Democratic presidential candidates converged on California this week.
Hillary Clinton was in Silicon Valley Wednesday, speaking at Stanford University and raising money. She attends fundraisers in Santa Monica and Hollywood today.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders rallied in San Diego before coming to the City of Angels Wednesday for a slightly more intimate event at The Wiltern in Koreatown.
Michelle Manos is a founding member of the new Bernie Sanders Los Angeles Volunteer Office. She was at the event and set the scene for Take Two.
I understand there was a bit of a ticket fiasco heading into the evening. What happened?
“Late the night before the rally, LA Weekly announced the rally was going to happen … There were only supposed to be a limited number of tickets issued and [there] must have been some kind of glitch in the issuing of the tickets because there were unlimited tickets issued. Yesterday morning, many people got emails saying their tickets were canceled. All over social media, people started saying, 'well, I’m going to go anyway and see if I can get in.' The crowd was massive; the line snaked around the entire block, and they changed it [to] a first-come-first-served event.”
Did Sanders speak to the importance of California for him?
“Absolutely. He mentioned that it’s clear now that California is going to be a major player in this election and that we need to try to deliver as many delegates to him as we can. One line that I loved was, ‘for Bernie Sanders, the road to the White House goes right through California' — another big applause line.”
Did Sanders speak to the issues we’re facing in the state?
“He did. I’m sure you know that he’s been continuing to speak about the Flint water crisis … and he did parlay that into the drought and the unique water issues that we face here in the west. And he mentioned that we need to come together as a country to support what’s going on out here in the west and try to figure out the best way to move forward and solve some of these problems we’re experiencing.”
For Bernie Sanders, the road to the White House runs straight through California, but the Golden State may also be a critical clinch for Hillary Clinton if she wants to squeeze Sanders out of the race.
Thad Kousser, professor of political science at UC San Diego, says a Sanders win in California would be a historic political comeback, but he adds that Sanders may be after more than delegates at this stage in the race.
“I think what he’s trying to do is continue to run a very strong second in case something happens with Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton has pretty high negatives nationally, [as well as within] his very liberal and very young base, so he’s just waiting for her to stumble through a scandal, more emails, an indictment — that would be his road to the White House.”