Cuomo publicly snubbed Teachout; Weingarten slighted Teachout in the final hour, behind her back, and in the name of a position so obscure to the general public that Weingarten must preface it with, "Hey, you know me as a union prez, but don't think of me that way right now..." And still, Teachout took a third of the vote from Cuomo.
Teachout might not be able to defeat Clinton, Inc. -- with its bevy of rich and well-connected donors -- for the nomination, but my bet is that she could collect a slew of delegates and have a big impact on the national debate. The Democratic wing of the Democratic Party deserves a strong warrior in the primaries, not just a Clinton coronation.
Political professionals scorn protest campaigns. Generally, they get little attention and attract few votes. Sometimes, by happenstance, they can be destructive, as demonstrated by Ralph Nader's third-party campaign in 2000. But these are not normal times. America's extreme and growing inequality, its falling middle class and its obscenely corrupted politics demand the end of politics as usual. As Teachout argues forcefully, the Democratic Party faces a fierce debate about its direction and basic values. The gap between its deep-pocket Wall Street and corporate donors and the working families it claims to represent is now a chasm. A new economic populism has begun to build. And that means that campaigns like Teachout's are increasingly important.