Any reporter who has ever spent time on a presidential campaign has heard the perennial rant about “process stories.” That’s when the candidate tells you that really he is desperate to illuminate in numbing and nuanced detail his plan to reverse the decline of American manufacturing (which consists of about 500 words of boilerplate blather on his website), but all we in the media ever ask about is how he intends to win, so he can’t.
(Of course, if you ask him to sit down and talk about the manufacturing plan, his aides will say no, because how can they trust that you’re really going to ask him about the manufacturing plan and not about, you know, the process? Alas, this is their predicament.)
At this late stage in the 2016 races, however, process seems to be the only thing some candidates actually do want to talk about. The system itself has now become the burning issue of the campaign.
Bernie Sanders rails against a rigged system supported by “superdelegates” and “closed” primaries. And of course Donald Trump has now launched a full-on assault against the rules of the Republican nominating process, which he seems determined not to grasp. Trump’s son Donald Jr. weighed in earlier this week, when he told Sean Hannity, “I feel like we’re living in communist China.”