Former Ohio state senator Nina Turner has switched her allegiance from Secretary Hillary Clinton to Senator Bernie Sanders. This is a very important addition to Senator Sanders’ list of endorsements because he has been struggling to gain the support of African American voters. The Sanders’ campaign has always contended that this is because he is not well-known around America, especially by African Americans.
Enter Nina Turner. Nina Turner has received a lot of publicity throughout the country on the cable news network, MSNBC. She is an African American woman who has strongly supported issues like women’s rights, equal pay, equal and quality education for all children, police reform, justice system reform and union rights. In addition, she has never been shy about expressing her opinion on those issues. The fact that she has not used a softer tone to get her points across could prove to be damaging to her political aspirations.
She is now touting Bernie Sanders’ message urging a political revolution and says that she believes that he would be the best person to lead this country after President Obama leaves office. Former state senator Turner will provide a major inroad for Senator Sanders into the political psyche of African Americans in Ohio, in particular, and throughout the country in general whether or not she travels with and stumps for him.
This is huge in terms of overall political playing field tactics because Ohio has always played a key part in who eventually occupies the Oval Office. It is also huge in this year’s Democratic primaries because Senator Sanders who from the very start of these primaries was considered destined to be an also-ran is suddenly feeling the ‘bern’ and catching fire … so-to-speak. The Clinton campaign is nervous, as they should be, about this and so is seeking to douse the Sanders’ fire.
I have always been and still remain a strong Hillary Clinton supporter. I support her because her record as a politician indicates that she – for the most part, comes down on the same side of the issues that I do. I support her because she is a fair-minded politician who stands up for the rights of everyone and is willing to seek common ground, when it is necessary, to achieve the best results possible unless those results are simply totally unacceptable. I support her because I think that she stands the best chance to win the 2016 general election.
I also support Secretary Clinton, in part, because people like her husband – former president Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama (although not formally … yet) endorse her. These are trustworthy people who have not only advocated for fair treatment of all Americans but have a proven record of supporting laws and policies that work toward and, hopefully, assure that this fairness becomes reality rather than something that continues to be just hoped for.
I have consistently said that Senator Sanders is a statesman who has a strong and compelling message and that African Americans should not automatically reject it or him. We should look at his record, juxtapose it onto the issues that we are concerned about and how we would like to see those issues resolved and incorporate the results into our calculus. We should then determine, to the best of our ability, if he is electable before we decide what we will do.
I will continue to evaluate Senator Sanders and his campaign efforts up until a primary Democratic presidential nominee is selected but it is highly unlikely that I will switch my allegiance from Secretary Clinton to him.
Back to former state senator Nina Turner. Former state senator Turner has made her decision and there is nothing that is inherently wrong with what she did by switching from Secretary Clinton and backing Senator Sanders; that does not now make her the enemy. However, since loyalty is a highly valued commodity in the world of politics Ms. Turner has put herself in a precarious position if she intends to remain a politician and advance her political career.
Why do I say this? Because back in 2013 when Nina Turner ran for Ohio Secretary of State, former president Bill Clinton endorsed her. Although she lost that race to Republican Jon Husted, former president Clinton now held a chip against her, which whether or not ever cashed in, in the world of politics warrants a certain degree of loyalty. And unless that bond of loyalty is somehow breached by the party holding the chip, it is expected to be there even if it is not verbally requested: The Clintons are very powerful people in the world of politics.
Whether or not this decision by Ms. Turner will come back on her and negatively impact her political career remains to be seen. Even if her choice proves to have been a political miscalculation she can always make amends; perhaps, that is, depending on the results of the 2016 Democratic primaries. If Secretary Clinton should by some miracle lose then to make amends might be somewhere between just short of impossible and impossible. But life goes on, right?
Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line