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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/25/16

4 Myths Regarding the Relative Electibility of Hillary Clinton

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It recently occurred to me that if one were to just step back a bit and objectively examine the basic tenets of the assumption by the mainstream media (and perhaps the public at large) that the candidacy of Hillary Clinton simply makes more sense to Democrats than that of Bernie Sanders, then what I think we'd find is a victory of image over substance of truly historic proportions. Each of the below has already been discussed in the media to some extent. But I believe that seeing them listed, all together, may perhaps make that case, once and for all.

1. Hillary Clinton is the most qualified/experienced candidate now running, and perhaps ever.
This is from a February 2016 post at the Daily Kos :
"Bernie Sanders served as Mayor of Burlington Vermont from 1981 to 1989, a period of 8 years. He was then elected to the House of Representatives in 1991, where he remained until 2007, at which time he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Sanders was re-elected to the Senate in 2012, and has continued to serve in that capacity to the present day. By my accounting, that is 32 years in actual elective office.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has just six years as a US Senator to show for experience as a duly elected representative, and her tenure as Secretary of State lasted five years, from 2009-2013 (it may just seem longer).

So, in terms of what is generally referred to as "public service", Hillary Clinton can only claim 11 years experience as compared to Bernie Sanders' 32; a difference of 21 years, or about one-third the amount of time.

Even if we add into the mix the various posts she held during her husband's 8-year presidency (none of which she was elected to or needed confirmation in order to occupy), the grand total comes to 19 years, which is still 13 years less than Senator Sanders. (During the 12 years Bill Clinton was Governor of Arkansas, Hillary worked as a full partner in a law firm.) But if we do so, we'd probably be obliged to include Senator Sanders' teaching of political science at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 1989, and at Hamilton College in 1991.

In all fairness, which one has the most actual experience?"

2. Hillary Clinton has won 3 million more votes than Bernie Sanders during the primaries.

This myth was nicely put to rest by OEN's own Editor-in-Chief Rob Kall recently (Rob's Article). To sum up in Rob's own words:

"Technically, it's accurate, but that's because of the nature of the primary election in many states where there are caucuses. In Caucus states, a lot less people participate in the voting because of the time involved. But those delegates represent millions of people... If you do the math on all the caucus states, Bernie's wins could easily represent populations that exceed Hillary's 2.5 million votes, not even including the primary state votes he won."

3. Hillary Clinton has accomplished more in her public life than Bernie Sanders.

From the Huffington Post:

"Here's the truth: Hillary Clinton got very little done during her eight years in the United States Senate, while Bernie Sanders amassed an impressive record of accomplishments in both the House and Senate.
Sanders began racking up legislative accomplishments in the House of Representatives, where a 2005 analysis of legislative data revealed that he had passed more amendments in the House than any other Member of Congress over a ten-year period. In 2005, Rolling Stone called him the "amendment king."
But as Politifact notes: "In comparison, Hillary Clinton passed zero roll call amendments during her tenure as a senator from New York from 2001-09."
And from the New York Times:

"Yet in spite of persistent carping that Mr. Sanders is nothing but a quixotic crusader -- during their first debate, Hillary Clinton cracked, "I'm a progressive, but I'm a progressive who likes to get things done" -- he has often been an effective, albeit modest, legislator. He has enacted his agenda piece by piece, in politically digestible chunks with few sweeping legislative achievements in a quarter-century in Congress.

Over one 12-year stretch in the House, Mr. Sanders passed more amendments by roll call vote than any other member of Congress. In the Senate, he secured money for dairy farmers and community health centers, blocked banks from hiring foreign workers and reined in the Federal Reserve, all through measures attached to larger bills."

Yes there was her famous, noble attempt to pass health care reform early in her husband's first term as President. But she was not successful. Plus, she certainly had her triumphs and failures as Secretary of State. But no one could point to any (or all) of her successes, from 2007- 201,2 as proof of her being significantly "more accomplished" than Senator Sanders has been during his genuinely distinguished career.

4. Hillary Clinton has a better chance of beating Donald Trump in the general election.

This is of course the easiest to debunk since the most recent polls have Ms. Clinton statistically tied with Donald Trump (and declining) in national match-ups, and Sen. Sanders with as much as a 15-point lead. NBC/WSJ Poll.

The argument that Sanders has not yet faced the GOP head-on yet seems to me particularly disingenuous. That would simply imply that Madam Secretary either has no other substantive criticism to be leveled at Senator Sanders and the GOP has vetted her opponent to an extent she is incapable, or she personally prefers having Bernie hounding her all the way to the nomination. In addition, Sanders has a higher approval rating from his constituents in Vermont than any other Senator has, in any other state, in America. This would indicate that in his 32 years in elective office, no opponent, from any party, has ever been able to meaningfully tarnish him.

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Former dishwasher, janitor, telemarketer & librarian. Currently assisting the elderly. Ardent Sanders supporter.
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4 Myths Regarding the Relative Electibility of Hillary Clinton