Rachel Maddow is coming out against Bernie Sanders's controversial commitment to contest the Democratic presidential nomination at the national convention in July.
At a press conference Monday celebrating the one-year anniversary of his campaign, Sanders announced that the convention will be "contested" because Hillary Clinton will not have enough pledged delegates prior to the convention to clinch the nomination. But for anyone to "clinch the nomination," as Sanders defines it, is nearly impossible, Maddow argued on her MSNBC show last night, because a candidate would have to win the primaries by a landslide to have the necessary amount of pledged delegates needed before the convention.
Maddow went on to explain how the Democratic nomination was decided in 2008, when Barack Obama had a 4 percent lead over Clinton in pledged delegates. At the time, he also needed superdelegates from the convention to win the nomination, as Clinton does this year.
The difference between 2008 and the 2016 election is that Clinton did not contest the nomination, even though she had a lead in the popular vote, Maddow said. At the end of the primary contests in 2008, Clinton said Obama had won "fair and square," Maddow explained. Clinton, then a U.S. senator from New York, endorsed Obama and dropped out of the race, and she was on the convention floor to support him, not to "contest" the convention.
Clinton also has a bigger lead in pledged delegates than Obama had in 2008 -- she has 11 percent more than Sanders. "She is way out ahead, by every measure," Maddow said. "Way, way further ahead of Senator Sanders than Barack Obama was ahead of her in 2008."
Yet Sanders says he is going to contest the nomination at the convention, no matter how far ahead Clinton is. Maddow called Sanders's plan "fantastical, which is not the same as fantastic."
Clinton is no longer "bothering" with the primaries, Maddow noted, and her campaign is demonstrating that by not having the candidate be present in states that are holding primaries, such as Indiana today. Instead the Democratic front-runner is traveling to general election swing states, such as Ohio. The Clinton campaign didn't run any TV ads or campaign in Indiana, Maddow reported, while Sanders held three rallies in the state and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads.
This signals that Clinton is moving on to the general election, campaigning as if she is the de facto nominee, the TV host said. It doesn't matter whether Sanders wins Indiana, Maddow said, because no one is sure what that would mean for the "endgame."
Maddow closed her segment on Clinton and Sanders by providing her email to viewers who may disagree with her, saying that swear words and accusations may hurt her, but they only make her stronger.