Hillary Clinton has hit back at Bernie Sanders for his “Establishment” argument, hoping to give the Vermont senator a taste of his medicine.
Sanders’ campaign has been heavily reliant on projecting his rivals as part of the establishment, a nexus of politicians, congressmen and corporate elites he believes are responsible for the current economic and political problems facing the country. His campaign has often called for a “political revolution” for and by the masses, a breakthrough from status quoist policies that Bernie Sanders believes have plagued the White House for far too long.
And, while Sanders continues to build support and surge ahead of fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in the primary states, mostly by winning over young people with his “socialist” ideas, the former Secretary of State has now bashed him for projecting himself as a revolutionary leader, and has gone on to brand him as part of the same establishment he is purportedly fighting against.
Speaking to CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room Thursday night, Clinton suggested that Bernie Sanders is very much part of the establishment, noting that he has served for a far longer period in Washington that she has.
“I just don’t understand what that means. He’s been in Congress, he’s been elected to office a lot longer than I have,” Clinton said when questioned about Sanders’ attack on her establishment heritage. “He’s been in the Congress for 25 [years]. And so I’ll let your viewers make their own judgment.”
Hillary Clinton went on to insinuate that because she has served in the Senate for only eight years, she is much lesser part of the establishment than Bernie Sanders would have his voters believe.
Although Clinton’s assessment might be accurate in some ways, considering Sanders’ stances on gun control in the past, for example, it is worth noting here that Hillary Clinton focused solely on elected office when making her point. Which, by all accounts, makes her point rather tepid. Clinton has served as the first lady with President Bill Clinton for eight years in the ’90s, meaning she would be much more familiar with the machinations that drive the functioning of the White House than Bernie Sanders would.
Moreover, Clinton also served as Secretary of State in President Barack Obama’s administration for his first four years in office, which sort of enforces the Vermont senator’s opinion that Hillary Clinton is much more part of the establishment than he perhaps ever would.
Clinton’s selective argument of only talking about time served in the Senate does not do her any favors, in part because that is exactly the kind of thing Bernie Sanders has warned his voters not to fall prey to. It would perhaps have been better for Clinton to emphasize the time she spent as first lady and the Secretary of State, and then debunk Sanders’ argument, because as of now, it appears that Clinton was attempting to completely evade the time she spent in other positions of power.
Having said that, Clinton did make viable arguments about being endorsed by progressive organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Campaign also on the show, something Bernie Sanders criticized previously. She said she is pleased to be endorsed by organizations which are progressive and are doing great work for the country.
But, for all her valid points, Hillary Clinton’s selective memory when talking about taking on the “political establishment” might end up helping Bernie Sanders in the long run.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]