My, how times have changed! Less than a month ago, Bernie Sanders scolded CNN’s debate panel for asking about Hillary Clinton’s “damn e-mails.” Hillary all but hugged Sanders for dismissing a scandal that has prompted an FBI investigation and has turned a number of FOIA cases on their heads:
Suddenly, Bernie’s a lot more interested in hearing about Hillary’s damn e-mails. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sanders says he never intended to dismiss the import of the FBI investigation, and now admits that the questions about her use of a secret e-mail server are “valid”:
Afterward, many Democrats and political analysts said that he had appeared to dismiss her use of a private email account and server in her four years as secretary of state.
Mr. Sanders rejected that assessment on Wednesday. If her email practices foiled public-records requests or compromised classified information, those are “valid questions,” Mr. Sanders said. …
On the issue of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, Mr. Sanders didn’t say he regretted his debate remarks. “You get 12 seconds to say these things,” he said of the debate setting. “There’s an investigation going on right now. I did not say, ‘End the investigation.’ That’s silly.…Let the investigation proceed unimpeded.”
The WSJ’s Peter Nicholas notes that Sanders has become more aggressive in attacking Hillary on the campaign trail. Before now, Nicholas writes, Sanders would only criticize specific policy positions, and not Hillary Clinton as a candidate or public figure. Now, however …
But the dynamics of the Democratic race are changing with the Iowa caucuses only three months away, and Mr. Sanders is now questioning Mrs. Clinton’s convictions and willingness to take on tough policy fights that await the next president.
What changed? A four-letter word: B-I-D-E-N. (Click here if you don’t get the joke.) While Joe Biden remained a possible option for Democrats, Hillary Clinton struggled against Sanders. Now that Biden has taken himself out of the race, the Democratic electorate has begun to settle on Hillary as their nominee, and Sanders has to find some way to take the air out of the Hillary Clinton balloon.
If that’s the case, though … why is Sanders talking to the Wall Street Journal? Don’t get me wrong — – the WSJ is a fine media outlet, and Nicholas handles the Sanders interview professionally and objectively. It’s still the main media outlet for Wall Street investors, the very people Sanders has declared the enemy of the everyday Americans whom he claims to represent. If he’s looking to rally his troops, he’s sounding the bugle call so far behind “enemy” lines that it’s unlikely any of his troops will hear it.