A very curious question of the moment is, why is Hillary in panic mode? The evidence of her panic is fairly obvious given her campaign’s recent clumsy even amateurish attempts to attack Bernie. We will get to the details of the evidence of panic later but an intriguing possible reason for her panic is what she is seeing in her internal polling.
It took the genius pundits awhile before they finally recognized that this presidential election process is unique compared to those in the recent past. Very high levels of citizen anger have changed voting patterns. This change includes energizing younger citizens and other previously apathetic citizens to want to vote. The polls which are based on “likely voters” have not been including this new wave of expected voters. In the Democratic primaries this bloc is virtually all on Bernie’s side. So the polls have not adequately taken into account this group of potential voters. Couple that with the latest polls of likely voters that have Bernie in a virtual dead heat with Hillary in Iowa and consistently have him being ahead in New Hampshire and the political winds appear to be blowing hard into Bernie’s sails. If these new voters come out of the woodwork as expected, Bernie could very well be looking at a big win in both states. To back up this premise, a New York Times article interviewed 11 Hillary insiders. The article states the Clintons are “unnerved by the possibility that Mr. Sanders will foment a large wave of first-time voters and liberals that will derail her in Iowa.”
The consensus among these insiders was that it was a mistake to not play hard ball with Bernie early and often and that this allowed him to create momentum. This public criticism is amusing because it feels a bit like “experts” covering their butts to maintain their “expert” status. Pointing fingers before the campaign corpse becomes a corpse just reeks of beltway cynicism that seems to be a core value of Team Hillary. If Hillary’s internal polling can somehow account for a potential new wave of voters, this might have sent HRC down the rabbit hole of high anxiety and big time desperation.
Another possibility for her panic is the expansion of the investigation by the DOJ about her emails as Secretary of State to include possible pay to play influence connected to the Clinton Foundation. Only she and Bill really know if there is something to worry about but the circumstantial evidence looks bad for her.
Yet another potential reason for her panic is just the possibility of a nightmarish repeat of her blowing a second chance to be the first woman to be a US president. Maybe even a 50/50 chance of losing again is enough to push her internal panic button. Obviously, going in twice as a prohibitive favorite and failing both times has an ulcer inducing quality to it.
Hillary’s panic mode got off to a running start with her campaign surrogate’s claim that Bernie is ignoring the shadow banking problem and that Hillary would do a much better job of cleaning up Wall St. It seems that Hillary is doing her own shadow dancing around this all important issue. It comes off as quite condescending for her to try and sell that the person who has taken millions from Wall St. will be better at reining in Wall St. then the candidate who refuses money from Wall St. or any big donor. This kind of flim flam is just not going to sell to the angry voters that are ticked at Wall St. and their bought off politicians.
Then her campaign really tripped over both feet when her daughter Chelsea took her campaign into it’s own version of amateur hour. She attempted to criticize Bernie’s push for a single payer health care plan for all Americans by making the outrageous claim that Bernie wants to take away all the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. No reasonably intelligent undecided voter is buying this nonsense. Bernie is trying to upgrade the ACA not eliminate its benefits. His plan is to make certain everyone in America has health insurance which the ACA does not do.
Last but not least, Hillary is basically trying to attack Bernie’s character. Hillary is claiming in a Bernie ad the distinction being made between how the two will go after Wall St. is false. Rachel Maddow in an interview with Hillary asserts that her campaign “set its own hair on fire a little bit” by over reacting to this ad and is basically calling Bernie dishonest. Going after Bernie’s character is certainly strong evidence that Team Hillary is in full panic mode. This is just so Karl Rovian going after a competitor’s strength. Call Bernie a lot of things but not dishonest! It appears she is projecting her own behavior onto Bernie.
If the well heeled well informed Hillary Clinton is panicking over another possible epic fail in losing to Bernie, maybe its time for those feeling the Bern to start smiling. Those smiles will only be sustained of course as long as voters stay motivated to act on their dissatisfaction and vote as informed participants of a democracy.