Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Clinton Insider Neera Tanden: Sanders Did "Significant Damage"


Top Clinton insider Neera Tanden at a Google- and Elle-sponsored DC function (source)

by Gaius Publius

Short and bitter-sweet. The primary election is mainly over (but not quite; there's still a black swan or two hovering overhead). Clinton and her camp have vanquished the challenge from the left wing of her own voting base. We've listened to call after call for "party unity."

And yet we see this — Neera Tanden, a major Clinton insider, current head of the prominent (and Clintonist) thinktank Center for American Progress, someone in line for a significant job in a new Clinton administration, someone currently on Clinton's transition team, takes an unprovoked backhand swipe at Sanders and the left he represented during the primary, a punch in the gut for an offense long past.

The offense? Not surrendering to Clinton early enough.


Tanden, as quoted in The Hill:
Clinton confidante: Sanders did 'significant damage'

Longtime Hillary Clinton confidante Neera Tanden in a new podcast commends Bernie Sanders for the issues he raised during his campaign but notes his attacks on the Democratic presidential nominee were harmful.

“I actually have to say, I think he brought a lot of really important issues to the floor, but Senator Sanders was prosecuting a much tougher character attack” than Barack Obama did in 2008, Tanden said during Politico’s “Off Message” podcast.

“He did do significant damage to Hillary's negatives."

During the primary season, the Vermont senator often attacked the eventual Democratic nominee on the campaign trail — at points, questioning her judgment.

“I mean, he drove a lot of those negatives, and the truth of it, I mean, just to be candid — or honest about it, I think getting those kinds of attacks from another Democrat or another liberal or another progressive is much tougher for Hillary," said Tanden, who is the president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.

"If you look at her trust numbers the last six months of that primary ... those numbers took a much sharper dive and [were] hard to recover from.”
On the same story, Politico adds this:
[Tanden is] Clinton’s edgy public alter ego, whose stiletto-elbowed Twitter presence is said to closely echo the candidate’s own caustic private musings. And while Tanden respects Sanders and his staff (she helped negotiate the joint Clinton-Sanders college and health proposals and says “they were great”), she echoes Clinton’s own opinion that Sanders let the primary go on too long, too noisily and too nastily. [my emphasis]

“This primary was much tougher [than 2008]. There were many more open attacks on being 'bought and paid for' and all that stuff,” said Tanden, who didn’t like it, not one little bit.
Tanden's "stiletto-elbowed Twitter presence" — about that, more here. If you have a minute, do click. It makes a fascinating side story.

"Echoing the candidate's own caustic musings" — we'll have to take Politico's word for that, since there are no cited sources.

Clinton's opinion that "Sanders let the primary go on too long, too noisily and too nastily" — that's not hard to believe. Though it has a note of entitlement about it, I think — a note of complaining that your opponent should have quit earlier — and entitled is exactly what you don't want to be perceived as, no matter how far ahead of Donald Trump you are. So, on that score, bad move.

Which brings us back to Neera Tanden, and the question, why this slap at Sanders now? It apparently comes from nowhere, or from pique, a winner's swipe at a loser who's laying on the mat.

About that, two points. First, Tanden's comment adds credence to the perception of Clinton-camp entitlement that most Democrats think both Clinton and her team should avoid. Second, this incident has to give pause to that aforementioned Sanders-supporting base, that if this candidate and her new team can't resist unprovoked hippie-punching now, what will they do once they have real power?

Again, bad move, as I see it. This looks like an unforced error to me.


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At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scumbag Neera Tanden

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the clothespin vote for Hillary is becoming a harder and harder option. This is a rather stupid move by Tanden - Hillary should not be doing anything to further alienate Bernie supporters. Without them, she could well lose to Trump. After all, Bernie got a third to half of the Democratic votes. The "damage" done by Bernie was well deserved: Hillary should take notice and take a good look at herself and her own actions. Tanden should be encouraging her to "look in the mirror" instead of blaming Bernie. Why is the Clinton Foundation continuing to take foreign money? Some of her decisions and moves (or lack thereof) have been appalling. She does not seem to be learning from her errant ways - this is of concern and does not bode well for her Presidency, if she does win. But of course, she still looks better than Trump - the emotionally arrested, narcissistic, vindictive, ignorant, sociopathic, racist and evil person that he is. What a choice the American people have this November! It is shameful.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger George Tafelski said...

I think Krusty the Clown said "Politics ain't beanbag". It may have been Richard Nixon but at any rate too bad for Hillary and Neera Tanden that Bernie told as much of the truth as he was politically able. The truth is Hillary is an awful candidate whose negatives are her own damn fault. It is her dumb luck that she is running against a worse candidate. Bernie supporters like me are supporting Hillary. Neera Tanden should have her kept her big mouth and twitter feed shut. Instead she has chosen to rip the scab off a wound that was healing as well as can be expected. So I agree with GP this is just the first of more than a few slaps between now and the election and beyond.

At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen George!

If Hillary loses, it will be her own damned fault for her egregious decisions and lust for money. Bernie was only telling the truth and kudos to him. She is a lousy candidate. Yet compared to the Trumpanzee...

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary could have undone some trust negatives by agreeing to trash the non-democratic super delegate charade, and by not hiring Debbie Wasserman Schultz; post the wiki-leaks proof that she was a corrupt non-democratic partisan DNC chair. HRC chose to reward and approves such corrupt political practices. Blame it on Bernie sounds just like the blame it on Ralph facade. Face facts, Hillary doesn't care about being honest and it's not up to her opponents to protect her from this fact. She faced choices and decided to take the dishonest route. So Hillary's trillion dollar war policies based on Bush's PNAC vs. Trump's possible supreme court picks & racist policies is what the two party system produced. It's up to voters to reject both these choices as unacceptable. All Bernie did was try to give the country something worthy of a democracy. "None of the above" would win in a landslide.

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hillary should not be doing anything to further alienate Bernie supporters."

Hillary should not be doing anything to further alienate MORE Bernie supporters.

She already lost THIS Bernie Bro a long time ago. Under my roof, five votes are headed to Jill Stein.

At 6:31 AM, Blogger Frank in Reno said...

Anyone who votes for Hilary is either a fool, or is in on it. We could survive 4 years of a fool... Hell, we survived 8!!! But another Clinton administration? No frakking way.

At 1:57 PM, Blogger John Wilmerding said...

I will add here that I marched locally with Bernie and his son Levi when he started his race, then went 'underground' on-line (not part of his campaign) and researched everything I could about Hillary, because we damn well have a right to know what our candidates' backgrounds are and what they bring to the plate. I pushed hard for Bernie all the way to the convention, where, as you know, he was received gracefully and honorably, even by (and especially by) Hillary. I can tell you I researched every angle I could find about Hillary's "negatives", meaning 'scandals' she was ostensibly involved in. I never found a 'smoking gun', nor 'probable cause' to believe she was guilty of the things she is still being accused of. At the worst, one can look critically at unintended consequences of some of her actions, but she is no different than most any major officeholder in that regard. I happen to believe she will make a wonderful president, and bring us closer to being the non-sexist, non-racist, non-imperialist society that so many of us who worked for Bernie crave and desire desperately.

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary kept the primary going until the bitter end in 2008, so she has no grounds to criticize Bernie.

Her trust issues are because she's untrustworthy. That's all on her.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Carla said...

Bernie gave us a much-needed option--an honest, qualified, respected candidate.
Hillary, by contrast, is an unrepentant, sloppy whiner who is either hopelessly incompetent or a compulsive liar. She has done nothing to bring in Bernie's supporters, but, rather, alienated them further.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger jvb2718 said...

First, $hillbillary has hired a staff that is just like her: pure neoliberal, neocon moneyandpower-fellating $hills who, at this point in the fascist timeline just don't need to bother with the facade of democracy any more.

There are soooooo many unrefutable rebuttals to Wilmerding, but I'll just say one word: Honduras
Wake the fuck up and smell the evil.

All said, though, I have little sympathy for nor interest in what this piece is saying. $hillbillary is shit and anyone who has a functioning mind should know this. But Bernie self-immolated when he sold out to the DNC and decided to "support" that distaff monster instead of taking his "revolution" (which may or may not have been real) forward in any of several viable ways.

And, btw, there is more than prima fascia evidence that Bernie sold out 40 years ago and this past year was performance art to keep real progressives and the youth vote from totally losing interest. one word: sheepdog. If that was the plan all along, fuck Bernie too.

At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Bernie DID do significant damage.

He gave 10s of millions some hope that American politics could actually represent someone other than billionaires and corporations.

Then, like Lucy with the football, he utterly nuked that hope by endorsing the monsterS he was running against ($hillbillary, DNC and all the money that owns them both).

He played the sheepdog perfectly; got millenials engaged in a year when there was an absolute dearth of major-party candidates of substance, kept the interest high almost until the convention. Some of those will carry the barf bucket into the booth come November and vote $hillbillary... out of sheer terror of a drumpf unitary. Far too few will continue any sort of activism nor will any significant number vote for Stein, the only good candidate.

Unlike the cartoon, however, at some point the serial betrayals will leave the altruists in the electorate forever disaffected. Reasonable people who are not driven by greed and hate will come to realize that elections will never ever help their lot in life and will disengage.

This is the end game that the money wanted. Rs realized decades ago that they are helped when millions don't participate. The money bought the Ds (or the Ds sold themselves to the money) in the '80s so the money now cannot lose by 180 million never participating again.


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