Hillary Clinton gave an interview today in which she made an unusually blunt statement about the nomination. When CNN’s Chris Cuomo began a question with the phrase, “if you’re the nominee for your party” Clinton interrupted him. “I will be the nominee for my party, Chris,” Clinton said adding, “That is already done, in effect.”
While the blunt statement that the race is over made headlines, what Clinton said next sounded like a very thinly-veiled message to the Sanders camp. In an extended comparison between her 2008 race and where Bernie Sanders is right now, Clinton said, “I am confident that just as I did with Senator Obama, where I said ‘you know what, it was really close,’ much closer than it is between me and Senator Sanders right now.” “Votes wise,” Cuomo clarified. “Yeah, vote wise and delegate wise…in fact, it depends on how you evaluate it I had more popular vote but I had fewer delegates,” Clinton continued.
“So, when I came out and withdrew and endorsed Senator Obama, about 40 percent, according to polls, about 40 percent of my supporters said they would never support him. So I worked really hard to make the case, as I’m sure Senator Sanders will, that whatever differences we might have, they pale in comparison to the presumptive nominee of the Republican party.”
This is not a very subtle hint about what Clinton expects Sanders to do fairly soon. But it seems she is going to be disappointed. Sanders has not appreciated the pressure to knuckle-under from his adopted party. In fact, he is said to be determined to win California so that he can roll into the national convention with “maximum political power.” No doubt that power is going to expect something from the party in return for working to hand his supporters over to Clinton. One thing he may want is some change to the party’s superdelegate system which made it impossible for his upstart candidacy to beat Clinton.
The real question is whether or not Clinton and the rest of the party, already obviously irritated with Sanders, are prepared to meet his demands or will risk an explosive confrontation at the convention.