The truth is, we aren’t a single-issue country. We need more than a plan for the big banks. The middle class needs a raise.
— Hillary Clinton, last night in her Nevada-caucuses victory speech
We’re not a single-issue country? Who knew? That’s a peculiar message on which to hang her campaign—as she has been doing for the last two or three weeks, since the previous tack proved ineffective—given that that previous tack was that, for women, there actually is only a single issue: breaking the glass ceiling for women presidential candidates.
But every time Clinton makes this baldly false claim about Sanders’ campaign, Sanders should refer her to, perhaps, a mathematician. Or to a Feb. 16 article by John Wagner, the Washington Post’s lead reporter on the Sanders campaign (and my favorite reporter covering that campaign; he’s just really straightforward in his reporting, very much like reporters of yore), titled “Post Politics ‘Single-issue’ candidate Bernie Sanders touches on 20 issues during a Michigan campaign stop.”
Wagner, unlike Clinton, can count. All the way up to 20.
Not incidentally, the campaign stop that Wagner was reporting on was at Eastern Michigan University’s huge Convocation Hall in Ypsilanti, a largely African-American city that borders on Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan. It also is near many metro-Detroit blue-collar suburbs. The rally gained media attention for its huge crowd and very long waiting lines that began forming several hours before the event, in very cold weather. And also for the crowd’s raucous enthusiasm—a crowd, it was clear from the videos and photos, that truly did look like America. Or a large segment of Democratic and other non-Tea Party America. Except that metro Detroit does not have a large Latino population.
But Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and California do. And in Nevada, which also does, Sanders won the Latino vote by eight points, according to entrance polls.
In other words, Sanders no longer has a racial-minorities problem. He has an African-American problem, and possibly mainly one that does not extend to rustbelt states. Latinos apparently have no longstanding emotional tie to the Clintons, and African Americans in the rust belt may not have an unbreakable emotional tie to this couple.
Colorado, whose primary is on Mar. 1, not only has a large Latino population and (like Nevada) a relatively small African American population; it also has, I read a few months ago, the youngest population in the country. And it is home to one of the country’s most liberal college towns, one with a population of nearly 100,000 and a student body of about 30,000, and also another state university with a good-size student body (27,000) in a city of more than 150,000.
The state also has a very large information-tech industry and a relatively huge number of environmentalists. While the state itself is split politically about evenly between Democrats and Republicans and their respective leaners, its Democrats skew much more progressive than Nevada’s.
But Clinton may very well be wrong that she has a winning campaign soundbite even in the rust belt with “The truth is, we aren’t a single-issue country. We need more than a plan for the big banks. The middle class needs a raise.” Partly, that’s because she doesn’t seem to have a plan for the big banks. And partly, because Sanders’ policies would result in larger raises than hers for the middle class and for those who make minimum wage and therefore are not in the middle class.
And partly because it is likely, I would think, that the information contained in a February 19 Politico Magazine article by William D. Cohan, titled “Too-Big-to-Fail Comes Back to Haunt Hillary,” will begin to gain real attention.
The article details Clinton’s ongoing close personal ties with top players in the banking and investment banking industries, and the number of banks and investment firms in addition to Goldman Sachs that paid her more than $200,000 for anodyne speeches at which the guests included top executives at firms that are major clients of these banks and hedge funds. That, according to Cohan, was the purpose of these events: introductions between Clinton and these clients.
I’m guessing that eventually someone will juxtapose this information with Clinton’s statement at a debate last month that, by definition, she can’t be a member of the establishment because she is running to the first woman president. (This, of course, was still during the height of her multi-issue “Elect me because I’m a woman” campaign phase, the multi issues being “I” and “am” and “a” and “woman”.) It’s a safe bet that if the person who employs the juxtaposition isn’t Bernie Sanders it will be Donald Trump. If Clinton and Trump win the nomination of their respective parties. Or maybe before that.
I read that during the caucuses yesterday Clinton tweeted that “We can’t let a Republican win the election in November,” or something close to that. I couldn’t agree more.
UPDATE: Apparently the entrance polls regarding Latino voters yesterday are looking wrong. In a Politico article by Bill Scher, who mentions this, Scher also says that Clinton won African-American voters by pushing a line last week in Nevada that economic issues of the sort Sanders’ campaign has focused on don’t address what matters most to Blacks: systemic racism, particularly its effect of Black wealth. But apparently Clinton has not offered any clue to how she plans to erase it. Mainly she just wants African-Americans to know she knows about this and cares about it.
Unlike Sanders, who has no clue about this, or does know but doesn’t care.
Added 2/21 at 2:21 p.m.
Two additional points: One is this by Bruce Webb in the Comments thread:
February 21, 2016 3:32 pm
The Latino numbers may not be wrong. The ‘corrective’ was taken by measuring Latino neighborhoods without considering the possibility that these might skew older (and so more Hillary) even as younger Latinos are more dispersed.
Which is typical of ethnic neighborhoods everywhere once outright discrimination starts melting away.
The major exception being the African American community because some very explicit discrimination is likely NEVER to go away. But otherwise you can go to your standard Little Korea or Chinatown or Little Italy and all you find is old people and immigrants. Your third generation native English speakers are out and about in your hipster enclaves and suburbs alike.
So wait for the actual crosstabs before giving this one up.
The other is this: That a huge part of Clinton’s campaign modus operandi consists of misrepresentation of one or another thing about Sanders’ campaign, including the nature or specifics of his policy proposals—er, proposal. (There’s only one, after all.) That he is a single-issue candidate is just the latest. I wish someone would ask her why she’s so reliant as a candidate on misrepresenting her opponent’s campaign—but this has been absolutely the case since she began to realize last fall that Sanders is an actual threat to her candidacy.
It’s hard to see how this helps a candidate who many voters, including many Democrats, believe is less-than-honest. And yet that apparently doesn’t occur to her.
Added 2/21 at 5:35 p.m.