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Political Editors / May 11, 2016

Clinton’s Weaknesses Manifest in West Virginia

Everything Clinton is, she says she’s against.

With Donald Trump now the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, Hillary Clinton would like nothing better than to pivot from the primary race and face her fellow New York bigwig. But Bernie Sanders continues to nip hard at her heels. In the West Virginia primary on Tuesday, Sanders amassed 51.4% of the vote to Clinton’s 36%. She might have the plurality of delegates and the nomination mathematically in the bag, but for the frontrunner to lose state after state just as she’s supposed to unite the party doesn’t fit into the narrative she wants to portray.

Clinton lost West Virginia because of her stance on coal. She admitted in March her policies would seriously hurt coal country, saying, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” When those coal families went to the polls, they overwhelmingly supported Sanders, hoping to put Clinton out of business.

The bigger picture is that, despite not having a chance at winning the nomination, Sanders hangs on in the race because of his seemingly authentic persona, and his endless critique of big banks and the One Percent. That contrasts starkly with Clinton. Everything Clinton is, she says she’s against. Shadowy One-Percenters squirreling money in offshore accounts? One of Clinton’s top donors makes his living working in offshore banking. The ability for the well connected to slip away from the consequences of breaking the law? Employees of the Justice Department — the department that will determine if she’s indicted for mishandling state secrets on an unsecure email server — donated $73,000 to her campaign.

Sanders’ candidacy was meant to show that Hillary had to vanquish an opponent. But it was rigged from the get-go. For proof, just look at the vast majority of superdelegates — Democrat insiders — who support Clinton over Sanders. Yet the socialist candidate has his own strategy. He’ll still lose, but not before moving the once-noble Democrat Party to openly and unequivocally embrace socialism.

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