Bernie Moves His Campaign To Offense

Bernie Moves His Campaign To Offense

Bernie Moves His Campaign To Offense

The Bernie Sanders campaign looked at the calendar and realized that Tuesday’s debate is the last time they will face off before the Iowa caucus. So the time for polite disagreements between the front-runners has come to an end.

Elizabeth Warren has serious and legitimate concerns that she doesn’t appear “electable” enough to Iowa voters, and spent all weekend trying to reassure them that she totally could take on Donald Trump mano a mano this fall. However, Bernie Sanders – who currently does hold the lead in Iowais taking the gloves off. That means that all the Democrat primary contenders are now fair game in his eyes.


This gave poor Lizzie a sad. After all, she and Bernie have either complimented each other or outright ignored each other on the debate stage – apparently by mutual agreement – up until now.

“I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me,” Warren said. “Bernie knows me, and has known me for a long time. He knows who I am, where I come from, what I have worked on and fought for, and the coalition and grass-roots movement we’re trying to build.”

This has always been a huge blind spot for Warren, who never seemed to understand that she and Bernie were competing for the exact same voting base within the party. Now that Bernie is trying to assert himself as the OG Socialist, that means Warren is going to “feel the Bern,” as it were. And the Bern says that she’s merely a pretender to the socialist mantle, while he has been and always shall be a dyed-in-the-wool honeymooner in Soviet Russia.

Biden won’t win Iowa (he probably thinks he’s campaigning in Ohio, anyway), but if Bernie can pull off wins in Iowa and New Hampshire and possibly pull off an upset in Nevada, it will make the recovering heart attack patient a formidable opponent. Biden is depending on his minority support in South Carolina to keep him in this primary race, but that becomes harder if Bernie manages to sweep up the first three states. Bernie nearly took out Hillary Clinton last time on the strength of his grassroots movement, and it’s debatable that without the DNC shenanigans, he might have been the nominee.

Which leads to a very interesting question just posed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – was the Pelosi impeachment strategy an intentional boost to the Biden campaign?

Speaking on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” McCarthy said he believes that the Democratic establishment doesn’t want Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats, to win the party’s nomination and that Pelosi is holding the articles of impeachment in order to keep Sanders off the campaign trail in the lead-up to the all-important Iowa caucus next month.”

“The Iowa caucus is on February third,” McCarthy said. “Bernie Sanders is in first place and what this does is benefit Joe Biden. This harms Sen. Sanders, who is in first place and could become their nominee because he will be stuck in a chair because Nancy Pelosi held the papers.”

This certainly puts an interesting spin on the Pelosi strategy, right? After all, this entire “hold the articles for leverage” idea was dumber than Nancy’s dentures to begin with, and resulted in making the impeachment look partisan and weak. But what if Pelosi decided she could kill two birds with one stone? What if she knew that she could placate the base with an impeachment that ends up going nowhere, AND cripple Bernie Sanders (and Elizabeth Warren) at the same time, giving Biden an edge in campaigning? Now, I think it’s unlikely – given the level of brain power that we’ve seen out of the House Speaker when it comes to controlling her caucus – that Pelosi actually thought this far ahead and planned for this outcome. But hot damn, the end result is the same. A Senate trial is not something that any of the senators that are currently campaigning will be able to duck out of and avoid. Their butts are going to be in the Senate chambers for as long as it takes.

So of course Bernie is taking the gloves off now, against Biden and especially to win back anyone who might be supporting Warren, in anticipation of being handcuffed by a Senate trial where the exercise is pointless, the outcome inevitable, and the damage to his campaign incalculable. The big question is, will Bernie (or Warren, or Klobuchar) say anything about how the mandatory Senate trial attendance is going to end up hurting them during tomorrow night’s debate? Or will they gamely stick to the “ORANGE MAN BAD” script, even though it gives Biden and Buttigieg plenty of elbow room, potentially for the entire month of February and the first three elections?

Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click

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7 Comments
  • While it would not surprise me that this is Nancy’s goal, it also would not surprise me that she’s forgotten the first rule of “strategery” – the enemy ALWAYS gets a vote.

    Mitch, depending on how he reads the tea leaves (and what his sources in Justice are telling him about coming events with the Biden gang), could wrap things up in a week or less and send Bernie and Liz right back out on the campaign trail. Or he could elect to give Nancy’s knife another good twist and drag things out.

  • GWB says:

    she and Bernie have either complimented each other
    Maybe they’re playing for a P/VP ticket together? Thinking that one of them will become the nominee, then the other can ride their coattails.

    an independent from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats
    I’ve always wondered why the heck they let him run. He’s not actually a Democrat and they could just say “Sorry, Bernie, gotta be a Dem to run as a Dem.” Wouldn’t that be an easier (and less dishonest) way to keep him out? Or are they that afraid he’d split their ticket?

    Pelosi actually thought this far ahead
    I still think she was planning on just trying to milk it as long as she could once the Squad pushed her to actually hold the impeachment.
    Perhaps, though, she figured she could fold with timing that just might tie Bernie up a while.

    the mandatory Senate trial attendance
    Unless they can get themselves recused. There’s that bit running around about Biden’s contributions to folks in the Senate might make people (Dems) ineligible to vote on Trump’s impeachment. (If I were McConnell, I would insist on 100% quorum, then make them leave solely for the vote.

  • Scott says:

    “A Senate trial is not something that any of the senators that are currently campaigning will be able to duck out of and avoid. Their butts are going to be in the Senate chambers for as long as it takes.”.. I’m sure you’re right on this, but wouldn’t / shouldn’t this open them up to the same “abuse of power” charge the house has leveled against the President (with much stronger evidence), in that them having any say against the President is an obvious conflict of interest since he’s their opponent inn the election? In a just world, they’d all have to recuse themselves from this shit-show…

  • Scott says:

    ” (If I were McConnell, I would insist on 100% quorum, then make them leave solely for the vote.”…

    I like the way you think

  • Joe in PNG says:

    Bernie is the last toy being played with in the Media’s Potential Frontrunner game, which ends in Iowa. They’ve gone on to build up and tear down Liz, now it’s Bernie’s turn before the actual “counts for realsies” votes start to come in.

    After Iowa, a new but similar game gets played with the same toys. But they have to figure in the real numbers (votes & delegates) instead of solely the imaginary & made up ones (polls)

    • GWB says:

      As a note, I think polls are more predictive in something like a Democratic primary. They don’t have to pretend to get any independent or Republican voters, and places like Iowa (caucuses) the folks who are going to actually vote are pretty well known.

      • Joe in PNG says:

        I’m still very doubtful about their accuracy during the pre-primary silly season.
        At this point, the name of the game is manufacturing drama to generate sales & clicks.
        Once we actually get into voting, then the poll numbers will be… accurate isn’t exactly the word. Forced to grudgingly admit that reality might possibly exist. But with a generous helping of twist & slant to keep the game going. By, say, mixing a poll with a lower then expected vote to gin up a story about how this or that candidate’s momentum is speeding up/ slowing down- a very traditional play for the media.

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