The "Anti-Establishment" Candidate
I suppose it is hip to be "anti-establishment" these days, but it is a bit of a stretch for Hillary to now be running as an "outsider." After all, this is the same woman who was first lady in one Presidential administration and Secretary of State in another, not to mention an 8-year Senate tenure in between. But, on CNN the other day that is what she projected herself as. I guess sitting out of politics the last four years makes her "indie." She even has some new dance moves to go along with her new look.
Don't get me wrong, I like Hillary, but come on, does she really expect us to buy this? Bernie may have served in the Senate longer, but he was always a maverick, serving as an Independent all these years as he doesn't think the Democratic Party is liberal enough. This is certainly the case with health care, as he pitches a single-payer system, which Hillary regards as "risky and irresponsible." Yet, this was exactly what the House first proposed before the more "responsible" Senate sliced and diced it to pieces, giving us what amounts to little more than a hybrid version of health care with so many gaps that it has been sharply criticized on both the left and the right.
Of course, that is the nature of politics and we are fortunate we have any kind of health care reform. The exchanges have done much better than anyone expected and even the private insurance companies are happy because it made little dent into their client base. In fact, it expanded it a little, which Hillary has been paid $3 million to point out. However, this is nothing more than a stop-gap solution. There are still millions of uninsured and under-insured Americans, and premium rates keep rising.
Bernie may be projecting "Happy Dreams," according to Paul Krugman, but if we don't think outside the box nothing gets done. In this sense Hillary is all too establishment, as her ideas fit snugly inside that box, especially now that Obama made it a little bit bigger.
Hillary wants to have it both ways, a kind of pragmatic dreamer. Unfortunately, she comes across as dear old mom telling you why you can't do this and that, and only if you work really really hard can you achieve your dreams. The funny part is that she makes the 74-year-old, wild-haired Bernie Sanders look like a teenager by comparison, and here in lies his appeal.
Bernie is the eternal teenager, the guy who has been around the block a few times but never lost his youthful vigor. He doesn't throw a wet blanket on your dreams. He tells you anything is possible, much to the chagrin of your parents, or Hillary in this case. Kind of a "Bad Granpa" who kids think is cool. How can you not like the guy?
This is what Hillary is trying so desperately to overcome. Each time she tosses one of her wet blankets, it just makes her look more the condescending mother, so now she wants to be hip too. She's been busy picking up the support of big time celebrities, and projecting herself as "Cool Mom," who will let you stay out past midnight, as long as you call to let her know where you are.
To be safe, she is rounding up as many Obama cabinet supporters as she can. You can't have enough endorsements in your back pocket, especially if she doesn't wrap up the nomination by Super Tuesday. There is even talk of a Hillary Clinton-Julian Castro ticket, which would all but sew up the Latino vote, even if Marco Rubio were to win the GOP nomination. Castro is the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and was formerly the very popular mayor of San Antonio, Texas. He also gave the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic Convention. Clearly, an up and comer.
That's a lot of bling, but Bernie has his fair share of celebrity and political endorsements, most recently everybody's favorite funnyman, Danny De Vito. There is only one problem -- most of his big name supporters tend to be a bit long in the tooth. Ronda Rousey doesn't hurt, especially if she scores a big comeback win against Holley Holm. It's not really his style to have an entourage, like the one Hillary now has. Bernie can fill all his allotted time on stage. Still, having some fresh young faces sharing the stage with him wouldn't hurt.
It will be interesting if the "Imagineers" in Hillary's campaign can re-imagine her as "Cool Mom." She will have to show much more energy than she has shown so far. Maybe some aerobic lessons will help. She can get Ellen and Twitch to join her on the stage and lead everyone in the "Nae Nae."