The way I understand it, Hillary was not to have serious/significant primary opposition. She was to be granted the Democratic Party Presidential Nomination by Right, on a Silken Pillow, after a not-too-strenuous primary season that would be abbreviated thanks to all the other primary candidates dropping out by mid-March if not sooner.
It would be a cakewalk for her compared to the brawl on the Other Side.
Bernie was either not to run at all, or if he did run, his numbers would be so low (cf: O'Malley -- who?) that he would see the writing on the wall and disappear back to the nether reaches of the People's Republic of Vermont and the Senate where he came from.
Didn't work out quite that way. Not quite that way at all.
I voted for Bernie here in New Mexico, and my county's Democrats went for Bernie over Hillary ... two votes. I don't know whether anybody will call for a recount. Interestingly, the more rural counties tended to favor Bernie while the more urban counties were Hillary strongholds. Hmmm.
Same thing seemed to happen in California.
Hillary won New Mexico's Democratic Primary by a small margin, less than 7,000 votes state wide out of 215,000 or so cast (turnout was pitiful.) In California, the margin was greater, but still.
Bernie was not supposed to do so well. He wasn't really supposed to run at all. He's a crabby old man, after all, and who wants that in the White House? Yuk.
Not just old and crabby, but a fricking Socialist to boot. Eeek! Run away!
But no. He piled up victory after victory defying expectations and the polls, and toward the end his rallies seemed to get bigger not smaller.
Herself had the Machine and Wall Street and the Dem Party backing; Bernie only had the frustrations of the masses backing his campaign -- and that little birdie, of course.
It was remarkable in every way that Bernie could come as close as he did to the nomination given the political disabilities he started with. I'm sure he was as astonished as Hillary was.
The depth of anger and despair at the shenannigans of the high and the mighty is much greater than Our Rulers ever imagined. As Bernie's numbers grew and grew, the Overclass got more and more alarmed ... and pissed off.
Don't let's fool ourselves. There will be hell to pay for this mini-rebellion. Hell, I say.
I've never had a great deal of regard for the Bernie campaign, for the simple reason that you can't conduct a genuine revolution from the Left from within the Palace. Ain't -- ever -- gonna happen. That Palace is so locked down and securitized, and the Left is so marginalized, even to the point of complete absence, that there cannot be a Leftish rebellion/revolution from within. It's designed that way. It works to prevent the Left from acquiring power and implementing policies and programs on behalf of the People. It's always been that way, even during the supposed hey-days of the supposed Left in government (FDR, LBJ, etc.)
Nothing that Bernie proposed was radical or particularly Socialist. In fact, to Old Farts like me, a lot of it was pretty familiar. What he proposed was basically a restoration of the social and economic trendlines of the pre-1980 era. Ie: Before Reagan dismantled all that.
While I wouldn't object, the problem with his program was that it was locked in the past. And we can't go back, much as we might like to. We can't pick up in 1980 and go forth as if the intervening eras never happened, but that was what I was feeling Bernie was offering in his stump speechs and campaign.
We need something new. And that is not what Bernie was offering. He offered a kind of reversion to Better Days -- which is nice to hear -- and specific relief to suffering segments of the population, but there wasn't enough in that program to attract the Dems in sufficient numbers to gain the nomination -- something I don't think he ever in his wildest dreams thought he could do anyway. It was a campaign of ideas to be sure, but not ones that he thought would get him the nomination.
Hillary's campaign has been predicated on motto "No you can't," Many people are comforted by what they and others are prevented from doing. If the Left is prevented from acting and the Rightists are confined to a narrow set of actions, then the status quo is mostly preserved; the only real political movement under those circumstances is ever-further rightward, and that's always pleasing to the NeoLibCon Masters of the Universe.
Those are the people Hillary serves. Everyone knows it. Bernie, on the other hand, does not serve them, not directly, but because he has been inside the Belly of the Beast for as long as he has, he doesn't -- and can't -- separate himself entirely from them. He is, as part of the government, their creature just as much as anybody else inside the gates.
That was the other problem I had with Bernie's campaign. He was asserting a kind of fantasy of what you can do from "within" as it were. You can, it's true, get a lot done when you're in charge of the government or even just have a seat at the table. But what you can get done will always be restricted and constrained by the nature of the institutions you are within or part of. That means that you cannot ultimately do anything that the institutional framework (of government in this case) does not enable or foster. In our country, the institutional framework of government is abusive and preventional. It is set up to and operates efficiently to foster and excuse some of the worst actions and abuses we've seen over the course of our long history, and to prevent the People from doing much of anything about it.
The government of the United States serves an elite coterie, not the People. It is institutionally and functionally unable to serve the People without the permission of that coterie. That permission is rarely granted, and when it is, it is often enough temporary and subject to alteration or revocation at any minute. The People have very little or no say in what is allowed, and the only times they have a say is when they object so loudly or rebel so strenuously that the High and Mighty cannot ignore them anymore.
Bernie, even if he had been nominated and elected to the Presidency would have been able to do almost nothing that he proposed/promised unless the PTB agreed and granted permission. That would be unlikely to say the least. So the stalemate-gridlock of the past several years would have continued or worsened.
Hillary, on the other hand, as an annointed representative of those High an Mighty Ones, would be able to do their bidding with relative ease ("Getting things done") and probably would be able to sell it as "Good For You!" even though it's crap.
That's what I think is the next part of her audition: can she sell a Shit Sandwich to the ravening masses and keep them in line the while?
It depends on a number of factors: how much worse things will get for the majority before the election in November, how bad for most Hillary's NeoLibCon policies will be -- assuming they are recognized in the first place; how deceptive her campaign will be in selling this horseshit.
As for Trump, I'm more and more convinced he's a ratfuck. My god in heaven what a political disaster.