Saturday, December 26, 2015

Grassroots Support For Bernie Keeps Pushing Hillary To Take More Progressive Stands On Issues


Hillary's kitchen cabinet wants her to stop talking about all those Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren "left-wing" issues and start pivoting towards the center-right where they believe the presidential election will be won. They're not comfortable that Bernie's campaign has been forcing her hand on issue after issue after issue, from Wall Street reform, campaign finance reform, Global Warming and college financing to the TPP, medical marijuana and, most recently, deportations, a subject her brain trust doesn't want her talking about in the primary, so she'll sound more credible in the general when she's expected to turn full-Republican on several controversial issues, that being one of them.

On Christmas Eve, Maggie Haberman reported on how Bernie has been forcing her to get more aligned with the Democratic grassroots on key policies than her somewhat right-of-center, establishment orientation dictates. He never mentions that he publicly turned hedge-fund and drug kingpin Martin Shkreli's campaign contribution over to a charity for his victims while Clinton refuses to discuss why she-- like Mitch McConnell, the Schumer-Tester DSCC and the RNC-- happily gobbled up thousands in Shkreli campaign dollars. But he does talk about Shkreli and how campaign finance and the lack of single-payer health care reform are intertwined. "What is stopping us from guaranteeing free, quality health care as a basic fundamental right for all Americans? I believe the answer ties into campaign finance reform, he wrote. "The truth is, the insurance companies and the drug companies are bribing the United States Congress." Without singling out Hilllary by name-- who has taken $1,266,483 from drug companies and their employees, like Shkreli-- he mentioned that the Big Pharma is "flooding my opponents with cash."

In the current presidential race, these are the candidates pharmaceutical industry has invested in:
Jeb- $1,418,433
Hillary- $1,059,529
Christie- $175,000
Yep, very short, very concentrated list, although it's worth noting that since they were elected to the Senate, Big Pharma has been quite generous to Santorum ($799,265), Rubio ($180,800), Cruz ($168,655) and gave Kasich $100,852 while he served in the House. But he did mention that Hillary has received "millions of dollars from the health care and pharmaceutical industries" and more this campaign cycle from those sectors than did the top three Republican presidential candidates combined, the flailing Jebster not being in the top 3.
“Let’s not be naïve about this, maybe they are dumb and don’t know what they are going to get?” Mr. Sanders added. “But I don’t think that’s the case, and I don’t believe you do, either.”

Mr. Sanders has pledged not to run negative ads, but has struggled at times to maintain an issues-based approach. His aides recently took down a digital ad that described Mrs. Clinton as being captive of big banks after reporters noticed it.

...Asked about the tone of the fund-raising email, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, Michael Briggs, noted he had criticized her on the debate stage, and replied: “Taking factual note of the huge role the health care industry is playing in Secretary Clinton’s campaign is consistent with the senator’s honest and straightforward critique of her Wall Street donors. These are matter-of-fact contrasts between the kind of contributions that are going to the two candidates. Voters have every right to consider how a candidate’s donations would affect policies.”
And that's a message that has resonance with the Democratic base-- even out in western Iowa (aka- Steve King country). The Omaha World-Herald reported that Bernie "continues to draw raucous crowds in Iowa," even in deep red areas like Council Bluffs and Sioux City, both on the Nebraska border, blue enclaves in counties won by Romney.
The energy level at Iowa Western Community College never tapered off, as Sanders mocked Republicans for their climate change skepticism and questioned the “psychology” of Donald Trump. He also drew loud applause when he accused the GOP presidential front-runner of stoking hatred against Muslims and Mexicans for political gain.

Finally, Sanders defended his belief that Muslims and not American “boots” must lead the fight against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State.

“So, what’s the strategy?” Sanders said, referring to Trump. “You try to divide the American people up, try to get us to hate Mexicans, hate Muslims. You keep the minimum wage low, and you give tax breaks to millionaires.”

“Mr. Trump, that is not what makes America great,” Sanders said loudly and clearly.

...Polls consistently show Sanders in second place in Iowa behind Hillary Clinton, although Sanders predicted his energized supporters would show up on caucus night and give him the upset over Clinton.

“I’m getting a very good feeling about Iowa,” Sanders said. “Keep it a secret. Don’t tell anybody. I think we’re going to win here and make history.”

Sanders also noted that he has a solid lead in New Hampshire-- the state that holds its primaries a week after Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses.

If he can win Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders said, he has a “pathway to victory” for the Democratic nomination.

Sanders sounded many of his common themes during his Council Bluffs appearance, including his key argument that income inequality is one of the greatest issues facing America and that rich Americans and corporations don’t pay their fair share in taxes.

“Corporate America and Wall Street, I say, you can hate me all you want, but we’re going to end your greed, which is destroying this country’s economy,” Sanders said.
The most recent Iowa poll of likely Democratic caucus participants shows Hillary still ahead with 50%, while Bernie is at 45%. I thought these two queries and the responses from the poll are with looking at, which makes me believe Bernie has more of a chance to pick up Hillary voters than Hillary has to pick up Bernie voters:

If you would like to help make sure Bernie can continue to get his hopeful message out to Democratic primary voters, please consider contributing to his campaign here. There is no such thing as a contribution being too small-- aggregating enormous numbers of small contributions is how he has out-raised billionaire-backed Marco Rubio, as well as Dr. Ben, Christie, Rand Paul, Fiorina, Kasich, Santorum and Huckabee, each of whom has been taking mammoth amounts of money from special interests.

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At 10:37 PM, Blogger Bill Michtom said...

Hillary, despite the graphic, would be Bush 3.0, since Obama is Bush 2.0.


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