Why Is It Hillary’s Job to Make Nice?
19 May 2016
Hillary Clinton received the usual smack talk from beltway press for her choice to echo her winning 2000 Senate run by making her 2016 Presidential campaign a “listening tour,” eschewing huge rallies in favor of more intimate grass root gatherings . Given that she is 90 delegates away from being the first woman in history to be a major Party’s standard bearer, her campaign, a model of discipline this time around, seems to have paid off.
Frugal with advertising dollars, she’s effectively used social media to get her message across despite a continuation of 2008’s horrid beltway press coverage. The craven media continues its desperate push to boost click-bait by minimizing her accomplishments, some still serving up the pretense that Bernie Sanders has an outside chance at the nomination. (He doesn’t), or that Republican Donald Trump is somehow a reasonable human being (he is a narcissistic, petty, reactive grotesque who should be nowhere near our nuclear codes).
Despite years of denigrating, diminishing press coverage that push faux scandals which, once again, have amounted to a big nothing-burger, Hillary Clinton “puts on her shoes and keeps going.” As Peter Daou recently noted, she’s great at playing the long game. Having been in the national spotlight for 25 years, she knows better than to panic at the ebbs and flows of news cycles or a winning or losing primary week.
Perhaps that’s what’s so frustrating to detractors like NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Joe Scarborough and Chuck Todd – no matter their negative spin or insults, they cannot break her. Secretary Clinton remains Joan of Arc in a pantsuit. Gracious and continually pushing for unity, she congratulates Senator Sanders on any win and reminds his supporters or any Conservative listening: “Even if you are not for me, I will be for you.”
Contrary to Andrea’s Mitchells fictitious contention that Hillary’s supporters lack enthusiasm, she has earned more primary votes than any candidate in primary history – both in 2008 and in 2016. Some like the unfortunate Mitchell falsely equate civility with a lack of passion. From turnout at the polls, the effectiveness of her campaign organization and many stalwart volunteers, Andrea is once again proven wrong. But she keeps collecting that paycheck so good for her, I guess.
After a year of handwringing via big media’s faux email scandal, now we have the worrywarts claiming that Hillary is “in trouble” if she does not unite the Party and “mollify” Sanders’ supporters – or appease the current “slash and burn” rhetoric emanating from Sanders himself.
Isn’t it fascinating that once again the woman is called upon to be “big mama” and make nice with everyone? What man is asked to do so?
In 2008, when Hillary lost a knife-edge race to Barack Obama (she was behind by at most 130 delegates and ahead in the popular vote by 200,000), she was hounded by the press to sit down and shut up, to line up like a good little girl and bring her 18,000,000 supporters to the fold or else. The DNC made clear it had the same expectations.
Then-Senator Clinton obliged of her own volition, gave a rousing speech at the Democratic Convention, released her near 2,000 delegates and asked that Barack Obama be nominated by acclamation. She then made 180 enthusiastic campaign appearances for him to help ensure his election. This, all while being further insulted by the mainstream press as “ego driven and power hungry.”
Today, she leads Senator Sanders by over 3 million votes, almost 300 Pledged Delegates and over 500 Super Delegates and we hear from a number of power players in the Beltway press. like Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo and Greg Sargent, that she needs to “mollify” Sanders and his supporters.
If that isn’t a sexist double standard, I don’t know what is.
The other night there were over 170,000 tweets with the hashtag #BernieLostMe because many Hillary supporters (me included) exploded with pent up resentment after months of being attacked on social media, even hacked, by some of his supporters or unfairly dismissed as “establishment” or “low information” by Sanders himself.
That stated, Senator Sanders ran a surprisingly strong campaign and should be proud of all he accomplished, bringing his Wall Street issue to the fore. It would be a shame if he damaged his legacy or credibility by following the advice of Senior Campaign advisors Tad Devine and Jeff Weaver, continuing to slander Hillary Clinton or pretending that the election outcome was somehow rigged. (It was not). This strategy will only succeed in turning his bitterness into a punch line.
It remains to be seen if Sanders will be conciliatory once the initial pain of loss wears away. For her part, I’m sure Hillary will reach out as she has always done. It is in her nature to find common ground whether we think it’s her job or not. But let’s not pretend that Clinton has “played rough” with Sanders when she has barely mentioned him these past months, instead directing her fire at the odious Donald Trump.
There is fence mending to be done, surely. Let’s see if the press remembers that a significant portion of that responsibility falls on Bernie Sanders.