In the lead up to today’s primary contests in Oregon and Kentucky, Hillary Clinton took the opportunity to level an attack on her pesky primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. And for the life of me, I cannot find a good reason as to why she is doing this.
First, let’s start with the criticism she is using. She is resuscitating the charge that Bernie Sanders voted against the auto bailout back in 2008. This is an attack that is technically true, but not really once you get into the nuances of it.
Second, this line of attack failed miserably when she trotted it out in their Flint, MI debate just days before the state’s March 8 primary; which, in case you forgot, Sanders shocked everybody by winning. If the auto bailout line didn’t work in Michigan of all places, what on earth makes her think it is going to resonate in Kentucky?
There is no reason to do this. You won, Sec. Clinton. You are going to be the nominee.
When a football team is up by two touchdowns with two minutes left in the game, they don’t go for a hail mary. They take a knee and run out the clock.
This is exactly what Clinton should be doing right now. It doesn’t do her any good to go for a knockout blow now. Sanders is already on the ropes, and the knockout punch will be delivered on June 7 when Clinton likely wins New Jersey and California; which will put her over the top of the 2,383 delegates she needs to win the party nomination.
I realize Clinton has had it with Bernie Sanders at this point. And I realize she is probably getting tired of hearing the press drone on and on about how she can’t put away the 74 year-old socialist from Vermont and if her inability to do so suggests she is a weak front runner.
If this is the case, she needs to take a deep breath and not worry about it. This is the same narrative the media was pushing back in 2008 when Clinton kept winning states over Obama well into June.
She won four of the last six primary contests held that year and the press said all of the same things about Obama’s lack of ability to seal the deal. Meanwhile, John McCain had long since wrapped up the GOP nomination. Sound familiar? We all saw how that election turned out.
Obviously you cannot make an apples to apples comparison between 2008 and 2016. And it should be clear to everybody that Hillary Clinton is no Barack Obama. But the point remains. Clinton’s “inability to close out Bernie Sanders” means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Not only that, but Clinton cannot afford to alienate Bernie or his supporters. She is going to need them if she plans to win in November.
No, this auto bailout attack will not lose her the support of Bernie forever, but tension is already high enough between the two camps. Why increase it now?
This is why I am nervous about the general election. Sometimes, Clinton and her campaign make really dumb decisions. This is the latest example.
Clinton needs to keep her attention focused on her real opponent; Donald Trump. He is the only person who stands between her and the Oval Office.
For god’s sake, Hillary. Leave Bernie alone.