Politico’s Glenn Thrush lands a POTUS interview laden with nuggets about the 2016 race. This is particularly noteworthy:
When I asked Obama if Clinton is facing “unfair scrutiny” this time around, his answer was a clipped “yes” – and he even admitted a tinge of regret that his own campaign had been so hard on her eight years ago. But when I asked him if Sanders reminded him of himself in 2008, he quickly shot me down: “I don’t think that’s true.”
President Obama’s candid assessment of the 2008 race is fascinating:
“The truth is, in 2007 and 2008, sometimes my supporters and my staff I think got too huffy about what were legitimate questions she was raising,” he admitted. “And there were times where I think the media probably was a little unfair to her and tilted a little my way in calling her out.” In fact, he said, Clinton “had a tougher job throughout that primary than I did.” “She had to do everything that I had to do, except, like Ginger Rogers, backwards in heels,” he said.
This follows regrettable comments from Bernie overnight, where he takes a cheap shot at Hillary’s supporters, the millions of women and men who are excited and motivated by Hillary’s historic candidacy.
According to the Washington Post, Bernie “is attacking Clinton more directly, not only on policy differences but also on personal character.”
We always assumed character attacks would be the domain of the GOP and conservative Hillary-bashers, not Bernie Sanders. We took Bernie at his word that he’d run a clean campaign. As we’ve argued on BNR, we agree with most of his positions and we respect his true supporters and intend to work with them to defeat the GOP in November. They are part of our Blue family.
However, we’ve also categorically dismissed the notion that Hillary is the “establishment” and Bernie is the outsider, that Bernie’s support constitutes a movement while Hillary’s massive support is somehow less important.
WaPo tackles that issue:
There are indications beyond his message and strategy that Sanders is assuming the trappings of a more traditional politician. He rides around Iowa these days on a hulking, luxurious bus. His avalanche of low-dollar fundraising has enabled him to roughly match Clinton in television advertising. A few months ago, he begrudgingly hired a pollster. And most of his campaign stops are set up by a professional advance staff, orchestrated to provide picturesque angles for the national TV cameras that now follow him.
Iowa is looming and the election is getting increasingly heated. We hope that personal attacks are eschewed in favor of policy distinctions. After all, our focus is Trump and Cruz and the scary Republican field.