What If Bernie Sanders Is the Democrats' Best Bet? Cont'd

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

In a piece from David Graham showing how close the race is between Clinton and Sanders in key polling, David notes how she is “pulling out various stops. In particular, she has spent the last few days assailing Sanders for being, in her view, soft on gun control”—despite the Vermonter’s D-minus rating from the NRA. Along those lines, a reader predicts that Sanders would “wipe the floor with Trump” and refers to the video seen above:

Obama called her Annie Oakley in the 2008 primary because of her proud pro-gun stance, but now ALL OF A SUDDEN she is supposed to be some kind of anti-gun crusader? Come on.

Clinton appeals to a smaller and smaller segment of the Democratic electorate. She is BORING. Sanders has ALL of the excitement because he actually stands for something and is principled. She is so very obviously nothing but a panderer who changes her tune depending on which way the wind blows.

H.A. Goodman in The Huffington Post looks at the record from the last time Clinton ran against a fellow Democrat:

According to a 2008 New York Times article titled Clinton Portrays Herself as a Pro-Gun Churchgoer, Clinton’s rhetoric on the 2nd Amendment differed greatly from today’s attacks against Sanders:

For the third time since Mr. Obama’s remarks were made public Friday night, Mrs. Clinton criticized him at length, saying his comments seemed "kind of elitist and out of touch."

"I disagree with Senator Obama's assertion that people in our country cling to guns and have certain attitudes about immigration or trade simply out of frustration," she said.

She described herself as a pro-gun churchgoer, recalling that her father taught her how to shoot a gun when she was a young girl and said that her faith "is the faith of my parents and my grandparents."

Imagine Clinton recalling how she learned to shoot a gun in 2016. She also focused on faith and the right-wing talking point of liberal elitism, which is why Clinton stated Obama was "kind of elitist and out of touch."

In addition to describing herself as a "pro-gun churchgoer," Clinton made a point to continue these themes against Obama. A 2008 CNN article titled Clinton touts her experience with guns explains her rural Indiana visit in greater detail:

"You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl," she said.

"You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It's part of culture. It's part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it's an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter."

Minutes later, in a slightly awkward moment, Clinton faced a question from a woman in the audience whose son had been paralyzed by a gunshot...

"As I told you, my dad taught me how to shoot behind our cottage," she said. "I have gone hunting. I am not a hunter. But I have gone hunting."

Clinton said she has hunted ducks.

Meanwhile, a Sanders supporter responds to David’s point that “Sanders won’t benefit from the good feeling of electing a first black president, as Obama did”:

One thing the author forgot to mention is that even though Sanders isn’t black, he is Jewish (and people say atheist as well). Obama was the first black president, but Sanders would be the first Jewish president, which would also be very notable.

Another reader who feels the Bern:

Bernie is the ONLY candidate whose record proves he is honest. He wants tuition-free college paid for by a tax on Wall Street speculation. He wants to break up the big banks. He voted no to all the trade deals.

Hillary said NAFTA was good and that the TPP was the gold standard. Now she is against the TPP because she has to copy Bernie. Why get the lying copy when you can get the real thing?

Bernie wants a single-payer health insurance system. Hillary wants to strengthen Obamacare. Hillary will make your health insurance even more expensive. Mine is currently $475/month (compared to my $25/month car insurance from Insurance Panda, or my $10/month dental insurance, but I digress). Hillary is in bed with Big Pharma.

Trump wants low wages, but only now after Bernie pointed it out, proving he is copying Bernie as well.

Bernie is the new FDR, and if we let him he will stop the corruption and bring our country into prosperity again. The other candidates are paid for by the corporations.

Are you a strong Clinton supporter and want to make your case? Drop me an email and I’ll post.