Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are battling to see what it means to be a Democrat in 2016.
Bernie’s main points are strong: Government for all of us, not just the 1 percent; A track record for peace (A no vote on Iraq); A man against Wall Street and big money interests.
Hillary is the experienced pol, who was first to address healthcare reform before Obama; She knows how to compromise and get things done; But she likes Wall Street money and is no Elizabeth Warren on finance issues. She’s experienced, presidential, establishment.
At some point, electability will be the big issue. In side by side comparisons during debates, viewers will get to decide for themselves which person represents them.
But surprisingly, young woman aren’t going for Hillary. Not even young Asian American voters, based on a conversation I had with Rozita Lee who is based in Nevada.
When Sanders mentioned Henry Kissinger last night, it did bring to mind that Sanders was a latter day George McGovern. Sanders backers don’t like that comparison because McGovern lost to Nixon in a landslide in 1972. But the Bernie excitement is similar to the excitement McGovern had around the single issue of the war in Vietnam.
Bernie’s 1percent vs. the 99 percent message is a little broader.
It’s us vs. the billionaires and the Hillionaires.
But Sanders has to convince us that he can deliver on his idealism.
In that sense, he’s just another pol. A survivor to be the only socialist in the room, for sure. But he’s got to let us know how he’s going to get things done.
Hillary offers a more realistic view of what can be.
In the Wisconsin debate, I noted that Sanders was first to get in the diversity litany rhetoric, where a candidate mentions the list of all people, (African American, Latinos, Asian Americans, LGBTQ , etc).
It’s a sign of inclusive ness. He did it In the New Hampshire debate, where Sanders also talked about coming together and unifying in the end.
Whatever happens, we will have vigorous but civil debate. And that should be much different from what the Republicans have shown us so far.