Former H. Clinton adviser and CEO of True Blue Media Peter Daou operates Blue Nation Review, from which he attacks Bernie Sanders on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
"Anyone on the left who smears Hillary with evidence-free attacks when we’re facing a potential Trump presidency," writes Daou, "should be ashamed of themselves. And Bernie Sanders should resist the impulse to surf this ugly anti-Hillary wave." He insists "some of Bernie Sanders’s supporters" are "going after Hillary Clinton’s integrity with false accusations and innuendo."
Former conservative Republican David Brock, founder of the pro-Clinton Media Matters and Correct The Record and of Super PACS American Bridge and Priorities USA, is an unabashamed Clinton supporter and surrogate. In a recent Time magazine interview, Brock was asked about the remark by Clinton pollster Joel Benenson that Sanders is conducting "the most negative campaign" of any Democrat in presidential primary history. He responded
I think so. … All of these attacks on Secretary Clinton at the end of thee day are character attacks. They’re very personal they’re totally unwarranted and it’s especially troubling because he’s using the Republican playbook against Secretary Clinton these are exactly the kinds of attacks certainly after she wins the nomination that they will be launching, and I think it’s very troubling that he’s using these same tactics....
One can be forgiven for wondering what these tactics are. It wasn't Bernie Sanders who set up the House's Special Committe for Benghazi. Nor was it Sanders, but rather Marco Rubio who- after Clinton's splendid defense in front of the committee- (falsely) claimed "she got exposed as a liar." And it was Republican consultant Ed Rogers who last month remarked of Mrs. Clinton's e-mail scandal "There is no question among the experts I talked to about whether she is guilty; there is only a question of whether the Justice Department will indict, slow-walk the case or stiff-arm the FBI."
When Bernie Sanders was asked at debate in October about the e-mails, he remarked "I think the secretary is right. And that is, I think the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails." When in the most recent debate talk turned to the impact of the criminal justice system on African-Americans, Sanders could have turned to Mrs. Clinton and asked if she had changed since in 1996 she spoke of urban youth as "super-predators," who must be brought" to heel." He did not.
Even when the Vermont Senator has the former Secretary of State on the ropes, he doesn't go in for the kill. A defining moment may have come, and passed, in the Milwaukee debate when Mrs. Clinton argued
But I want to — I want to follow up on something having to do with leadership, because, you know, today Senator Sanders said that President Obama failed the presidential leadership test. And this is not the first time that he has criticized President Obama. In the past he has called him weak. He has called him a disappointment. He wrote a forward for a book that basically argued voters should have buyers’ remorse when it comes to President Obama’s leadership and legacy. And I just couldn’t agree — disagree more with those kinds of comments. You know, from my perspective, maybe because I understand what President Obama inherited, not only the worst financial crisis but the antipathy of the Republicans in Congress, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for being a president...
Sanders gave an extended reply, respectfully beginning with "Madam Secretary, that is a low blow." He then went on to praise President Obama (which Clinton does with greater strategic effect), state "a United States senator has the right to criticize the President," and talk about that "blurb," which few people know about and fewer still care about.
Then he got close: "President Obama and I are friends. As you know, he came to Vermont to campaign for me when he was a senator. I have worked for his re- election. His first election and his re-election." Was Sanders about to have a Lloyd Bentsen moment (video below)? Hardly, as he then went on to complain "I think it is really unfair to suggest that I have not been supportive of this president."
Sanders should have channeled the late Texas senator and stated "President Obama and I are friends. As you know, he came to Vermont to campaign for me when he was a senator. I have worked for his re-election. His first election and his re-election. Madame Secretary, you are no Barack Obama."
It could have fallen flat. However, his bid for the nomination always has been a long-shot, and Senator Sanders should have taken that shot. It might have turned the campaign around.
The likes of Daou and Brock imply that the Senator is not quite the Democrat Hillary Clinton is. All the whining and wailing has obscured the likelihood that Bernard Sanders has known from the start that he likely would fall short. However, he is a Democrat loathe to open a wound which might be exploited by the GOP in the fall campaign or to give the Republican Party fodder for an effective video to be used against her. He seems to lack the killer instinct and he might not be a typical Democrat. But he is the best kind.