By Michael Moss for New York Times Sunday Magazine, Feb. 20/24, 2012
On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by their skill in fighting one another for what they called “stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.
James Behnke, a 55-year-old executive at Pillsbury, greeted the men as they arrived. He was anxious but also hopeful about the plan that he and a few other food-company executives had devised to engage the C.E.O.’s on America’s growing weight problem. [....]
Two things stood out during the debate. The first is that Sanders is incapable of admitting a mistake. When asked if he would cast a different vote if he could have a do-over on the 1994 crime bill, Bernie did his usual defense of his vote, followed by stating that he wished he had a better bill. Bernie cannot openly admit that he was wrong.
The fact that Sanders will likely lose the nomination, however, isn’t simply about race; the Democratic electorate is more liberal, but it’s still not all that liberal in an absolute sense. Moderate and conservative Democrats still form a larger base in most states than very liberal voters. A little less than 40 percent of Democratic primary voters so far this year have identified as moderate or conservative. That’s 14 percentage points bigger than the very liberal bloc, and 4 points higher than the somewhat liberal group.