BERN NOTICE: They Attacked Obama -- Now They're Attacking Bernie With the Same Line

Washington elites called Obama unelectable in swing areas -- and they are trotting out the same line against Bernie, despite all the data to the contrary

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With polls showing Bernie surging, disgraced former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel (now a Wall Street executive) is leading the effort to promote the idea that Sanders as the Democratic nominee would endanger Democrats down the ballot in swing states. If this factually inaccurate criticism seems familiar — that’s because it is almost word-for-word the same criticism hurled at Barack Obama during his successful 2008 presidential campaign.

A must-read Slate article reviews how Washington elites demonized Obama with this line of attack. The article is entitled “Remembering Barack Obama’s Risky, Unelectable, McGovern-Like 2008 Candidacy.” Click here to read it — and see below for some highlights of Washington elites making the same argument against Obama as they are making against Bernie.

Bernie’s electability case is clear:

  • Having run 11 federal races and a presidential campaign, Bernie is — by far — the most vetted candidate in the race.

  • He has the largest fundraising base of any candidate, he has seen the largest rallies of any candidate, and polls show he is generating the strongest enthusiasm for his campaign.

  • Bernie has also raised more money from grassroots donors in Obama-Trump swing counties than any Democratic candidate.

  • Bernie crushing Trump in polls: he is winning against Trump in 55 out of 59 national polls tracked by RealClearPolitics, and the latest polls show him defeating Trump in key swing states that Trump won in 2016 such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina.

If those numbers aren’t enough, take a trip down memory lane to read the highlights of how the “Bernie isn’t electable” criticism is almost exact same criticism thrown at Obama — and read these highlights remembering that Obama won one of the largest electoral landslides in history:

• BIG DONORS DEMONIZED OBAMA AS UNELECTABLE: Slate reports that “in January 2008, a well-connected Obama fundraiser named Robert Farmer announced dramatically in a Washington Post op-ed that he would no longer support the young Illinois senator because he had concluded that Clinton was ‘more electable’ and ‘it would be tragic if we selected a nominee who falls short in the general election.’” Slate notes that the piece — which local papers ran under the headline “Clinton, not Obama, is most electable candidate” — argued “that Obama would be crippled by negative campaigning in a way that Clinton could not be, because she had ‘already been vetted beyond imagination.’”

• “OBAMA CAN’T BE TRUSTED TO WIN”: Slate reports that in 2008, “Politico wrote about a Clinton speech in which she “stressed that she’d won states like Ohio, crucial to the general election,” while “her aides began an argument that they will need to win with the Democratic Party’s elite: that Obama can’t be trusted to win.”

• CRITICS SAID OBAMA COULDN’T WIN BECAUSE HE HAD AMONG THE MOST LIBERAL VOTING RECODS: Slate reports that “Politico published a piece called ‘Liberal Views Could Haunt Obama’ that cited a questionnaire his campaign had filled out when he was running for state Senate that asserted that he opposed the death penalty, endorsed the concept of single-payer health care, and would support restrictions on the possession of handguns. The piece also cited positions he’d taken on contemporary campaign issues that could be ‘politically problematic’ and raise ‘electability questions.’…In early 2008, National Journal rated Obama as the most liberal senator on votes taken in the previous year, a fact that was subsequently cited in coverage of him, which suggested that Republicans were eager to see him become the Democrats’ nominee.”

• CRITICS SAID OBAMA COULDN’T WIN BECAUSE HE WAS A “MOVEMENT” CANDIDATE: Slate reports that “in April 2008, a CNN correspondent named William Schneider asserted Obama was vulnerable to being portrayed as a ‘left-wing ideologue’ because he was leading a ‘movement’-style campaign in the same manner as ‘Barry Goldwater in 1964’ and ‘George McGovern in 1972.’ Those campaigns, Schneider said, ‘failed because they were divisive.’…CNN’s David Gergen predicted that ‘John McCain is going to go after Barack Obama as the George McGovern of 1972.’ And after the Pennsylvania primary, the New Republic’s John Judis wrote an entire piece about Obama called ‘The Next McGovern?’ in which he warned that the candidate was depending too much on ‘very liberal’ voters, ‘college students,’ and ‘minorities,’ writing that Obama was demonstrating concerning signs that he was ‘going to have trouble winning that large swath of states.’”

• GOP CALLED OBAMA A SOCIALIST: Republicans explicitly campaigned against Obama by calling him a socialist. In a story headlined “McCain says Obama wants socialism,” the Los Angeles Times reported that the GOP accused Obama “of seeking to turn the United States into a socialist country and convert the IRS into a giant ‘welfare agency’” and quoted McCain saying Obama’s agenda sounded “a lot like socialism.”

• DEMOCRATIC SENATOR SAID VOTERS MAY REJECT OBAMA’S AGENDA: The Nation reports that Senator Evan Bayh made “the case to super delegates that Obama wouldn’t be able to defeat Senator John McCain in November. ‘They’re going to say that we’re weak on national security,’ Bayh said, ‘that we’re a bunch of high taxers and spenders, and out here in the middle of the country we don’t understand people’s values. The question is, have we given them some hook they can hang their hat on to make that argument?’”

Bern after reading,

Sirota