I had to chuckle yesterday as pundits wondered if Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the man to stop the coronation of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for President. They cited his status as an "Independent" in Washington (although he votes in lock-step with Democrats on nearly all issues), his being a "real liberal and progressive" and his expected platform of "fighting income inequality" as reasons he could be a "credible threat" to the Clinton Political Machine. But let's be honest, Bernie Sanders has no chance.
First off, Sanders is not a media darling. He's not on Meet the Press every couple of weeks. Rachel Maddow doesn't quote his speeches every ten minutes. And he hasn't really given the press anything to talk about constantly for 25-years. There are no sordid affairs, no comments captured on secret recordings that required a public apology, no deleted emails and no fiery speeches at previous political conventions to replay over and over again.
Secondly, he is not going to be able to raise anywhere near the cash needed to challenge Clinton in a meaningful way--even in small states like Iowa and New Hampshire to gain early momentum. Let's remind everybody that the Clinton Machine plans to raise and spend $2.5 BILLION--and they have the financial backers and connections (both domestic and international) to reach that goal. Bernie Sanders has railed against big money campaigns for decades, so what makes you think that he is going to put together the apparatus necessary to take on the Clinton Cash Machine? You have to admit that it's a bit ironic that in order to get big money out of politics you need to bring in big money in order to get elected just so you can try to have the conversation.
And finally, Bernie Sanders isn't cool. Democratic politics today is the Cult of Personality. If you're not female, gay, transgender, black, Hispanic, an admitted pot smoker or already a famous person, it's not "cool" to vote for you. Democrats want to elect "firsts" because they think that is "making a difference" and "being more inclusive". Bernie Sanders is an old, white guy. We've had old, white guy Presidents already--what's "historic" about electing another one? Does he hang out with Jay Z and Beyoncé? Are there pictures of him shooting hoops with Lebron James? Because that is the kind of thing you need to do to win over the hearts and minds of today's young voters. And do you think the people who were rioting and burning down stores in Ferguson and Baltimore are going to line up on Election Day to put Bernie Sanders in the White House just because he talks about taking from the rich and giving to the poor? Good luck with that.
So let Senator Sanders have his 15-minutes in the spotlight during his news conference today--because unless he plans to hop in a van and eat lunch at Chipotle afterwards--he is going to be an after-thought by minute 16.