Bernie Sanders gave a big speech at Georgetown University today and used the opportunity to make clear a few things:
"I’m not running for president because it’s my turn, but because it’s the turn of all of us to live in a nation of hope and opportunity not for some, not for the few, but for all.”
Well, that wasn’t the big theme of the speech but Sanders no doubt liked the line and the distinction it draws between his campaign and that of his chief opponent who is, also, the frontrunner. The speech was sold as a big-theme affair in which the candidate would make clear what he means when he calls himself a “Democratic Socialist.” (Hint: he does not favor nationalizing the means of production.) What the speech turned out to be was pretty much an effort to restart his campaign and get people excited, again, about Sanders’ positions and prospects.
So he ran through the usual litany of economic woes facing the United States making it sound as though the two terms of Barrack Obama have been almost as bad for the common man and woman as the one term of Herbert Hoover. Sanders points out, routinely, that for the middle class, incomes have fallen and that the real unemployment rate is 10 percent. People don’t have enough set aside for retirement. The health care insurance that they have is made unaffordable by high premiums and co-pays. Higher education is either entirely out-of-reach or a sentence to a lifetime of debt. And so on. Democratic socialism, he insisted, was good old Democratic party tax-and-spend, with a pedigree going back to Franklin Roosevelt. What he proposes, then, is nothing more than the New Deal’s logical next step.
Under President Sanders “democratic socialism” would amount to redistribution. College and health care would become free. Old age benefits and the minimum wage would go up. This would be paid for by increasing taxes on the people at the top. For Sanders, the mechanics for this are self-evident, so he didn’t spend much time on them. You tax here; you spend there. Simple.
So simple that Sanders wrapped up his tutorial on democratic socialism and used the opportunity at Georgetown to say something about what he would do to defeat ISIS and “radical extremism.”
... we must work with our partners in Europe, the Gulf states, Africa, and Southeast Asia - all along the way asking the hard questions whether their actions are serving our unified purpose. The bottom line is that ISIS must be destroyed, but it cannot be defeated by the United States alone. A new and effective coalition must be formed with the Muslim nations leading the effort on the ground, while the United States and other major forces provide the support they need.
Sanders took a few questions from the students (they are always his best audience) and he knocked them straight out of the park.
Not a speech for the ages and not one to make the phrase “democratic socialism” into something that will ignite passion among the masses.
Just a good speech for his base. And a very clear signal that Bernie Sanders isn’t going anywhere.
During the Democratic debate Saturday night, Hillary Clinton said that ISIS "cannot be contained, it must be defeated." She also said, not once but twice, that this "cannot be an American fight" (while adding, "although American leadership is essential").
Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and pal of the Clintons, has taken it on the chin again.
McAuliffe unleashed a major effort to capture the Virginia senate with help from ex-New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spent more than $1 million in anti-gun ads in two critical districts. But while Democrats held the targeted seat in northern Virginia, Republicans retained the other in the Richmond suburbs.
In January 2011, we at TWS had the notion that it would be good to defeat President Obama in 2012. And so in a blog post we asked the sensible question: " Wouldn't it be easier just to agree now on a Ryan-Rubio ticket, and save everyone an awful lot of time, effort, and money over the next year and a half?" We reiterated that thought in the spring and summer.
The Republican candidates for president were remarkably unified in the (few) policy preferences they espoused at their debates on Wednesday night. All support cutting taxes and reducing regulation, and all oppose crony capitalism. The candidates may be remarkably diverse in terms of ethnicity and race: Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are Hispanic (and, apparently, so is Jeb Bush); Ben Carson is black; Bobby Jindal is Indian, etc.
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley slammed his main rival, Hillary Clinton, for flip-flopping on guns.
"I'm glad that Secretary Clinton has shifted position on this," said O'Malley. "I remember well as you do eight years ago when the mailers went out on President Obama asking him what he really believes on guns. And Mrs. Clinton, Secretary Clinton, as President Obama said, trying to portray herself as Annie Oakley."
In 2012, Vice President Joe Biden told the story of President Obama deciding to send a Navy SEAL team to kill Osama bin Laden. Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state at the time, "hedged" her bet, according to Biden's telling of the story.
Biden, for his part, advised against sending in the SEALs to kill bin Laden. (Biden now says he privately advised the president to do it.)
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has released an ad taking her Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, to task. The ad focuses on immigration, foreign policy, national security, Benghazi, and (in Fiorina's words) "lying."
"I'm looking forward to the general election debates between Carly and Hillary Clinton," Fiorina deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores says.
In an interview with CNN, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton insisted that she's not so different than her main rival, socialist Bernie Sanders:
"I mean, you could see on that stage in Las Vegas how we are maybe approaching these problems with different solutions, but we're both seeing the pressures that American families are under and the challenges that they're facing that we want to try to address," said Clinton to CNN.
The debate earlier this week in Las Vegas was very good for Martin O'Malley. According to the O'Malley campaign, the Democratic presidential candidate has now had his most succesful fundraising period.