The Ticket: South Carolina, With Jennifer Palmieri

The former Hillary Clinton aide Jennifer Palmieri discusses the South Carolina primary, why 2020 is different from 2016, and how sexism still shapes American politics.

Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri speaks with members of the media aboard the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign plane on November 6, 2016, after FBI Director James Comey told Congress in a letter that day that a review of new Clinton emails had "not changed our conclusions" from earlier in the year that she should not face charges. (Andrew Harnik / AP)

South Carolina has long been a turning point for Democratic candidates.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders put up an unexpectedly strong challenge to Hillary Clinton, but his blowout loss in the Palmetto State was the beginning of the end. In 2008, when the post-Iowa polls shifted toward Barack Obama, South Carolina was a clincher for his candidacy. Iowa and New Hampshire may get the most attention, but South Carolina is the state voting tomorrow that’s often key to winning the nomination.

To preview the South Carolina primary (and the looming Super Tuesday), Edward-Isaac Dovere sat down with Jennifer Palmieri for the latest episode of The Ticket: Politics From The Atlantic. Palmieri was the communications director for the Obama White House and Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Listen to the full episode here:

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Despite running against Sanders in 2016, Palmieri is skeptical of the many candidates pitching themselves on electability.

“You’re not winning when you’re just trying to beat somebody else. You’re winning when you have your own argument, your own agenda,” she told Dovere. “And I do credit Sanders for building that kind of campaign.”

Listen for:

  • Behind-the-scenes moments from the 2016 primary: from Clinton entering a hotel to chants of “Lock her up!” to the candidate’s private belief that she would lose to Sanders

  • Why Palmieri thinks voters shouldn’t try to find the perfect candidate to beat Donald Trump

  • How Elizabeth Warren’s run has shown the gender bias that still shapes American politics