The 2016 Primaries began with the conventional wisdom that Donald Trump was a novelty act that did not stand a chance and that Bernie Sanders was well-intentioned but just as terminally fucked. No two statements could be further from what the 2016 cycle has given us.
Focusing on the Democratic side this week, Sanders has recently made impressive gains on frontrunner Hillary Clinton. In polling for early Primary state, Iowa, Sanders is now within the margin of error. Quinnipiac actually has him leading by five points. In other early Primary state, New Hampshire, the latest Monmouth polling has Sanders leading the former Secretary of State by an impressive 14 points.
While Clinton still holds a consistent national lead, the Sanders campaign has been able to narrow the gap to within single digits on polls like this week’s Investor’s Business Daily that has Sanders’s within a mere four points of Clinton nationally.
To this end, the Clinton campaign has decided to redirect their attentions to their immediate opponent after briefly trading jabs with Donald Trump. The rest of the Clinton family has taken to the circuit with Chelsea warning a crowd in New Hampshire that Sanders would “dismantle” Obamacare as well as Medicare. The unexpected attack went over like a lead balloon to many within the Democratic Party. Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona “was taken aback hearing it from Chelsea.” He considered it a sign that “the Clinton campaign in going into full destruction mode very early in this process.” When Sanders was played the clip on CNN later in the week he answered simply, “As much as I admire Chelsea, she didn’t read the plan.” This, a sentiment other Democratic strategists are quoted in a recent Hill article of sharing.
There is a valid argument that while Sanders has talked at lengths the type of system he would work towards, he has not offered much in the way of specificity. It was to this that the Clinton team adeptly worked their focus. While Sanders is in support of a single payer tax plan, which is considered one of the more popular choices, the Clinton campaign contends that he is not disclosing how much more it would cost the average citizen.
But it was not all brass tacks for Clinton this week. A Super PAC that has been campaigning for her has made personalized hats for each of the Republican candidates in the familiar fashion of Donald Trump’s signature red little league hat. Each hat has “Make America Great Again” embroidered on it but each one features a distinctive quote from each candidate that it is addressed to. This, in order to highlight the bigoted and divisive ways they intend to achieve their “great America”.
Ben Carson’s hat read, “Muslims are ineligible for the office of President”. Bush’s read, “Only Christian refugees”, while Christie’s repeated his odious rebuke of Syrian refugees with his words, “No orphans”, stitched across the front. This is after she sent signed copies of her most recent memoirs to each of them after they had repeatedly mischaracterized her. There was a rumor that on the last day in Bill Clinton’s term, he and Hillary went throughout the White House on a hunt removing the letter “W” from each and every keyboard before they left as a welcoming prank for incoming George W. Bush.
I want to see more of Merry Prankster Hillary. She’s been stumbling with ham-fisted attempts to appear personable, like her website’s doomed, “7 ways in which Hillary Clinton is just like your Abuela.” The video was bad enough to create a whole new term, “Hispandering”. If she has a natural sense of humor, and given her history she’d have to, then gin it up. A campaign based on fear or bigotry, which some Republican counterparts appear eager to run on, will face no stronger opponent than mirth and a fond embrace of the lighthearted.
Coupled with the fact that she has gone on record claiming to open an investigation into the government’s knowledge of aliens, and stating that she would not revoke any state’s decision to legalize marijuana, we could be looking at yet another new and improved Candidate Clinton. Which, if any, of these campaign agendas are pursued if she were to become Madame President would, of course, be a different discussion.