Once Berned, twice shy? Not if you’re Hillary Clinton. Four years after Bernie Sanders’ improbable trajectory from socialist crank to heavyweight Democratic presidential contender, the previous nominee still sounds bitter about Sanders’ attempt to block her coronation. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter promoting a new four-hour documentary on Hillary’s favorite subject, she blasts Sanders as a “career politician” who “got nothing done” in that career.
And she has a few words about the “Bernie Bros,” too:
In the doc, you’re brutally honest on Sanders: “He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.” That assessment still hold?
Yes, it does.
If he gets the nomination, will you endorse and campaign for him?
I’m not going to go there yet. We’re still in a very vigorous primary season. I will say, however, that it’s not only him, it’s the culture around him. It’s his leadership team. It’s his prominent supporters. It’s his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women. And I really hope people are paying attention to that because it should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture — not only permitted, [he] seems to really be very much supporting it. And I don’t think we want to go down that road again where you campaign by insult and attack and maybe you try to get some distance from it, but you either don’t know what your campaign and supporters are doing or you’re just giving them a wink and you want them to go after Kamala [Harris] or after Elizabeth [Warren]. I think that that’s a pattern that people should take into account when they make their decisions.
Ahem. This is a strange criticism from the woman who coined the term “basket of deplorables.” In fact, it’s almost a rerun of that episode, only this time aimed at a faction within her own party’s coalition. Clinton herself wasn’t too bad at engaging in “relentless attacks” on competitors, including Sanders, and on their supporters by claiming any criticism of herself was based on misogyny. (Recall that Team Hillary — Hillary Sisters? — hinted at similar criticism of Barack Obama in the 2007-8 primary campaign, too.) In that sense, this feels like nothing more than an extension of her 2016 campaign.
Or perhaps it’s just a continuum of her overall political life. After all, Hillary blamed her loss in 2016 on misogyny in remarks just two months ago. The threshold for this claim appears to be any time a male candidate criticizes a female competitor, which is self-serving at best and counterproductive at worst. How do voters take female candidates seriously while they claim that any criticism is misogynistic?
THR wants to know whether Hillary believes Bernie or Elizabeth Warren in their current contretemps. Want to bet which way she’s leaning?
Then this argument about whether or not or when he did or didn’t say that a woman couldn’t be elected, it’s part of a pattern. If it were a one-off, you might say, “OK, fine.” But he said I was unqualified. I had a lot more experience than he did, and got a lot more done than he had, but that was his attack on me.
True, Clinton had more experience than Bernie did in running for president, but that’s not saying much. Hillary pretty much nails Sanders’ resumé, but hers wasn’t much better. She had eight years in the Senate and a four-year run as Secretary of State that was bookended by the Russia “reset button” and the decapitation of the Qaddafi government that turned Libya into a terror-ridden failed state on the Mediterranean, and which led to the debacle in Benghazi that cost four American lives. And speaking of getting nothing done, Secretary Clinton had no major diplomatic achievements other than her frequent-flier miles additions during her four years at the head of the State Department.
The interview goes on at length about Donald Trump, her marriage, and so on, but this part made me laugh out loud:
The end of the doc strikes a more hopeful tone, beginning with the women’s marches. You talk about not attending …
Yeah, I didn’t want it to be about me.
Well, that would be a first. And let’s not kid ourselves about the documentary she’s promoting with this interview, either — it’s called “Hillary,” so it’s all about her. THR describes it as basically a fluff piece:
The end result, simply titled Hillary, is a largely flattering portrayal, even as it delves into the many scandals and controversies that have ensnared its 72-year-old subject.
Oh, it was the scandals and controversies that “ensnared” her rather than Hillary causing or exacerbating them herself? Maybe controversies are inherently misogynistic.