Where Things Stand: Summer Solstice Edition

Periodically I like to take a comparative look at the nomination process, and with summer here and the conventions still several weeks away this seems like a good time to take the temperature of the Democratic and Republican campaigns. Besides, I promised last Sunday that I would.

Right now the campaigns are in a silent phase between the whirlwind primary season and the formal nomination of the candidates, when a lot of activity is taking place out of public view. This is the time when nominees in waiting consolidate support by reaching out to their vanquished opponents, expand their staffs, vet potential running mates and plot their general election strategy. At least that’s what’s supposed to happen.

Both campaigns entered the silent phase with a lot of unfinished business. Hillary Clinton was facing a defiant Bernie Sanders, whose support she will need in the fall. Donald Trump was generating palpable unease in all corners of the Republican Party and needed to reassure party leaders, elected officials and potential contributors that it was safe to get behind him. Now, as we approach Independence Day, it’s safe to say that one of these campaigns has made progress toward its goals. And the other, well . . . we’ll get to that later.

I’ll post thoughts on the Democratic contest tomorrow and the Republican contest on Friday.