One charge against Sanders by the likes of Paul Krugman that I just could not abide—there were others, but this post is about this one—was that while Clinton was actively soliciting campaign funds for the Democratic Party to use for down-ballot candidates, Sanders was not. In a post here about that a couple of weeks ago I pointed out that Sanders and his campaign will be playing a large role both in soliciting campaign funds from ordinary individuals for down-ballot campaigns—especially congressional campaigns—simply through ActBlue.com’s huge database of Sanders donors, and that in fact those solicitations already had begun. ActBlue.com is the organization that Sanders donors use to make their donations.
I also said that Sanders will play a large part in garnering support for Senate and House candidates simply by noting as he campaigns with candidates that he remains a senator and he, Elizabeth Warren and the other few real progressives in Congress need a Democratic-controlled Congress for their policy proposals to get heard in Congress.
Today I received this email message:
As Democrats, we believe that no one who works hard every day should have to live in poverty because they’re paid a minimum wage that’s too low. We know that climate change is a challenge we must confront. We believe no young person should have to spend so much on a college education that they end up shackled by years of debt.
And we know that we can never, never allow Donald Trump to become President of the United States.
Will you donate $3 or more today to help keep that from happening and to elect Democrats who will fight for everything we believe in?
If you’ve saved your payment information, your donation will go through immediately.
QUICK DONATE: $3
QUICK DONATE: $10
QUICK DONATE: $25
QUICK DONATE: $50
QUICK DONATE: $100
Or donate another amount.
Any Republican president would put President Obama’s progress on economic security in danger, make moves to repeal health care reform that millions of Americans are now relying on, and try to move backwards on the steps we’ve taken these past seven years to make our country more equal and more fair.
But it’s clear that Trump — with his repugnant attitude toward women, immigrants, Muslim-Americans, and pretty much anyone he comes across — is the worst of the bunch.
We’re going to be going up against him this fall. So right now, I’m asking you to pitch in $3 or whatever you can so that we can stop Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans:
Paid for by the Democratic National Committee, 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington DC 20003 and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contributions or gifts to the Democratic National Committee are not tax deductible.
There is, I believe, no way that the Clinton campaign would have my email address—that ActBlue would forward it to the Clinton campaign—unless the Sanders campaign agreed at the Clinton campaign’s request to allow it.
Me? I’m delighted. I’m with him. But I’m also now with her. There’s no conflict there; she will be the nominee, and he will play a large role in policy matters, during the campaign and during the Clinton administration.
As for the message itself, I think the tone was pretty near perfect at this stage, as an opener.
I think Clinton has made some serious blunders in the last few days. I have no idea why, for example, she thinks she needs to do anything affirmative to gain the votes of moderate Republicans, least of all by rehashing what everyone already knows about Trump. Just as I don’t know why she thinks women who place a great deal of importance on electing a woman as president need to reminded that she is one and if elected will be the first. I don’t share her fondness for highlighting the obvious or the already-very-well-known.
And her decision to court, in personal phone solicitations, no less, Republican donors, as the NYT reported two or three days ago—Wall Street ones and others—is stupefying. Money for TV ads and the like will be far less important than handing Trump, who apparently now expects to be mostly self-funding his campaign because there aren’t all that many Republican donors who want him elected, such tangible campaign arguments to make in his own TV commercials and at his rallies and in interviews. Trump is a New Yorker; he probably reads the New York Times. (Well, okay, Paul Manafort probably reads the New York Times.)
Like ordinary voters—actually, even more so, probably—these donors will decide to support Clinton, or not, based not on Clinton but on Trump. But that is less likely to be so for many Sanders supporters than for most other voters. Her campaign priorities are skewed here, illustrating yet again her lack of agility in recognizing the differences between this campaign year and, well, others. Jeb Bush had record amounts of money.
But this post is about Bernie Sanders and his campaign. And I’m happy that he and it took the step they took.
And I’ll offer this tip to Clinton now that I’m WithHer: A key to beating Trump is to point out that on fiscal and other domestic policy at least, the election contest will not be to determine whether there will be another President Clinton or instead a President Trump. There will be either a new President Clinton or a President Manafort.
Every time Trump tries to hint at the beginning of a back-away from Conservative Movement fiscal and other domestic policy, and toward some genuine economic-populist fiscal and anti-Chamber of Commerce regulatory policy, Edgar Bergen, er, Paul Manafort, quickly aborts it.
This will be a source of amusement for me going forward, although less so if Clinton fails to note this early and often, whether for fear of losing campaign donations or otherwise. And less so still if she appears to be running as President Manafort Light.
UPDATE: Yikes. Yves Smith posted this comment at Naked Capitalism:
What Bernie Sanders is doing to help Hillary Clinton Beverly Mann, Angry Bear. I am posting this only because I am just about certain this is wrong. Mann is almost certainly correct on her opening point, Sanders will help on downticket Democratic party races, but I assume he will help only ideologically aligned Dems, not the remaining Blue Dogs. But if these Congresscritters are to the left of Clinton, they could serve to keep her honest (or more accurately, less dishonest) rather than “help” her. But I am certain she is wrong about her getting an anti-Trump DNC message via Bernie sharing his list with her. First, I am told by someone in the Sanders operation that Sanders will not do that (although there is the risk that his list is hacked or stolen). Second, I have given to Sanders via ActBlue and have gotten no such message. Third, as a blogger, I have gotten DNC propaganda upon occasion, including solicitations, before I gave to Sanders (and I haven’t given to anyone save a couple of locals via check since I gave a mere $20 to Obama as a result of seeing Palin’s acceptance speech). Every time I unsubscribe. Mann has written often about Clinton and Sanders, so I suspect she got added to the list that way.
Sooo … I was wrong in my assumption about the underlying source of that DNC email to me.
Meanwhile, reader EMichael linked in the Comments thread to this article today by Matthew Yglesias at Vox. I responded to EMichael’s comment:
Nice article. Thanks for linking to it. I don’t read Vox; I don’t care much for it. So I probably wouldn’t have known of the article otherwise.
I’m really glad to see someone with a high profile say what I, a low-profile type, have been saying here at AB for weeks now.
The Yglesias article is titled “The real reason Bernie Sanders will enthusiastically back Hillary Clinton in November.”
So I guess the bottom line is that Sanders indeed is helping Clinton, just not directly. Not yet.
Added 5/10 at 12:14 p.m.