Friday, February 5, 2016

Democrat Debate Coverage a Debacle

You will soon see why:

"Clinton, Sanders begin their N.H. race in earnest" by Annie Linskey and Akilah Johnson Globe Staff  February 03, 2016

KEENE, N.H. —The new realities of the Democratic contest in New Hampshire: Hillary Clinton dug in for a longer-than-expected nomination slog, while Bernie Sanders tried to seize momentum from his near upset in Iowa.

Just a bump in the road, I'm told.

Since Sanders has almost no support from the Democratic establishment he must run a nearly perfect campaign on his own to remain viable, and he must continue to generate enthusiasm among the hundreds of thousands of supporters, mostly outside of the political world, who are fueling his candidacy.

Meaning he has to pull the inside straight.

So far, he’s doing it: His campaign reported that it received $1 million in donations in the 90 minutes after Sanders spoke about the results in Iowa, calling the race a virtual tie.

Clinton had for months been seen as the likely winner in Iowa. Now expectations flip, with Sanders the one who is supposed to do well in New Hampshire. It’s a place that neighbors his home state of Vermont, and he’s been polling ahead of Clinton here for months.

Thus, if he finishes second.... big letdown and the campaign is likely over.

“Both campaigns leave Iowa having survived,” said Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist who is not working for either campaign. “That’s the most realistic sense of where we are.”

Clinton arrived here Tuesday in seemingly buoyant spirits. But she also faced the perception that her near loss in Iowa reinforced persistent questions about whether she can generate enough enthusiasm, particularly among young voters or those new to the political process.

She quickly got back to work on the stump.

History shows that New Hampshire can be good to Clinton: Team Clinton 2016 is pushing to add another debate to the schedule on Thursday night....

Bill Clinton is up there with her and "Team Clinton."




Clinton, Sanders fight over claims to progressive credentials

Can Bernie Sanders deliver his revolution?

Hey, if he couldn't win in Iowa....

No McGovern he -- nor she.

"Democrats clash over big money, credentials in heated debate" by Annie Linskey and Matt Viser Globe Staff  February 05, 2016

DURHAM, N.H. — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, in by far their testiest encounter of the campaign, tangled Thursday night over the role of money in politics and the philosophical underpinnings of the Democratic Party in their first one-on-one debate.

It's a rewritten "update" and what I'm going to do is give you what was print and then the cuts and then the web replacements and add-ons

Keep in mind the "testiness" narrative.

Clinton accused Sanders’ operation of engaging in a “very artful smear campaign” to make her appear too cozy with Wall Street. Instead, she said, her ties to financial executives give her valuable insights into how they operate. “I don’t think these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you,’’ Clinton told the Vermont senator. “Enough is enough.’’

The debate, hosted by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire, offered a clearer choice, now that former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has dropped out, between one candidate carrying the banner of an idealist and the other selling deeper experience.

This was the last time New Hampshire voters were scheduled to see them on stage together before voting Tuesday’s primary election, and came as the contest has taken a more personal turn.

The candidates debated what it means to be a progressive in the Democratic Party. Sanders said Clinton represents the party establishment and that he represents “ordinary Americans.’’

Clinton, who seemed well-prepared, had a ready answer.

“Senator Sanders is the only person to characterize me — the first woman running to be the first woman president, as part of the establishment,” Clinton said. “It’s really quite amusing to me.” 

Is she trying to say she is not?

Clinton eked out a slender victory in the Iowa caucuses earlier this week, and polls show her down in New Hampshire by double digits. That’s been enough for Sanders to get a second look from voters across the country —and enough of a scare for Clinton, a skilled debater, to drop her objections and agree to the hastily schedule debate Thursday.

Clinton opened new lines of attack, saying Sanders would protect the gun lobby, dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and isn't ready to be president. And her campaign is questioning whether a self-described socialist could take on a Republican in November. 

I can see why that got cut during the rewrite. It's not a new line of attack. She's been saying that for weeks now.

Sanders this week has more aggressively tried to raise doubts about Clinton's bona fides on issues including Wall Street regulation, trade, and foreign policy. Hours after touching down in New Hampshire after his near upset in Iowa, he described Clinton as a moderate. Clinton shot back, calling the label a "low blow."

I can see why they wouldn't have wanted to go there, either. 

I'm sure that will cost him a penalty point in the polls, and how nice to see the word moderate join the world liberal when it comes to odious political ideology.

Both face risks if they appear too negative. Sanders, unlike a traditional candidate, is seen by millions of Democratic primary voters as the leader of a movement. Attacking Sanders without also angering the movement is a complicated maneuver that Clinton has yet to master.

Aaah, and yet Trump is not the leader of a movement.

Sanders candidacy is starting to look like Ron Paul's and the channeling of it into u$ele$$ politics and campaigns as the $tatu$ quo is maintained. 

As Clinton has ramped up her negative rhetoric this month, the senator reported an eye-popping $20 million in campaign donations for January. That meant he outraised the storied Clinton money machine by $5 million in those 31 days.

Sound familiar? Any money bombs planned?

Sanders, too, faces dangers. Clinton performs at her best when she’s taking incoming fire. In 2008, when Clinton’s back was against the wall, an overconfident Barack Obama made an off-handed comment that she was “likeable enough” during a New Hampshire debate. It earned sympathy for her, helping her overcome a deficit in the polls and win the state.

The narrative for her winning New Hampshire!

The Clinton campaign is trying to shatter any notion that Sanders would be electable in the fall.


"Sanders is the only candidate tested in the poll for whom a plurality -- 50 percent -- says they feel comfortable with as president." 

That should shatter that pos argument.

Some of her surrogates have pointed out that his Democratic socialist ideology would be linked to communism. "The Republicans won't touch him because they can't wait to run an ad with a hammer and sickle," said Claire McCaskill in an interview with the New York Times. 


Puh-LEEZE tell us they aren't going there!

Brian Fallon, Clinton's national press secretary, echoed those concerns Thursday.

"A lot of Democrats, up and down the line, governors, US senators, members of Congress, have organically expressed worry about the prospect of sharing a ballot with Senator Sanders." 

Fine, don't, but it seems like that kind of thing would add to Sanders' popularity.

Clinton stumbled Wednesday night during a live CNN Town Hall in Derry when questioned about $675,000 speaking fees she collected for a series of addresses at the New York investment bank Goldman Sachs.

They even have a photo of them.

"That's what they offered," Clinton said about the fees. She added that when she gave the speeches she "wasn't committed to running" for president. "I didn't know whether I would or not." 


What a $ELL-OUT SHE!

Clinton said that the big banks have turned off the money spigot and aren't donating to her campaign. "I mean they're not giving me very much money now. I can tell you that much, Clinton said.

Sanders, along with Republicans, were quick to circulate a recent Wall Street Journal analysis showing that Clinton's Super PAC recently took in $15 million from banks. 

First of all, that shows a level of disingenuous duplicity that is hard to match and I can see why the Globe took it all down (had to clear it with the campaign?).

Related: Hillary Clinton Scored with Republican Donors 

Well, you know....

The pair also took their fight to social media this week, with Sanders unleashing a multipart tweet storm over her progressive credentials.

Web version is "About halfway through the debate, the pair returned to a fight that broke out via social media this week, when Sanders unleashed a Twitter offensive over Clinton’s progressive credentials."

“You can be a moderate,” Sanders wrote. “You can be a progressive. But you cannot be a moderate and a progressive.”

Team Clinton took umbrage. "What was the intent two days ago in trying to deprive her of the compliment that it is to be called a progressive?" Fallon asked on Thursday morning at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast in Manchester. 

Isn't Bloomberg running for president? 

Or is that just to run interference for Hillary?

Responding to a question from a moderator, Sanders refused to concede that he lost in Iowa, a contest that the local Democratic Party called the closest caucus in history.


Several of the precincts were decided by the flip of a coin. Sanders wants the raw vote totals released. The senator said he agreed with the Des Moines Register, the state’s largest paper, which has called for a complete audit of the results.

“What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period,” the paper opined.

That is where my print ended and the I'll continue with the next paragraph that ends the web piece before filling in the rest.

But he downplayed the extent of his concern, noting that the state awards only a handful of delegates. “Lets not blow this out of proportion,” he said. “This is not the biggest deal in the world.” 

Then he is not serious. None of this is. 

It's a show to give us the illusion of democracy and a choice to vote for government when the whole production is nothing but a carefully choreographed narrative.

And now we are told a recount is impossible!!! 

But back to the show!

The candidates scowled, frowned, and cut each other off as they traded attacks that had before been launched from the less personal remove of press releases and tweets.

Sanders said Clinton’s speaking fees and campaign finance donations from Wall Street would hinder her from bringing sweeping changes needed to protect the middle class.

Sanders shot back that millions of dollars in campaign donations and lobbying fees have been spent to push Congress to deregulate Wall Street and protect drug companies.

It was by far Sanders’ strongest and smoothest performance.

For a senator with limited experience on the national stage, he was finally able to go toe-to-toe with one of the most skillful debaters in the party —toggling between his signature anger and the occasional joke

This is all a joke.

At times it was the moderators pushing the most sensitive topics.

NBC’s Chuck Todd pointedly asked Clinton whether she would release transcripts of her paid speeches, including the ones to banks.

“I’ll look into it,” Clinton said. “I don’t know the status, but I’ll look into it.” 

Like her e-mails?

Clinton downplayed the reasons why moneyed interests, including Goldman Sachs, paid her six-figure speaking fees, saying they largely wanted to know about her experiences around the world.

“I probably described more times than I can remember how stressful it was advising the president in going after bin Laden,” she said.

Later, Todd pressed Clinton on whether she could offer assurances that an FBI review of how classified information was handled during her tenure as secretary of state will leave her unscathed.

“Absolutely I can!” Clinton said. “I have absolutely no concerns about it whatsoever.” 

It's being buried as I type.

During the debate, Clinton confronted Sanders, calling him “the self-proclaimed gatekeeper of progressivism.”

“I am a progressive who gets things done,” Clinton said. “The root word of the word progressive is progress.”

She said that by Sanders’ definition, President Obama wouldn’t be considered a liberal because he took campaign donations from Wall Street.

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive?” Sanders said. “Yeah. I do.”

The moderators brought up Clinton’s endorsements, including those from a number of top officials in Sanders’ home state. Clinton used it to demonstrate that people who have worked with her liked her, but Sanders suggested it was an indication of her career in politics. 

Oh, he loses Vermont. I think there is no question about that. 

Won't matter much. Not many delegates.

“She has the entire establishment, or almost the entire establishment, behind her,” he said. “That’s a fact.”

The two laid out different ideas for the future of the Democratic Party, with Sanders saying the wants a “50 state strategy” to welcome more young people and working class voters.

Clinton pointed out that the originator of that idea, former Vermont governor Howard Dean, endorsed her.

When the debate turned to international affairs, an area that Clinton says he’s ignored, Sanders reminded the moderators and the audience that he recently gave a speech about foreign policy and Democratic socialism at Georgetown. In a rare moment of levity, he quipped that maybe he should have just limited the talk to one issue.

Sanders said it was “not arguable” that Clinton has more experience on foreign affairs, but argued that judgment matters more.

“Once again, back in 2002, when we both looked at the same evidence of the wisdom of the war in Iraq,” he said, “one of us voted the right way and one of us didn’t.” 

Trump vetoed it, too.

Clinton countered that Obama put his faith in her in appointing her as secretary of state.

“I know from my own experience that you’ve got to be ready on Day One,” she said. “There’s just too much unpredictable threat and danger in the world today.”

Both candidates took pains to compliment each other from time to time. At one point, Sanders and Clinton shook hands. Later Sanders clapped after Clinton gave her closing remarks.

See? It's all an act!


Meanwhile, Bernie picked up an endorsement yesterday as Massachusetts Democrats prepare for life after Obama.

NDU: Sanders talks inequality, criminal justice reform