How low will Hillary go in fighting off increasingly serious Bernie Sanders threat?

At first, the Hillary forces tried laughing off Bernie Sanders, for it was a given that the nomination was rightly hers, and after all, who could take seriously a 73-year-old guy in rumpled suits from a tiny state full of white people?  But with Sanders closing in on Hillary in polls in next-door New Hampshire, the laughter has died.

John Wagner and Ann Gearan of the Washington Post are experienced political reporters, with Rolodexes full of important people in both parties.  And they’ve been talking to Democrat movers and shakers:

…Bernie Sanders makes a most unexpected surge in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. (snip)

Sanders’s emerging strength has exposed continued misgivings among the party’s progressive base about Clinton, whose team is treading carefully in its public statements. Supporters have acknowledged privately the potential for Sanders to damage her — perhaps winning an early state or two — even if he can’t win the nomination.

“He’s connecting in a way that Hillary Clinton is not,” said Burt Cohen, a former New Hampshire state senator and Sanders supporter who attended Sunday morning’s event, where a nasty rain didn’t seem to deter many people from coming. “He’s talking about things people want to hear. People are used to candidates who are calculated, produced and measured, and they see through that. Bernie’s different.”

Translation: Hillary’s a phony, and she’s been on the national stage long enough that plenty (though by no means all) of Democrats see through her.  This is, I believe, Hillary’s fundamental problem, and no amount of plastic surgery (have you noticed how different her face looks today from a year ago?), left-wing rhetoric, or warm and fuzzy grandma advertising can paper over her trust issues.

But the party elites, who are beholden to the billionaire donors Sanders rails against, are not catching Bernie fever:

Sanders still faces significant skepticism from party elites — and even from some of his supporters — about whether he can advance beyond being a summer sensation. Some suggest he could fade as voters think more seriously about whom they want as their nominee, and even Sanders acknowledges that money could become an issue once the contest moves to bigger states, where television advertising is more essential.

And while Hillary can put on a fake Southern accent (“Ah ain’t noways tahrd”), Sanders is both white and Jewish, and from a state with very, very few black people and no big cities at all.  Tiptoeing around the taboo against acknowledging that anti-Semitism is stronger among African-Americans than any other group in America, the Post scribes write:

Sanders also has said that his campaign has a lot of work to do to connect with minority voters. Although he has a long history on civil rights, Sanders represents a state that is 95 percent white, and he remains largely unknown among African Americans — a crucial constituency in South Carolina and other states on the primary calendar following Iowa and New Hampshire.

The fact is that blacks account for a quarter of the Democrat presidential vote.  Almost nobody else is honest enough to confront the problem that a Jew like Sanders is going to have a lot of trouble mobilizing the level of turnout that a Democrat presidential nominee requires, but that is the stubborn reality that confronts “party elites.”

And don’t for moment think that this has not occurred to Hillary.  I can’t prove it was the Hillary people, but somebody slipped a list of alleged dual citizens of the U.S. and Israel to NPR’s Diane Rehm to use in confronting Sanders, thereby raising the point that he is a Jew.

Dick Morris claims that Hillary once referred to him as a “f**king Jew bastard.”  I don’t know is that is true.  But I do think that if Hillary continues to be threatened by Sanders, she will use whatever she thinks will work to keep the nomination for herself.

At first, the Hillary forces tried laughing off Bernie Sanders, for it was a given that the nomination was rightly hers, and after all, who could take seriously a 73-year-old guy in rumpled suits from a tiny state full of white people?  But with Sanders closing in on Hillary in polls in next-door New Hampshire, the laughter has died.

John Wagner and Ann Gearan of the Washington Post are experienced political reporters, with Rolodexes full of important people in both parties.  And they’ve been talking to Democrat movers and shakers:

…Bernie Sanders makes a most unexpected surge in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. (snip)

Sanders’s emerging strength has exposed continued misgivings among the party’s progressive base about Clinton, whose team is treading carefully in its public statements. Supporters have acknowledged privately the potential for Sanders to damage her — perhaps winning an early state or two — even if he can’t win the nomination.

“He’s connecting in a way that Hillary Clinton is not,” said Burt Cohen, a former New Hampshire state senator and Sanders supporter who attended Sunday morning’s event, where a nasty rain didn’t seem to deter many people from coming. “He’s talking about things people want to hear. People are used to candidates who are calculated, produced and measured, and they see through that. Bernie’s different.”

Translation: Hillary’s a phony, and she’s been on the national stage long enough that plenty (though by no means all) of Democrats see through her.  This is, I believe, Hillary’s fundamental problem, and no amount of plastic surgery (have you noticed how different her face looks today from a year ago?), left-wing rhetoric, or warm and fuzzy grandma advertising can paper over her trust issues.

But the party elites, who are beholden to the billionaire donors Sanders rails against, are not catching Bernie fever:

Sanders still faces significant skepticism from party elites — and even from some of his supporters — about whether he can advance beyond being a summer sensation. Some suggest he could fade as voters think more seriously about whom they want as their nominee, and even Sanders acknowledges that money could become an issue once the contest moves to bigger states, where television advertising is more essential.

And while Hillary can put on a fake Southern accent (“Ah ain’t noways tahrd”), Sanders is both white and Jewish, and from a state with very, very few black people and no big cities at all.  Tiptoeing around the taboo against acknowledging that anti-Semitism is stronger among African-Americans than any other group in America, the Post scribes write:

Sanders also has said that his campaign has a lot of work to do to connect with minority voters. Although he has a long history on civil rights, Sanders represents a state that is 95 percent white, and he remains largely unknown among African Americans — a crucial constituency in South Carolina and other states on the primary calendar following Iowa and New Hampshire.

The fact is that blacks account for a quarter of the Democrat presidential vote.  Almost nobody else is honest enough to confront the problem that a Jew like Sanders is going to have a lot of trouble mobilizing the level of turnout that a Democrat presidential nominee requires, but that is the stubborn reality that confronts “party elites.”

And don’t for moment think that this has not occurred to Hillary.  I can’t prove it was the Hillary people, but somebody slipped a list of alleged dual citizens of the U.S. and Israel to NPR’s Diane Rehm to use in confronting Sanders, thereby raising the point that he is a Jew.

Dick Morris claims that Hillary once referred to him as a “f**king Jew bastard.”  I don’t know is that is true.  But I do think that if Hillary continues to be threatened by Sanders, she will use whatever she thinks will work to keep the nomination for herself.