Bernie Really Is A Better Candidate Than Hillary
Hillary's not a good candidate for several reasons, electability being one, her record of leadership being another. Obviously she's better on the issues-- all of the issues-- than Cruz or Christie or Rubio or any of those clowns. But that's a really low bar. The problem with her, policy-wise is that she's a flip-flopping opportunist who has been consistent on one thing: watching which way the parade is headed and then running to the front when it's absolutely safe to do so. For example, it took Hillary quite a long time to come around on LGBT equality. She had a typically conservative Democratic perspective until national polls showed the public had-- after years of effort by other leaders (Bernie included-- embraced the notion of gay equality. Then she followed. That's her story; she follows. Bernie has been leader on tough issues while Hillary has always tried to have it both ways-- cautiously placate gays and lesbians and their families, while not offending bigots and haters. Listen to what she had to say-- her own words-- in the video below. It's all the dancing around the issue that makes people hate politicians in general and dislike her in particular.
We've written about Hillary's reluctance to embrace LGBT equality before, particularly when she was endorsed by the Beltway establishment shills at the Human Rights Campaign. According to 2012 exit polls 76% of gays voted for Obama. My guess is that gays will turn out in equally lopsided numbers for whomever wins the Democratic nomination, primarily because the Republican Party as an institution has been and continues to be so overwhelmingly hostile to the LGBT community and so opposed to legitimate LGBT aspirations. But for people looking for leaders, Hillary isn't the place to be looking-- not on the environment, not on Wall Street reform, not on Climate Change, not on income inequality. She's just another conservative Democratic Party tap-dancer, nearly as bad as her horrible surrogate Claire McCaskill.
As for electability every poll shows Bernie leading all the Republican candidates in head-t-head match-ups, while Hillary loses to Rubio and sometimes to Cruz. As important, Bernie beats each Republican with significantly bigger margins than Hillary. That's because independent voters love him and pretty much hate her. I'm not saying they should hate her-- the GOP has spent 2 decades poisoning the Hillary well-- but that's the sad reality.
According to a new poll of New Hampshire voters by Emerson, that was released yesterday, the only candidate-- from either party-- with a positive favorability rating from voters is Bernie Sanders. His favorables are 14 points greater than his unfavorables-- the polar opposite of Hillary's own, still much better than the serious GOP contenders, but never even close to Bernie's.
• Bernie +14
• Hillary -15%
• Rubio -27%
• Herr Trumpf -31%
• Cruz -35
I hope you had a chance to watch the interview Chuck Todd did the other day (up top) with Ohio's most respected Democratic leader, Nina Turner, who switched her support from Hillary to Bernie-- just as several high profile state Reps have done in South Carolina in the last few days. She talks a lot about aspiring and working for progressive goals rather than-- how shall I put it?-- being just another hack who "shrugs and claims that change is just too hard has crawled into bed with the billionaires who want to run this country like some private club." Take a look at Bernie's new ad. Do you think the Hillary people will call it a vicious personal attack on her? Why would she think that? Just because it is undeniable that she is Wall Street's candidate?
Yesterday, Matt Karp, writing for Jacobin pointed out that "by early 2015, the leadership of the Democratic Party had determined to nominate Hillary Clinton with a degree of unanimity unparalleled in recent history," while Bernie was tarred as a "fringe figure," despite representing positions far more popular with the public than her own Wall Street-centric agenda.
Given Clinton’s gigantic early lead, and her built-in advantages of name recognition, cash in hand, and establishment backing, it was remarkable how quickly Sanders closed the gap in the early-voting states.Eric Garner's daughter, Erica Garner, endorsed Bernie in an insightful Washington Post OpEd this morning. "Black Americans-- all Americans-- need a leader with a record that speaks for itself. And to me, it’s clear. Of all the presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders is our strongest ally... I remember another candidate who dared me to believe in hope and change. His opponents said he wasn’t ready for leadership. They said he couldn’t win. He said, “Yes, we can.” And we did. I still believe we can. That’s why I endorse Bernie Sanders for president."
...In the past month, with Sanders’s strength in Iowa and New Hampshire stubbornly growing, commentators have finally begun to compare Sanders to an actual primary winner-- Barack Obama. Sanders, like Obama in 2008, has challenged Clinton by mobilizing young and first-time voters-- a valuable if notoriously precarious demographic base. Heading into Iowa, the question animating professional poll-watchers is whether Sanders can follow the Obama path to early-state victory.
Yet this is the wrong way to approach the Sanders phenomenon. A good deal of evidence suggests that Sanders has assembled a rather different kind of voter coalition than any primary challenger of the past generation-- that he is the rare “progressive” candidate who can actually win over white working-class voters.
Recent Democratic primary upstarts have appealed above all to a highly motivated liberal base-- voters who were generally well-informed, well-educated, and well-off. In 2000, exit polls showed that the only bracket of voters Bill Bradley won in Iowa were those with incomes over $75,000 a year; in New Hampshire, he only won voters making over $100,000.
In the 2008 caucus, both Obama and John Edwards significantly over-performed their overall Iowa numbers with voters making over $100,000, while underperforming with voters making less than $50,000. It was Hillary Clinton, though she finished third in the overall caucus, who outdid her overall numbers with Iowans at the lower end of the income distribution.
In New Hampshire, where Clinton staged a surprise comeback victory, she again overperformed among voters making less than $50,000-- winning them over Obama by a margin of 47 to 32 percent. Perhaps even more telling was Clinton’s victory among voters who said they were “falling behind financially”: she won them, 43 to 33, while Obama swept voters who said they were “getting ahead,” 48 to 32 percent.
The young liberals who flocked to Obama in 2008, in other words, were economically both comfortable and confident. All signs so far suggest that Bernie Sanders’s Iowa and New Hampshire youth revolt is of a very different character.
...One striking difference between Sanders and Obama, as Jedediah Purdy has noted, is that the Sanders campaign is about the platform, not the candidate. Another striking difference is that Sanders has forged connections to lower-income New Hampshire and Iowa Democrats that eluded Obama and every other progressive primary challenger in recent history.
Sanders has done it by offering a substantial rather than rhetorical “progressive” vision. His call to break up the big banks, install a $15 minimum wage, and provide single-payer health care for all-- however mild as “democratic socialism” goes-- represents an aggressive economic populism exiled from the national Democratic Party for decades. Certainly Sanders’s program far exceeds the universally timid and deficit-focused reforms on offer from Bradley, Dean, and Obama.
Sanders may well have won intense backing from the professional and technical workers that John Judis described at a campaign rally last fall, and that Michael Harrington long hoped might embrace democratic socialism. But the polls suggest that Sanders’s program has also proven immensely appealing to a younger but less affluent and more traditional Democratic white working class: not just hybrid owners, but truck drivers, too.
By the way, did you see that big Univision survey this week, the one about persuadable Hispanic voters? This graphic-- along with Hillary's relatively high unfavorables among Latinos (30% compared to just 16% for Bernie) may be causing some serious consternation in Camp Clinton right now: