May 3, 2016

Clinton’s Team Absurdly Claims She Has Not Changed Due To Bernie

As the final few states hold their primaries this spring, Secretary Clinton and her team are attempting to separate themselves from the tougher-than-expected primary battle with Vermont Senator and avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders.

But in a bit of revisionist history, Clinton’s team is trying to claim what every political observers knows to be patently false: that Clinton hasn’t changed her positions to accommodate the will of Sanders voters and the increasingly left-leaning Democratic primary voting base:

“Clinton’s operatives deny that she had anything to learn from Sanders and point to her consistency on the issues …”

Right on cue, Clinton surrogate and off message extraordinaire Ed Rendell chimed in with a theory that rebuts the absurd claim made by “Clinton’s operatives” above:

“I think she learned there’s anger on the left,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Clinton supporter. “Had she run unopposed, or with only Martin O’Malley, she never would have learned that.”

This Ping-Pong match continued throughout the story, with donors chiming in with particularly harsh accusations for Sanders, whose voters Clinton desperately needs to build a winning coalition in the general election:

Some of Clinton’s top donors go one step further: They insist Sanders’ presence in the race has been “useless” and negative, providing “she’s not qualified” soundbites to Trump, who has admitted he has clipped-and-saved them for future ads, and depleting the cash reserves she will need to compete in a general election. Others deny that she has been pushed on any issues, and note that any distinctions between the candidates are a matter of nuance.

With rhetoric like this, Clinton and her team will have a tough time convincing Sanders supporters to join their team. But perhaps more problematic is that everyone knows what Clinton’s team is saying just isn’t true, including the New York Times editorial board:

The Democratic Party and Mrs. Clinton are better off for Mr. Sanders’s presence in this race.