So, how could Hillary Clinton win when the MSNBC’s live coverage declared the Iowa race against Bernie Sanders a “dead heat?” Why did she give an almost-winner speech? Clinton surprised everyone when she walked out onto the stage with 10 percent of the vote outstanding. Former president Bill Clinton stood behind his wife with a tickled expression on his face that said “This woman has major balls!”
It looked like a victory speech, and it sounded like a victory speech, but was it? Well, Clinton did declare herself the winner prior to coming to the stage, but if you listened closely to the words she used in her speech, she never really came out and said, “I won!”
She said “with a sigh of relief,” but that isn’t the same thing. Her speech was actually a call-to-arms, not a victory declaration.
The staff did not know she was coming out when she did, neither did the media. With the race “too close to call,” Hillary tossed away an elaborate, well-orchestrated plan of working the lines where her supporters stood.
Instead, she left without shaking hands. There were apologies all around, including to the media, and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell seemed taken aback:
Chuck Todd, host of MSNBC’s “Meet The Press” said:
‘There will be repercussions. It could be a bad mistake.’
At 11:45 p.m. EST, with 95 percent of the results counted, top challenger Bernie Sanders came to the podium for his speech, and it clearly was not to give a victory speech. Instead, Sanders declared a “virtual tie,” which is true. MSNBC news still said the race was too close to call.
Sanders started off 50 points behind Clinton in Iowa. Amid cheers and chants of “Ber-nie!” Sanders smiled broadly, and this is how he started:
‘We had no money, no name recognition to take on the most powerful political organization in the United States. And it looks like we are in a virtual tie.’
Sanders came into Iowa with 1500 volunteers donating thousands of hours and 100 paid staff, all very intense, very organized. His speech seemed like his regular stump speech until the end, when he said:
‘No president will be able to bring about changes, because the powers that be, Wall Street, corporations, no president can do it alone. This is why Iowa has begun a political revolution.’
‘That says when millions come together, including the frustrated and dismayed, young people, working seniors, and say, “enough is enough!” to our government of our great country, we will transform this country!’
At 12:35 a.m. EST with 95 percent of the count in, the vote was still too close to call. At least three precincts were so close, they had to decide with a coin toss, and Clinton won all three. With the flip of a coin, Sanders could have been leading.
If Clinton does not win, her jump to victory could backfire. Although, this was not a fatal error, it could be a bad blunder.
At 1:48 a.m. EST, the results were 49.7 to 49.7. No wonder Clinton gave an all-but-victory speech.