What Scher Missed About The Sanders Campaign

Bill Scher has a post-mortem about the Sanders campaign* that misses something very important: Sanders never really attacked Clinton.

Yes, there were raised voices and pointed fingers (AAAIIIIEE!!!), along with that ‘unqualified’ kerfuffle, but he never wanted to give Republicans the opportunity to make an attack ad with footage–and remember that Sanders has the highest net favorability of all candidates–calling her corrupt.

That’s why when pundits, especially pro-Clinton pundits, got on Sanders case for waffling over whether Clinton was corrupted* by big money donations, he never said yes or no very clearly. Instead, he tried to shift the focus from the corrupted to the corrupters. If he had said yes, that’s in every single Republican attack ad. Every. Single. One.

While this is good for Democrats (and I would argue the country), it’s bad for a political campaign. He really didn’t take the gloves off on this issue–and he easily could have.

In addition, Clinton’s plans had plenty of ‘magic asterisks’: the idea that his plans were unspecific and hers were laden with specifics was nothing more than propaganda. Her policies are every bit as magical as Sanders. But if he had gone at her really hard on this–and we did see glimpses of this in the debates–it would have really damaged her in the long run.

What this meant is that Sanders couldn’t define Clinton on his terms, but allowed her to define herself on hers. Due to his reluctance, Sanders lost control of the narratives.

That hurt, and Democrats should be thankful he didn’t go down that road.

*I don’t think Clinton is corrupt, but she has been clientelized.

This entry was posted in Democrats. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What Scher Missed About The Sanders Campaign

  1. realthog says:

    Useful piece. Do you have a link to the Scher article?

Comments are closed.