Like Clinton in 2008, Sanders refuses to accept the reality of defeat. In contrast, Hillary now has her eyes on the award, and a ruthless Republican opponent

Its time for some cold hard truths in this presidential election.

Heres an ice cold one: winning a landslide victory in the mighty country of Vermont is not a foundation for success. Especially if Vermont has been your home since the Jurassic age of politics.

Heres another: if you hold a victory rally before most of the states have been called, youre not fooling anyone. When your victorious advocates have emptied the dormitory before the TV pundits have barely warmed up, youre actually throwing a consolation party.

Bernie Sanders has built his impressively insurgent campaign on the premise that hes a truth-teller. On Tuesday night, he recurred the commonplace faith that climate change is not a hoax( as many Republicans argue ), and that the science is clear.

On that basis, its only a matter of time before Sanders stops perpetuating his own hoax and looks at the data of the delegate count.

Instead, on Super Tuesday the socialist senator spoke of an idyllic place where democracy is still as pure as the mountain snow that didnt autumn this year. Its a Swiss-like canton where they have town meetings for citizens to make decisions in a democratic style. In Vermont, Sanders explained, billionaires dont buy town sessions. Well, they would be strange billionaires if they did.

In a place called Vermont, you are able to stand in front of your cheering supporters and explain the glory of proportional delegate apportioning: that a narrow victory doesnt bestow a big advantage in delegates. By the end of tonight, Sanders proclaimed, we are going to win many hundreds of delegates.

But in a place called America, that doesnt mean a whole lot if your contender is winning many hundreds more. Sure enough, despite Sanders claiming Oklahoma, Colorado and Minnesota, Clinton won lopsided victories across the south, enough to push her far into the leading.

Sanders willful refusal to accept reality a questionable quality in a chairperson recalled the 2008 performance of one Hillary Clinton on the night when her main challenger, an upstart by the name of Barack Obama, won enough delegates to set the race beyond her reach.

In a speech in her home country of New York, Clinton refused to concede to either the arithmetic or Obama, and instead recommended her 18 million voters to tell her what she should do next on her website. At Camp Obama, they had a few ideas of their own.

It may be premature to expect Sanders to concede to reality. But its never too early for Hillary Clinton to fulcrum to the general election.

In her victory speech, she delivered the customary blows against Donald Trump: that America has never stopped being great, and that we should be breaking down obstacles instead of constructing walls.

But the real pivot to the general election came in how Clinton name-checked every voting group that she needs to improve her tally in a contest against Trump. She talked about rust belt towns and Appalachian communities. She talked about union plumbers and auto workers rallying to support Flint, Michigan.

She lavished praise on Obama, denounced voting rights suppression in North Carolina, and recalled a visit to a Baptist church. She called for equal pay for women, and a pay create for the middle class.

You might just call her victory speech Clintonesque in its focus-grouped, precision-bombing approach to building a winning coalition in November. She didnt just leave it to chance in preferring Miami for her victory rally.

If Hillary Clinton wanted to win with love and kindness, her likely competitor in the fall was talking about destruction and win. A little more than an hours drive north up I-9 5, Donald Trump admitted he had no idea what Clinton meant by wanting to induce America whole again.

That may be because life is a hollow shell at Trumps gold-painted Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. Once again, the likely GOP nominee told the story of a friend who stopped buying Caterpillar construction equipment in favor of Komatsu machines from Japan. This is a problem Trump can relate to, since he outsources work on his own manner label to China and Mexico. Trump savored a consistent string of wins on Super Tuesday in such a way that only he could pull off: with sheer head-spinning inconsistency. Look, Im a unifier, Trump asserted before tearing into everybody else.

Once we get all of this finished, Im going to go after one person: Hillary Clinton, he promised, as he turned his victory speech into a press conference.

Trump is a special kind of unifier. The kind who feels most whole when he wins and other people lose. Clinton may have finally put the Sanders threat behind her. Now she needs to prove that her version of love can beat Trumps version of hate.

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