Bernie Sanders is still sick and tired of hearing about Hillary’s damn emails, or at least that’s what he’d like you to think. He makes the point often enough. But hey… if it happens to help him score a few points in his quixotic quest to somehow still win the Democratic nomination then what’s the harm? That seems to be the message which came through on the Sunday shows today. As the Vermont Senator explained on Face the Nation, he may not be paying attention, but those superdelegates probably are. (The Hill)
“Now, you’re right — the inspector general just came out with a report; it was not a good report for Secretary Clinton. That is something that the American people, Democrats and delegates are going to have to take a hard look at,” Sanders said in an interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” Sunday. “But for me right now, I continue to focus on how we can rebuild a disappearing middle class, deal with poverty, guarantee healthcare to all of our people as a right.”
“Well, John, they will be keeping it in mind,” Sanders told host John Dickerson when asked about the effects of the report. “I don’t have to tell them that. I mean everybody in America is keeping it in mind, and certainly the superdelegates are.”
Sanders is still pleading his case to superdelegates from states where he performed well in primary contests, many of whom have already pledged their support to Clinton.
The sad part of all this drama and intrigue is that this is the perfect message to be hitting Hillary Clinton on, but Sanders is exactly the wrong person to carry the banner. As if Clinton’s reputation for dishonesty and general lack of trustworthiness weren’t already undermining her candidacy, the recent revelations from the State Department Inspector General and the anticipated results from James Comey’s investigation should be putting the superdelegates into a panic about now. But Sanders made his bed early on in the race and pretty much disqualified himself from talking about the emails.
As for making a pitch to those superdelegates, he’s in the same boat. He spent a long time bashing the system, calling it rigged and any number of other attacks. He was absolutely correct of course, but to then turn around and ask that those same, rigged party officials ride to his rescue is about the worst optics one could hope for.
Of course, trying to eat his cake and have it too is nothing new for Bernie Sanders. It was highlighted by many liberals that Chuck Todd took him to task over the rather blatant hypocrisy on display in precisely this issue.
“We’re going to make the case for the superdelegates, “Your job is to make sure that Trump is defeated, that Bernie Sanders, in fact, for a variety of reasons, not just polling, is the strongest candidate.'”
Todd told Sanders he was contradicting himself.
“You’re saying you want them to respect the vote in their state, then at the same time, you say, ‘But oh, by the way, for those of you that are a superdelegate in a state that Clinton won, why don’t you think about the general election?’ It’s a little bit hypocritical to be on both sides of those issues,” Todd said.
“No, no, no, that’s not what I’m saying,” Sanders responded, arguing that the superdelegates have a “grave responsibility” to make sure presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump doesn’t become president.
Good try, Bernie, but Chuck Todd let all the air out of your sails on that one before you could score any points. This is a job for surrogates and you should have left it up to them while pretending to be above the fray.