Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bill Clinton Bashes Bernie Sanders

For the past few months, Bill Clinton has stayed relatively quiet regarding the race for the Democratic nomination. For the most part, his speeches have been filled with sentimental stories about Mrs. Clinton's past successes and leadership skills, and few words have been said regarding the opposition.

However, Clinton's latest speech given in Milford, NH quickly turned from a discussion of his wife's attributes to a tirade against Sanders, whose policy supposedly contains numerous double standards and missing details and whose views Clinton claimed to be a "hermetically sealed box" (1). Clinton also criticized Sanders' supporters, accusing them of being sexists and using the Internet to attack those in support of the Clinton campaign, although Sanders had denounced these "Bernie bros" in a CNN interview earlier that day (2).

While Clinton's harshest remarks were reserved for the "Bernie bros," he was also critical of Sanders' free college and universal healthcare plans, calling them impossible to fund. He also addressed the sources of money involved in Sanders' fundraising campaign, stating that "anybody who takes money from Goldman Sachs couldn't possibly be President" (3).

What do you think about Bill Clinton's sudden outburst regarding Bernie Sanders? Could he be frustrated that the very state that made him "The Comeback Kid" in 1992 might now turn against his wife?




Janet Liu said...

Susanna Schrobsdorff opened her review of Hillary and Bill Clinton's history with Hillary's historical political gaffe. In response to a question on 60 Minutes about Hillary's reaction to Bill's admittance of sexual misconduct, she replied, "I'm not sitting here -- some little woman standing by my husband...I'm sitting here because I love him and I respect him, and I honor what he's been through and what we've been through together." She was immediately slammed by critics for supposedly shaming loyal wives in what was then still a relatively female=homemaker culture. Ironically, the scandal will start working against her once again in the upcoming election. She is now criticized by feminists for her initial denial of her husband's affairs and for the same "loyalty," or lack of it, that tanked her popularity in '98. What seemed like a politically moderate answer has hurt her on both extremes, and what may be the most sexist irony is that while Bill Clinton's career was relatively unharmed, Hillary still lives under her husband's scandal. I think that defending his wife's platform, even at the expense of abandoning his neutral stance, is the least Bill Clinton should do.

Juliana Stahr said...

Great post Vicky! Bill Clinton is most definitely frustrated. He expects his wife to win this state by a large margin and because this is not the case, he is acting out. His words, however, are not all too wise. I believe Bill Clinton's sudden outburst does not help his wife at all for her campaign. I believe he is frustrated and irritated by Bernie's sudden increase in the polls. At the very beginning of her running for the 2016 election, Hillary started out very high. Over time, she has decreased and Bernie Sanders has increased. Now, they are very close in the polls and Bill Clinton is trying to help support his wife. Unfortunately however, he is only hurting his wife. The reason why voters are turning away from Hillary Clinton is because she is so connected to Wall Street and a lot of people like Bernie for his desire for campaign finance reform and fixing wage inequality. I also think people remember Hillary as the woman who lost to Obama. People may think, "Why would we vote for a runner up?" I completely believe the polls will change and favor Bernie more as we get closer to the general election. I am interested to see how the election goes and see if the polls will fluctuate drastically with time.

Carolyn Ku said...

I agree with Janet that there is a disappointing irony in the fact that Hillary's political career is hurt by Bill's scandals. Bill Clinton's time in the White House is marked mainly by his affair, while the political successes he had while in office are an afterthought. Bill's more quiet support of Hillary as a husband helps the Clintons' image and reputation; Bill's attack of Sanders gives him more prominence and reminds the public of his past scandals. Also, most candiates' wives do not make speeches and openly attack other candidates. I think that since it is Hillary running for President, it is Hillary that should take the forefront of the campaign.

Huayu Ouyang said...

I also think that Bill Clinton is frustrated, and I'm not sure if his outburst will necessarily help Hillary Clinton at all, but I also do think that some of his points were valid. For example, even though people now see Hillary as the "Wall Street" candidate and Bernie as the one who truly represents the people, I don't think this is necessarily a fair comparison, because both candidates' stances on issues such as Wall Street and college are actually relatively similar, and Hillary actually advocates for Wall Street reform, campaign finance and keeping big banks accountable basically just as much as Sanders does. In addition, although I definitely don't think that people should vote for Clinton just because she is a female, I do think that there is some hidden sexism against Hillary Clinton, even among liberals. I've seen people online praise Bernie Sanders's shouting as a sign that he cares a lot about income inequality and college tuition, but at the same time criticize Clinton for being loud and shrill. Although I don't agree with Gloria Steinem's comments that women must vote for Hillary to support other women, I also don't agree with people online that I have seen argue that women who support Hillary must be doing so just because they want a female president, not because they might actually agree with her policies and positions.