Hillary Clinton’s One Minute Debate

Hillary ClintonI would pay my entire month’s salary to have this primary over. I caught one minute — One minute! — of last night’s debate. It was enough. Bernie Sanders was asked if Hillary Clinton was qualified to be president. He said that of course she was. In fact, he admitted something that made him look bad: that he was just reacting to the Clinton campaign. I don’t like to hear that, even though it is true. He then went on to say that he questioned her judgment about the Iraq War. Personally, I don’t think anyone really cares. Certainly, I don’t care because I accept that politicians are, well, politicians.

Hillary Clinton is currently about 15 percentage points ahead of Sanders in New York. So she has every reason to take the high ground. She’s admitted that she was wrong on that call. Why not let it go? Well, she can’t. That appears to be the Clinton way — Bill and Hillary both. So she started talking about the New York Daily News interview. Dean Baker destroyed all the attacks following that, Reporters Who Haven’t Noticed That Paul Ryan Has Called for Eliminating Most of Federal Government Go Nuts Over Bernie Sanders’ Lack of Specifics.

Bernie SandersI just don’t get this. I know I’ve written about this before. I don’t understand why the Clinton campaign isn’t able to see reality. Had she not been so combative it would have been much more difficult for Sanders to be so combative. And what does this get Clinton? It makes her look like she’s in a real battle. When did I call this race? Back in February? Clinton has been far ahead in every poll in New York and California that I’ve ever seen.

As a result of this, I get constant questions from fellow Sanders supporters. They are very excited. They think that Sanders has a real chance. I hear about winning 8 of 9 contests in a row. And so I have to sit down with them and show them the numbers. I find the whole thing exhausting, but at least they have no reason to know. The Clinton campaign doesn’t have this excuse.

I suppose that I will hear that Clinton has to continue to fight like this or the Republicans will get all the media oxygen. I don’t think this is right. The general election is far more important. The thinking that the Clinton campaign needs to get as much press as the Trump campaign is typical of this ridiculous notion of needing to “win the week.” It’s short term thinking, which just happens to feed into the worst narrative about Clinton (from my perspective).

As I said before, I want this all to be over. But I get that the Sanders campaign keeps fighting. Sanders is the underdog in this race. Clinton acts like she’s the underdog when she isn’t. And that comment about the Daily News made me appreciate more the “Bernie or Bust” people. I still think they are wrong, but I definitely get the impression that the Hillary Clinton campaign has the same attitude toward the left of the party that the New Democrats have had for the last 25 years, “They have nowhere else to go.” Well, they do.

I really wish that Clinton pandered to me as much as she panders to AIPAC. But I’ll still vote for her. In the general election.

This entry was posted in Politics by Frank Moraes. Bookmark the permalink.

About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

10 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton’s One Minute Debate

  1. I read the interview. At best I will say that he was unprepared and he is good at figuring out there is a problem.
    And since you support him, I am not going to say another word.

    • To me, it isn’t really about Sanders, though. As you know, I am the Rodney King of his primary, “Can’t we all just get along?” There are some things I’ve been very unhappy to see coming from the Sanders campaign, and I’m glad I’m not paying much attention. But it is Clinton who has the power to get us to our Kumbaya moment, but she insists upon pretending that she’s losing. When Sanders starts talking about using super-delegates, you know it is over. I feel like Takashi Shimura in Rashomon, “I just don’t understand.”

      • The most vocal people from the Sanders side seem to be people who are not Democrats. Democrats know about the superdelegate system, they know about the fact that this is a numbers game and they are fighting to get their candidate but accept when it doesn’t happen.

        The independents on the other hand want to bust in, change everything up so their guy only can win and don’t care how much damage they do in the process. That is why, I think, you get Devine not being as much of as a rabble rouser as Weaver is. Sure I think Devine is saying some problematic things but he gets that his candidate is not going to get the nomination. He is also trying his best to mitigate the destruction that Weaver is causing by ticking off the power people who Devine needs post election because Devine doesn’t want to be frozen out next election.

        It is also why my friends who are independents are the ones being the most annoying about this-they all freaked out over AZ’s polling place problems and think it was orchestrated by Clinton’s camp. When I try to tell them “This has been going on for years, since before I got active in 2003, Clinton’s campaign was most affected since the low polling place spots were in her strongest areas…” they don’t care and won’t listen. As far as they are concerned-Hillary Clinton is the devil and she is the one that has caused every problem we as a country face since 1993.

        Currently they are mad that independents cannot vote in NY since they think they shouldn’t have to join the party to have a say in who the nominee is. It is very frustrating to talk to them because they keep acting like things that have been in place for years needs to be set aside solely for their benefit. And then they accuse you of being anti-democratic for the Party not doing everything what they assume is the best way.

        At least this will be over soon. Tuesday should be interesting.

        • Well, I have to disagree with that last bit: I don’t think Tuesday will be interesting. It could be, but I fully expect that Clinton will win by double digits. But again, I’m a numbers guy.

          I think you need to be clear as to what it means to be a Democrat. The vast majority of registered Democrats don’t know anything about these process issues. A lifelong Democratic friend of mine was asking me just the other day what a super-delegate was. And I don’t think he should know. That’s all stuff for people like you. If the system were such that Clinton could lose California, Texas, and New York, and still get the nomination, then people should care. But that won’t happen and I don’t think it ever would. Look at the pickle the GOP finds itself in.

          Maybe I’m just a defeatist, but the state of the Democratic primary is this: more Democrats want Clinton than Sanders. I’m okay with that. I’ve always said that real change in this country will take many election cycles. And as I discussed in my “Bernie or Bust” article, it is time that we liberal Democrats try to take over the party. As it is, I don’t think the DLC types had the kind of support that we have. So if we do more working and less whining, things will get better sooner.

          On the other hand, if Sanders somehow wins New York, I’ll admit that I was wrong to give up on a Sanders nomination in February. I’m still voting for him regardless. (And polling isn’t great in California; he could conceivably win the state.) But the reasons people have for continuing to think Sanders can win the nomination just aren’t valid. And I’m way too old to expect a miracle. Also, of course, I have major problems with Clinton, but I still like her. A lot of people seem to have something personal against her. I don’t get that and I never have. She’ll make a perfectly fine president. Four more years! Right? I can live with a 3rd and even 4th Obama term. There are far worse alternatives waiting.

          Now that I’ve managed to alienate every conceivable reader, I’ll stop.

          • You didn’t alienate me. I am saying it will be interesting because I read some of the articles by HA Goodman and others who are livid, just livid, that Clinton is winning more Democratic voters then Sanders.

            Well of course she is! We have known her for forty years! So the Bernie Bots on Twitter and Salon are going to be amusing to me. Thanks to them I have almost doubled my followers on Twitter. Yay!

            As for the rest of it-the DLC had a reason for existing. They won because of various different things (I may disagree with you on how come Bill Clinton won the first time but it is pretty clear the country as a whole may be liberal but individual congressional districts are not) but their time has passed. The liberals have made a comeback and Clinton accepts this. She is just very very cautious about doing anything that isn’t middle of the road because 1. she has been beaten up for being liberal before and 2. she is much more executive branch in governing style then people want to accept. The executive branch has to be moderate and middle of the road because it is not just governing the liberals in San Francisco but the reactionary right wing smegheads in Alabama, the overly polite midwesterners and the over the top Texans.

            So I think if we send her a Democratic Congress, she will be surprisingly liberal on domestic policy. Nothing is going to cure the foreign policy.

            • I largely accept that analysis. As I’ve noted many times, it was Hillary who was leader of the liberals in Bill’s White House. They just lost.

              But this idea that the Democrats lost in 80, 84, and 88 because they were too liberal and that they won in 92 because Clinton was conservative is not just against everything we know about political science — it is also ahistorical. The DLC had a reason for existing: to push the nation to the right on economic and military issues. And it was stunningly successful at that. It’s reason for existing had nothing to do with getting Democrats elected, except in as much as they were proto-Republicans.

  2. Bill Clinton and his people like James Carville saw it as important to respond to every attack before it could set in. John Kerry made a mistake in not responding to the Swift Boat attacks quickly enough, and his behavior in Vietnam became a topic of controversy for many people. Barack Obama pushed back on racist smears like the birtherism and his “madrassa education,” and they never became legitimate outside the right-wing fever swamp. So it makes sense that Hillary Clinton pushes back when attacked, but I guess it would do better if she took the high road and didn’t respond with other attacks. Maybe. The one lesson she hasn’t learned from Obama’s campaign is the idea of playing the long game. Maybe.

    • I’m aware of that. However, I think it is based on a false understanding of politics. Given that Bill Clinton had actual (if minor) scandals like Gennifer Flowers, that might make sense. But Kerry didn’t lose in 2004 because of the swift boat campaign. I never saw anyone who bought into that who wasn’t a confirmed Republican voter. Kerry lost because of his Iraq War vote and the fact that he couldn’t make the campaign about the war because he had supported it. I’ve written quite a lot about how Democrats and Republicans both have learned the wrong lessons from recent political history. And all they’d have to do is, you know, read a little political science.

      What never stops amazing me is how cowardly and shortsighted politicians are. I don’t blame Kerry for voting for the war, but it’s interesting that it seems to have never occurred to him that in a very short time, people would turn against the war — as they always do. My main point is: political consultants get paid a lot of money and they are, as a group, total idiots.

  3. It’s inevitable that Hillary Clinton gets the nomination, but good lord she has to be the worst campaigner I’ve ever seen.

    I hope she makes a better president than what’s she’s done on the trail, because if this is any indication she’ll nuke Russia the moment another jet buzzes a destroyer.

    She just has no sense. I was going to say “of proportion” but “no sense” perhaps captures it better.

    • I don’t know that she’s a bad campaigner. And I think both she and Sanders have gotten a lot better over the last six months. But I do wish the campaign were more self-assured and less reactionary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *