But I do recoil at the imputation of motives to her that are entirely venal.  I don't see that as evidenced any more than I see the imputation of near saint-hood qualities in Sanders as being evidenced.  If anything, we have less of a fix on his moral qualities...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 02:03:48 PM EST
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