The unstoppable Bernie Sanders has the Clinton camp worried.
You’ve heard that oft-repeated remark: “I really like Bernie Sanders, but he can’t win.” In fact, it’s a tactic the Clinton camp is using when going door to door: “Bernie Sanders is a nice man, but he’s unelectable.”
Don’t you believe it! As supporters of Bernie Sanders know, the feisty senator from Vermont came out of nowhere and has been steadily gaining on presumed frontrunner Hillary Clinton since his announcement that he would run for president in late April. At that time, with little name recognition, Sanders was polling at about 5 percent.
Oh, how times have changed. With three weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses and a month before the first in the nation primary in New Hampshire, Sanders is breathing down Clinton’s neck in Iowa and ahead of her in the Granite State.
Polls also show that he outperforms Clinton on the national stage against the Republican candidates and crushes probable Republican nominee Donald Trump in a match-up.
The reason is clear. Sanders represents a marked departure from politics as usual. His message has been unwavering throughout his political career. There are no “I made a mistake” apologies from him. Bernie Sanders carries no baggage; there are no skeletons in his closet; nor are there scandals just waiting to be pounced on by a Republican opponent. He accepts no money from special interests and refuses to have a PAC or a Super PAC. His only source of campaign funding is donations that average about $27, and yet, he has nearly matched the Clinton machine and has out-raised every single Republican candidate in individual campaign donations.
The issues that resonate so well with potential voters and where he has a sharp departure from Clinton are few but important. He is in favor of breaking up the Too Big To Fail banks by enacting an updated Glass Steagall for the 21st century, while Clinton favors imposing fees on certain transactions. Clinton has taken a lot of money from Wall Street donors. Despite her claim that no one tells her what to do, if she should win the presidency, she will need those donors for a reelection bid. Sanders is in favor of a single payer system that gets rid of the expensive middle man of insurance companies, while Clinton favors keeping insurance companies in the mix. Sanders favors a national minimum wage of $15/hr. Clinton does not; instead she is pushing a $12/hr. minimum. Sanders favors free college tuition at state colleges and universities while Clinton favors “affordable college” – whatever that means. Sanders favors assisting countries in the Middle East in the fight against ISIS but wants no American boots on the ground, while Clinton wants to send our troops.
Sanders has stated how he will pay for his vision for America with a series of taxes levied on corporate interests and yes, a raise in taxes for the average American. However, that tax hike will be a fraction of what the average American pays for health insurance, either individually or through an employer plan, and his proposed Wall Street tax will remove the crushing burden of debt that college students must bear in order to get an education.
If you thought 2008 was a nail biter, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things.
Visit her at Ann Werner on the Web