Reardon Reports is the source for news on and analysis of politics in New Hampshire from an insider's perspective. Coverage is accurate and independent and – full disclosure – the product of a longtime Democrat.
Ten months ago when Hillary Clinton made her first campaign trip here in April she was struck by the concern expressed by voters about how heroin and other opioids were hurting New Hampshire families. Clinton internalized those concerns and addressing opioid addiction has become central to her campaign. The post Let’s Talk Hillary: New Hampshire’s Opioid Crisis appeared first on Reardon...
Ten months ago when Hillary Clinton made her first campaign trip here in April she was struck by the concern expressed by voters about how heroin and other opioids were hurting New Hampshire families. Clinton internalized those concerns and addressing opioid addiction has become central to her campaign.
Today, the day before New Hampshire voters finally get to cast their ballots, this video in which a man who has known Hillary Clinton for 40 years shares how he felt when he heard her talk about addiction in New Hampshire brings us full circle.
Last night supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders repeatedly interruputed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen while she was speaking at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner. In my more than 30 years of attending Democratic events in New Hampshire, I've never witnessed rudeness and disrespect like this. The post Bernie Sanders Encourages the Rudeness of His Supporters appeared first on Reardon...
Last night supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders repeatedly interruputed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen while she was speaking at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner. In my more than 30 years of attending Democratic events in New Hampshire, I’ve never witnessed rudeness and disrespect like this.
Jeanne Shaheen was the first woman elected governor of New Hampshire. She was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire. She is the only woman in United States history to be elected both a governor and a U.S. senator. Much to the dismay of her campaign strategists during her 2014 reelection campaign, Jeanne Shaheen ranks pretty high on all the various scorecards measuring how liberal senators’ voting records are
Why in the world would Bernie Sanders’ supporters treat this woman who made the Democratic Party a winning party in New Hampshire so disrespectfully?
Because she supports Hillary Clinton for president? That’s too simple. I don’t think people are motivated to heckle a sitting U.S. Senator speaking at a Democratic Party event named in her honor simply because she’s supporting a different candidate.
Every four years in New Hampshire we have NHDP events where all the competing candidates for the Democratic nomination and New Hampshire’s current Democratic officeholders speak. I’ve been attending these types of gathering since 1987. They can be rowdy. Each candidate’s supporters tries to outdo the other with cheers and applause for their candidate. Grown men and women jump up and down cheering. It’s silly and it’s fun. But never before last night have I witnessed one candidate’s supporters heckle another candidate or that candidate’s backer dring a speech.
Not in 2008 when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were engaged in a fierce priary fight. Nor in 2004 when John Kerry and Howard Dean and were battling it out in the days before the New Hampshire primary. Nor in the 2000 contest beteeen Al Gore and Bill Bradley. Nor in 1988 when Michale Dukakis and Dick Gephardt waged very tough campaigns here.
So what is the difference this time? What would make Bernie Sanders supporters behave like this?
As Gov. Dukakis used to say, “The fish rots from the head down.”
I’m not saying Bernie Sanders instructs his supporters to interrupt and heckle the speech of a U.S. Senator.
But what Bernie Sanders does is constantly tell us is Congress is corrupt and the political system is corrupt, and he calls for a political revolution. His supporters clearly have internalized this message. And if you believe Congress is corrupt and the political system is corrupt and what we need in this country is a political revolution, why would you show any respect to the senior U.S. Senator from New Hampshire? And not only is she in the corrupt Senate, she supports the devil herself, Hillary Clinton!
Donald Trump is stoking hatred of Muslims and Latinos. Bernie Sanders is stoking hatred of members of Congress. Both forms of populism are dangerous to the future of our country.
The post Bernie Sanders Encourages the Rudeness of His Supporters appeared first on Reardon Reports.
Bernie Sanders has made three promises that are extremely attractive to voters. He's promised to make tuition free at all public universities and colleges. He's promised to establish a single-payer health coverage system. And he's promised to break up the big banks during his first year as president. Before New Hampshire voters cast their ballots in seven days, reporters should press Sanders to provide serious answers to three questions about these promises. The post Three Questions Bernie...
Throughout his campaign Bernie Sanders has made three promises that are extremely attractive to voters. He’s promised to make tuition free at all public universities and colleges. He’s promised to establish a single-payer health coverage system. And he’s promised to break up the big banks during his first year as president. Given how many families are struggling with college debt, how important health care is to everyone, and how much people hate Wall Street, these promises are resonating with Democratic primary voters. Before New Hampshire voters cast their ballots in seven days, reporters should press Sanders to provide serious answers to three questions about the practicality of these promises.
How Do You Actually Break Up the Big Banks in One Year?
Think for a minute about how long it takes for a married couple with significant assets to get divorced. It’s not easy. Then take a look at Bank of America, the second largest bank in the United States. It had more than $1.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2014. It employs 220,000 people. Shares of its stocks are held by more than 2,500 mutual funds, the foundation of people’s retirement savings. They do business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. What happens to its 220,000 employees when the Bank of America is broken up? What will the impact be on the IRAs and 401(k)s that have mutual funds with Bank of America stock? Now remember that Bank of America is just one of the biggest banks in the United States. JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank are the four other largest banks. How do you actually break these banks up in one year?
How Do You Prevent an Endless Cycle of Rising Tuition and the Taxes To Pay for It When Students No Longer Pay Tuition?
When Senator Sanders says he will make tuition free at all public universities and colleges, what he means is that individual students no longer will pay tuition and instead federal taxpayers will pay their tuition. While tuition has been rising at breathtaking rates, under the existing system there is pressure to keep tuition down because of the competition to attract students. One of the advantages public universities and colleges have over their private non-profit and for-profit competitors is that tuition is lower at the public institutions. Public universities and colleges are run by human beings. If they no longer have to keep a lid on tuition to attract students, won’t human nature drive them to continuously jack up tuition so they can increase salaries and enhance their campuses? At what point do federal taxpayers say enough is enough? How does Senator Sanders intend to prevent this endless cycle?
How Do You Actually Shift the Existing American Health Coverage System into a Single-Payer System?
Senator Sanders says there is no reason the United States shouldn’t have a single-payer health system; countries like Sweden, Canada and Denmark have single-payer systems, so can we. Those countries created their single-payer systems before private health insurance took hold. Like it or not, the United States currently has a private health insurance system providing coverage to more than 60 percent of people under the age of 65. If we wipe out the existing private health insurance system and cover all Americans with a single-payer system, what happens to the millions of people currently employed directly by the insurance companies or as insurance brokers and agents? What happens to the billions of dollars of real estate owned or leased by health insurance companies and brokers across the country? What will the impact be on the IRAs and 401(k)s that have mutual funds with stock in WellPoint, UnitedHealth, Aetna and so forth? How do you actually shift an existing private-pay health coverage system into one single-payer government system?
New Hampshire voters deserve serious answers from Senator Sanders to these questions before they cast their ballots on February 9.
The post Three Questions Bernie Sanders Should Answer Before the New Hampshire Primary appeared first on Reardon Reports.
While there is no question Bernie Sanders cares about humanity, the lives of individual humans do not appear to move him. If he has heard the stories of people struggling from low incomes, the heroin epidemic or college debt, they don't make it into his speeches and TV interviews. The post The Strange Coldness of Bernie Sanders appeared first on Reardon...
The first time I saw Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire last year I was struck by the fact that he didn’t work the crowd either when he entered or left the hall. Nor did he describe the plight of any individual human being in his fiery remarks about income inequality. After seeing him in person five times, watching him countless times on TV and reviewing the speeches available on his campaign website, what seems clear is Sanders is strangely indifferent to real people.
Sanders was the keynote speaker at the NH AFL-CIO’s annual Labor Day breakfast last September. As I noted when I wrote about his appearance, “He entered through a back door going directly to the stage rather than enter from the front and walk through the audience. And rather than work the room, Sanders exited quickly after his remarks.”
It was the same story a few weeks later at the NH Democratic Party’s convention. While both Martin O’Malley and Hillary Clinton lingered after their speeches to shake hands and take photos, Sanders left immediately.
At a town hall he held in Warner, NH, Sanders did shake hands for about five minutes. In contrast, at the Clinton and O’Malley events I’ve attended, these two stay and try to meet as many individuals as possible.
And while there is no question Sanders cares about humanity, the lives of individual humans do not appear to move him. If he has heard the stories of people struggling from low incomes, the heroin epidemic or college debt, they don’t make it into his speeches and TV interviews. His proposals and rhetoric are driven by data and theory, not the experiences of real people.
Earlier this week a woman broke down in tears at a Sanders event in Iowa while describing how hard it was to survive on the minimum wage. This emotional moment received a lot of media coverage. When she finished her remarks, Sanders noted that it takes courage to tell a story like hers. That’s all he said about her compelling story, and while she spoke, Sanders stayed fixed at his lectern, not even taking a step to get closer to this sobbing woman.
His message on the campaign trail is striking an emotional chord with the large crowds at his rallies, but the lives of the people in those crowds do not appear to strike an emotional chord within Bernie Sanders.
The three living Democratic governors of Vermont, Bernie Sanders’ home state, all have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, as has the senior U.S. Senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy. Vermont’s lone Congressman, Peter Welch, remains neutral. Let’s zero in on the three governors and what their choices say. The post Why Did Vermont’s Three Democratic Governors Endorse Clinton? appeared first on Reardon...
The three living Democratic governors of Vermont, Bernie Sanders’ home state, all have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, as has the senior U.S. Senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy. Vermont’s lone Congressman, Peter Welch, remains neutral. Let’s zero in on the three governors and what their choices say.
Madeleine Kunin is a trail blazer. Elected governor in 1985, Kunin is the first and only female governor of Vermont. She was the first Jewish governor of Vermont. She was the first woman in U.S. history to be elected governor three times. Kunin upended the hold that male WASPs long had over Vermont politics. As governor, she created Vermont’s successful Dr. Dynasaur health care program for children.
Born in Zurich, a six-year-old Kunin left Switzerland with her mother and brother at the beginning of World War II because of the increasing threat to Jews in Europe. President Bill Clinton named her Ambassador to Switzerland, and she writes movingly in The Forward about her experience with anti-Semitism in the country of her birth while she served as ambassador. It’s worth a read.
Howard Dean served at governor of Vermont for almost 12 years, all while Sanders was in the U.S. House. A medical doctor, Dean expanded health care coverage for children as governor.
Dean’s campaign for president ignited in 2003 with a rousing speech at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting in which he proclaimed, “I’m here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.” He drew massive crowds at campaign rallies. After losing the Democratic nomination to John Kerry, Dean founded the liberal grassroots group Democracy for American (which has endorsed Bernie Sanders) and then successfully ran for chair of the DNC where he implemented a 50-state strategy.
Peter Shumlin took the Vermont governor’s office back for Democrats in the 2010 election. Re-elected in 2012 and 2014 (as in New Hampshire, governors serve two-year terms in Vermont), Shumlin tried to implement a single-payer health system in Vermont, but pulled the plug last year after a report showed it would double the state’s budget.
Some have suggested that the reason the three Vermont governors are not supporting Sanders is they committed to Clinton before he entered the race. But all three have campaigned for Clinton in New Hampshire since Sanders announced his candidacy.
No doubt supporters of Sanders chalk up the endorsements of Kunin, Dean and Shumlin as another example of the political establishment rallying behind Clinton because Sanders is a threat to their power. But it’s hard to look at the causes these three have championed in public life and believe that. Moreover, the lives of Kunin and Dean are no longer, if they ever were, dependent on any establishment, and, given the popularity of Sanders in Vermont, Shumlin may be risking his political future by supporting Clinton.
Kunin, Dean and Shumlin have refrained from attacking Sanders. But each has made it clear they believe Clinton would be a more effective president. Dean: “All this has made Hillary more than the best person for the toughest job in the world. I want her as my president, and I trust her to do the kind of job that is necessary in a very tough world.” Kunin: “He’s making a lot of promises. The question will be, is he really qualified? I’m glad he’s running, I think he’ll liven up the debates, certainly, and I think he’ll really underline and emphasize these central issues, which is good for the country.” Shumlin: “She quietly pulls people together and gets things done. Even though that’s not in vogue right now, I think that’s what voters will want in the end.”
Kunin, Dean and Shumlin know what it takes to be a chief executive. And they have chosen Hillary Clinton.
The post Why Did Vermont’s Three Democratic Governors Endorse Clinton? appeared first on Reardon Reports.
The angry, leftwing populism of Bernie Sanders is smart politics in a contest for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, but is it good for the country’s future? The post Bernie Sanders’ Anger Is Smart Politics, Dangerous for the Country appeared first on Reardon...
The angry, leftwing populism of Bernie Sanders is smart politics in a contest for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, but is it good for the country’s future?
Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are benefitting politically from the frustration and fear millions of Americans have about growing income inequality and persistent wage stagnation.
Seeking the Republican nomination, Trump’s basic message is Mexican immigrants and Muslims and weak and corrupt office holders are at fault for the country’s problems. His message is perfectly encapsulated in his first campaign TV ad, in which a male narrator tells us: “The politicians can pretend it’s something else, but Donald Trump calls it radical Islamic terrorism. That’s why he’s calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until we can figure out what’s going on….And he’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for.”
Seeking the Democratic nomination, Sanders’ basic message is Wall Street and billionaires and weak and corrupt office holders are at fault for the country’s problems. His message is perfectly encapsulated in a campaign ad that aired recently, in which Sanders himself tells us: “It’s called a rigged economy, and this is how it works. Most new wealth flows to the top 1 percent. It’s a system held in place by corrupt politics where Wall Street banks and billionaires buy elections.”
Both are practicing a politics of anger with an us-versus-them theme.
Of course few tears need be shed for the billionaires and Wall Streeters who are Sanders’ targets. They can take care of themselves.
It is, however, worth looking at who the 536 American billionaires are (note: Communist China actually has 60 more billionaires than the United States). In a list compiled by Forbes of Americans worth at least $1.7 billion in 2015, there is a sprinkling of hedge funders and other Wall Street types, but the vast majority of billionaires derived their fortunes from manufacturing, including chewing gum and beer, and other industries, such as software, the internet, media, retailing and real estate. Interestingly, no one from New Hampshire made the list, and only one person from Iowa.
The top 10 billionaires are Bill Gates (Microsoft), Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Charles and David Koch (oil, coal), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Michael Bloomberg (financial data and media); Jim Walton (Wal-Mart), and Larry Page (Google). None of these men are Wall Streeters and only two – the Koch brothers – invest heavily in elections. Most appear to have earned their wealth fair and square, but, again, all of these folks can take care of themselves.
Where Sanders and Trump do overlap is in their targeting of what they describe as a corrupt political system, and this is where the danger of Sanders’ campaign lies.
As he does in his TV ad, on the campaign trail Sanders constantly refers to a rigged economy and corrupt political system. Sometimes he calls the political system both rigged and corrupt. Rigged. Corrupt. Rigged. Corrupt. Rigged. Corrupt.
While there is little worry that Sanders’ supporters will transfer their allegiance to Trump, by beating the drum that the political system is corrupt and rigged, Sanders is unwittingly reinforcing the beliefs of Trump’s core supporters. Sanders rhetoric assures them their anger is not only justified, but righteous.
If Trump fails to win the Republican nomination, won’t Trump supporters simply consider it further evidence that Trump and Sanders are correct that the political system is corrupt and rigged? If the political system is corrupt and rigged, why participate in it? And if in the future a charismatic rightwing populist calls for arms not votes, will they heed that call? At a time when some people take up guns to turn away federal agents seeking to collect grazing fees, is that out of the question?
The post Bernie Sanders’ Anger Is Smart Politics, Dangerous for the Country appeared first on Reardon Reports.
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