Tuesday, February 09, 2016

February 9, 2016--The "Establishment"

During last Thursday's debate, Bernie Sanders accused Hillary Clinton of being part of the Establishment.

He said--

"Secretary Clinton does represent the Establishment. I represent, I hope, ordinary Americans, and by the way--who are not all that enamored with the Establishment."

In response, Hillary Clinton said--

"Well look, I've got to jump in here because, honestly, Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the Establishment. And I've got to tell you that it is really quite amusing to me."

It may be amusing to her, but if Hillary Clinton isn't a part of the Establishment, I don't know who is.

Let me count the ways--

Wife of the former governor of Arkansas, former First Lady of the United States, former U.S. senator from New York, presidential candidate finalist in 2008, Secretary of State and then as a former Secretary able to command $250,000-a-pop speaker fees from the likes of Goldman Sachs, someone who with her husband has accumulated assets of more than $200 million after being "broke" when they left the White House, someone who received advances for books in excess of $5.0 million each, a principal in the Clinton Global Initiative, mother of a daughter-of-little-accomplishment who is able to garner highly-paid no-show jobs at McKinsey and Company and NBC ($600,000 a year!), and mother of a daughter who on her own commands speaker fees of $65,000.

(As and aside, someone needs to explain Chelsea's career to me, including that $65K.)

Hillary Clinton is not a member of the Establishment?

Not a member, she claimed the other night, ignoring all of this, because by definition she is not part of the Establishment because she is a woman. A woman running, audaciously I assume she would say, to become the first "woman president."

It appears this is working less and less well.

A female college student interviewed by MSNBC right after the debate visibly cringed when asked if Clinton's claim resonated with her.

She said, "That's irrelevant to me. What I care about is if she or anyone else would make a good president. In that regard, her being a woman doesn't mean much to me." She paused, took a visible deep breath and added, "Her feminism doesn't represent my feminism."

Nor apparently did it mean much to young voters in Iowa where Sanders led Clinton by 85 to 15 percent among people between the ages of 17 and 24. Fully half of them young women. We'll see what happens later today in NH.

Hillary Clinton's default position whenever challenged or feeling threatened is to blame, as she did in the past, the "right-wing conspiracy" or, more commonly now, that this is because she is a woman.

Not to be outdone, husband, white knight Bill has been all over New Hampshire this week coming to his wife's rescue, including to claim that Sanders' alleged attacks on Hillary are sexist. Talk about chutzpa. Bill Clinton in the Oval Office wrote the book on that.

In addition, Bernie Sanders himself is a comfortable member of the Establishment.

He is almost as much a career politician as Marco Rubio. By the numbers more so. His political career stretches back 35 years when in 1981, at age 39, he was elected mayor of Burlington. After being reelected three times, in 1990, he ran successfully for the House of Representatives, and then, in 2006, was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Sanders has been comfortably ensconced in Congress for 26 years. Including, during the past year, when he has been as much a no-show at his day job as Rubio and Ted Cruz.

That to me feels very Establishment.

Though I am more and more liking what he has to say about the "rigged" economy and am inclining to vote for him, let's not forget who he really is and how he has, at taxpayer expense, made his way in the world.

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