Friday, January 22, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Hillary and Bernie: The Credibility Gap

MORNING MESSAGE

Panic now grips the Clinton campaign. Polls show Bernie Sanders surging to a dramatic lead in New Hampshire and closing in Iowa. The Washington Post reports that Hillary’s national numbers are dropping faster now than they did in 2008. The Clinton campaign has started throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Sanders, with the gutter award captured, thus far, by Senator Claire McCaskill who smeared him with the “hammer and sickle,” transparently attributing the red-baiting to future Republican attacks of her own imagination. But the question isn’t what’s wrong with Bernie — he’s soaring beyond all expectations. The question is what’s wrong with Hillary?

Sanders Touts Polls

Sanders makes the case for electability. The Hill: “Speaking to supporters in Wolfeboro, N.H., on Thursday evening, Sanders cited a CNN/WMUR New Hampshire poll that showed that Sanders would fare better than Clinton against various Republican candidates, including front-runner Donald Trump, in theoretical match-ups … The Vermont senator also said his chances would be helped if there’s a large voter turnout, saying Republicans fare well when voters are too demoralized to vote.”
Clinton campaign backs off single-payer swipe. Politico: “As her allies acknowledged that her forceful attacks on Bernie Sanders have backfired, Hillary Clinton on Thursday softened the edges on her criticism of her main primary opponent, arguing that his heart is in the right place even if his proposals are wrong. Her new tone marked a contrast from last week, when her forceful dismissal of his universal health care system appeared to boomerang.”
Sanders campaign accuses Clinton ally of low blows. W. Post: “Following Bernie Sanders’s debut of new 60-second television ad on Thursday, David Brock, a top ally of Hillary Clinton, offered a stinging criticism, saying the spot featured a bizarrely high percentage of white faces … Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs shot back at Brock, calling him a ‘mudslinger’ and a liar and saying Clinton ‘should be ashamed of her association’ with Brock.”
NYT’s Paul Krugman chides Sanders for being unrealistic: “…the question Sanders supporters should ask is, When has their theory of change ever worked? … I’m not saying that someone like Mr. Sanders is unelectable … But even if he was to become president, he would end up facing the same harsh realities that constrained Mr. Obama.”

Trump-Cruz Battle Intensifies

Trump accuses Cruz of supporting “amnesty” in new ad. NYT: “As a ‘pro-immigration’ and ‘pro amnesty’ chyron rolls onto the screen, the ad — the first time a Trump ad has gone negative — splices an interview that Mr. Cruz gave to Fox News in December with statements he made on the floor of the Senate during the immigration battle in 2013, trying to create a sense of confusion over where Mr. Cruz stands on immigration.”
National Review dedicates issue to excommunicating Trump from conservatism: “Some conservatives have made it their business to make excuses for Trump and duly get pats on the head from him. Count us out. Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.”

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