Tuesday, April 05, 2016


Bernie Sanders was interviewed by the editorial board of the New York Daily News. To put it mildly, he seemed to struggle with some of the questions:
When Sanders was asked, according to the transcript, if there are particular statues that allow the prosecution of Wall Street executives, he said: “I suspect that there are. Yes.”

Daily News: You believe that? But do you know?

“I believe that that is the case,” Sanders went on. “Do I have them in front of me, now, legal statutes? No, I don’t. But if I would…yeah, that’s what I believe, yes.”

On foreign affairs, the Daily News asked: “Expanding [Israeli] settlements is one thing; coming into office as a President who said as a baseline that you want Israel to pull back settlements, that changes the dynamic in the negotiations, and I’m wondering how far and what you want Israel to do in terms of pulling back.”

Sanders responded: “Well, again, you’re asking me a very fair question, and if I had some paper in front of me, I would give you a better answer.”

When Sanders was asked, aside from Guantanamo Bay, where would he hold and interrogate a “captured ISIS commander,” Sanders said:

“Actually I haven’t thought about it a whole lot....”
This will give any remaining fence-sitters pause, but it will flip few if any Sanders backers. This is a year when it's seen as shameful to have roots in the system. Deep knowledge of the issues is as suspect as ties to lobbyists. Sanders critics have been complaining for a long time that he turns every question back to his bullet points about the rich and powerful, but his backers don't care because the message is untainted by qualification or nuance, which makes it seem less like a product of compromise. Besides, few voters know the details themselves. They're judging the candidates on intentions, and his are seen as good.

I don't know how many votes Hillary Clinton can win by pouncing on this. When she says she's been in the trenches and has the experience, voters seem to envision not statecraft but shady deals in back rooms. Touting her experience is probably hurting her. It's just that kind of year.

And ask Donald Trump and Jeb Bush if the same dynamic has been playing out on the Republican side. (Maybe Marco Rubio flopped in part because he was a first-term senator who talked like a Senate veteran.)

So no, I don't expect the polls to change because of this interview. I don't expect it to give Clinton a poll bump. Many Americans have concluded that they've tried expertise and it just doesn't work.


AllieG said...

Isn't there some sort of old saying about good intentions? It's right on the tip of my tongue.

retiredeng said...

@AllieG "The road to hell is paved with ..."

Ten Bears said...

You are absolutely right. Would a Clinton revelation of this magnitude change your mind?

I must admit, though, I was taken a bit aback. Not surprised, not unsurprised.

Long been a complaint of mine, aired here I think: in all this talk of revolution, coup d'etats, secession and Making America White Again I don't hear anything about what we'll do on the other side of it. What's The Plan, Man?

Maybe I've read to many books.

Chris Andersen said...

This dKos diary is apparently from a Sanders supporter who has decided to switch to Clinton and they cite the interview as one of the reasons.


There was another Sanders-to-Clinton diary there as well but I don't think that person specifically cited the interview as the deciding factor.

I'm seeing more conversion stories like this lately. I doubt the interview specifically changed this persons vote. They were probably swinging away already. But the interview may have been the thing that gave them the final nudge.

sdhays said...

I voted for Bernie. I voted for him knowing full well that he couldn't win, but I also thought that he sort of knew it too and was looking at a bigger picture. I want the Democratic establishment to see how strong even a fatally flawed progressive candidate would be, and I wanted him to have some juice going into the convention and going back to the Senate. Even if you think the worst of Hillary Clinton (I don't), the fact of the matter is that the problem is Congress and the States. President Hillary won't be the one standing in the doorway of any particular progressive advance - Republicans in Congress absolutely will do everything in their power to stop it and a lot of Democrats will just shit their pants.

The way forward is to change the calculation, and Bernie could be a big part of that. Unfortunately, the nasty turn of the election and the stupid reluctance to say he'll be a team player and raise money for other Democrats is almost unforgivable. He's squandering the opportunity he's been given, almost insuring his irrelevance after the voting stops. I'm not surprised the interview didn't go well for him - it has been clear since last year that Bernie hasn't bothered to invest time or resources in thinking about the details of...well, anything. This is why I never believed he could be the nominee. It's also why I thought he knew he wouldn't be the nominee.

He now seems confused about what his role should be, and I've just about had it. I've already completely had it with his surrogates - they're as bad as Hillary's from 2008. Sign me up as Ready for Hillary. If my state hadn't already had it's primary, I don't think I would vote for Bernie now, even though I don't want a Hillary coronation.

Anonymous said...

right answer, wrong reason. The people who want slogans, indignation, and purity made up their minds long ago that they're all in for Bernie, and they're not going to switch. The people who want something else were already in Hillary's corner, and they're not going to switch. Still the ardent Berniefolk should be embarrassed by how little he knows and how little he cares to know. Like Trump, he thinks that attitude and enthusiasm solve problems, solution to be determined later by aggressive, tremendous people, the best.

Ten Bears said...

The same can be said of Hillary, flip, and her ardent supporters. Funny how we haven't heard a word out of her about, for example, raising the minimum wage... until just last week.

Ten Bears said...

One final thought: if the Hillary loving mainstream media hadn't marginalized Senator Sanders, hadn't cut him out of the news loop in favor of the establishment darling, had he seen the scrutiny you all complain he hasn't, this would have turned up sooner.

CH said...

Personally, I'd be more taken aback had Clinton undergone a similarly intense interview by the NYDN and acquitted herself any better than did Sanders. That, of course, hasn't happened, although according to Slate, the NYDN says they're "working on it". We'll see.

There also seems to be a body of opinion to the effect that on banking issues, Sanders actually did pretty well, contrary to the CW spin: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/07/upshot/yes-bernie-sanders-knows-something-about-breaking-up-banks.html

In any event, as was stated above, the road to hell may well be paved with good intentions; but as a candidate, one may arrive at the same destination when much of the electorate doubts that the candidate's intentions have been honestly stated.