Bernie and those Dang “Negative” Ads

Riddle me this; Riddle me that…

How do Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and front runner for the Democratic nomination for POTUS and her surrogates seriously make the case that her opponent Senator Bernie Sanders has “gone negative” in his advertising campaign? Really? Seriously?

And it always surprises me that most of her surrogates who are peddling this fiction (to use of their now fave adjectives to describe Sanders and his policies) are brazen enough to add that he’s getting a pass from the media and the voting public on his negative ads.   They can’t be referencing the same main stream media where Clinton surrogates and talking heads are being allowed air time to peddle these insinuations hour by hour?

While the female surrogates especially adopt these fake injured expressions as they make the case, my imagination detects that that sheepish smile on Clinton’s Chief Strategist, Joel Benenson’s face betrays the fact he knows he ain’t being honest Abe when he peddles that line.

As a seasoned politician, Hillary Clinton has aced the art of the negative political ad.  Who can forget her cache of nasty ads against now POTUS, Barack Obama in 2008?  Perhaps the most accomplished contribution to the artform was that infamous 3:00 a.m. call ad that had not so subtly alluded to Obama’s unfitness for office, his naïvete, and good old racial undertones for good measure.  Minus the last reference, doesn’t the rest sound eerily familar to what is playing out now against the Sanders’ campaign?

And yet, Sanders is the candidate being accused of going negative?

What’s more, if Clinton is making the case for her electability edge over Sanders by describing herself as the “pragmatic progressive who likes to get things done” and who the Republicans tremble in fear of should she become their formidable opponent in the general election: why is she whining about Bernie’s soft ball ads?  Will Wall Street simply acquiesce to her command to “cut it out” without any push back?

I fear that Bernie Sanders is spoiling Clinton by using this kid glove approach though I understand that he risks having to defend himself against the gender card, a strategy that was mobilized early on under the guise that he thinks women shout?  (Yes…the same Bernie who nobody has to lean in to hear).

Does Clinton imagine that the Republicans will exercise restraint and be all gentlemanly should she indeed be the nominee for the general election?  I think not.  Where Bernie has refrained from putting Clinton’s emails and other baggage dating back more than 20 years to the present, front and center of the campaign, the Republicans, regardless of which candidate wins that nomination will have no such qualms.   Look no further than GOP front runner Donald Trump to see how they have begun testing out attack lines and strategies for their effectiveness.  They have shown that they have the appeitite to be brutal to ensure that their opponent is bloodied and bruised in the aftermath of battle; heck, they’re getting practice even as they fight it out to determine who their eventual nominee will be.

So it’s about time that one of Hillary’s inner circle tells her that the strategy of smearing your opponent by accusing them of going negative and smearing her, flopped in ’08 and will flop again.

The fact that Chris Matthews (whose political allegiance is no secret) has to try to make the smear credible by  labelling Sanders as “Mr Perfect” (when did Bernie or any of his supporters ever claim perfection for Sanders?) underscores the silliness of this whinge.  Her campaign strategist, Benenson, at least has a sheepish smile as he makes the unconvincing charge against Sanders.

If this is Hillary’s approach to getting things done (or as Trump calls it: Winning) I don’t want to see what happens in the general election.  But for the lame Bernie smears, a Bernie side eye is in order.

Sanders' side-eye wins the debate, Internet

 

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