Clinton Promises to Deliver 3rd Obama Term
Hillary Clinton can’t stand the thought of losing this campaign. From the start, she was seen as the golden candidate. For months, Republicans didn’t even bother qualifying the potential Democratic challenger with “whomever it may be.” It was assumed that Clinton would be the one. But as the Iowa caucuses draw nearer and Clinton’s poll numbers sink, it’s clear that this race’s conclusion is not as foregone as it once might have seemed.
That hasn’t been lost on Clinton, who came to the final Democratic debate last night with a new strategy: Embrace President Obama. Right through to the last question, Clinton wrapped herself in Obama, accusing challenger Bernie Sanders of criticizing the president whenever he criticized her. She is gambling that Obama is still popular enough with the liberal base to defeat Sanders, even by proxy.
Nowhere was this strategy more apparent than on the topic of Wall Street, which represents the foundation of Sanders’ socialist campaign. On two separate occasions, Sanders brought up Clinton’s exorbitant speaking fees. “You’ve received $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year,” the Vermont senator said.
Clinton turned the attack back on Sanders, insisting that this amounted to a smear against the president’s own campaign donations from the financial sector. “Your profusion of comments about your feelings towards President Obama are a little strange given what you said about him in 2011,” Clinton said.
Clinton carried her Obama-defense through to nearly every issue, arguing that Sanders would leave the door open for Republicans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. “I do not to want see the Republicans repeal it, and I don’t want to see us start over again with a contentious debate,” she said.
Clinton seems to have found a groove. Instead of trying to act the conservative compared to her radical challenger, she is putting herself in line with President Obama. This strategy could be effective; there’s little indication to suggest that Sanders is winning over minority voters, and you can’t win a Democratic primary without them. Even so, the fact that she’s being forced on the defensive has to worry her party’s establishment.
As contentious as the debate was, the real sparks came on Twitter. It was there that Republican Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, “As the #DemDebate begins, Republicans have to wonder which team @realDonaldTrump would play for.” He linked to a video showing a montage of times where Trump had praised the former secretary of state.