Is Bernie Sanders going to win in Iowa on Monday?
I don't know. No one knows. But it's getting obvious that Hillary Clinton thinks he is.
She has just done three things which telegraph what looks like enormous fear.
First, she has had her own daughter tell a huge and blatant lie about Sanders, one that could be refuted in an instant, claiming that he is going to take away Medicare, the children's health care program and Obamacare. Her daughter did not note, as truth would oblige her to, that Sanders wants to replace them with single payer health care coverage, effectively making them an extension of Medicare to cover everyone. Hillary herself has told the same lie. Only real panic could have driven her to say something so outrageous that the media sucked in its collective breath and hardly knew what to say about her whopper and the obvious panic that spawned it.
Then, having "stumbled badly", as the media called it upon recovering its breath, she made her next big mistake. She repeated Bill Clinton's 2008 type of attack on Obama. Bill Clinton had called Obama's campaign ideas "a fairy tale." The American public in 2008 didn't like being told that a vision for a better future was just nonsense. By implication that makes the voters a bunch of fools for believing things could get better. They actually did get lots better under Obama in spite of the GOP Congress, but the real point is that people like to hope. After all, when Bill Clinton ran for president, he was touted as "the man from Hope". Hillary's sneered at Bernie Sander's ideas for bettering people's lives as being "impossible", thus reminding people of the naysayers in Congress blocking the changes Obama hoped to bring. It's like Sarah Palin saying "Where's all that hopey changey stuff now?" It was desperation politics on Hilary's part. And the desperation showed.
Then came this week's giveaway, the sure sign that Hillary is indeed desperate. Suddenly she has proposed there be a debate among the Democratic would-be nominees, such to be sponsored by MSNBC. This is mighty strange coming from the establishment candidate who had received the huge favor from the Democratic National Committee of having very few debates and almost all of them on weekend nights when no one watches TV. She had obviously hoped by this DNC schedule to deny Bernie Sanders much public exposure, oblivious to the new day that on-line media has brought to campaigning.
Now, amazingly, Hillary Clinton, the presumed easy winner in the Democratic nomination process, seemingly needs another appearance before the public to save her skin. She's a good debater in the sense of a high school debate that is based on scoring the most points. She might have done herself some good. But there could be no reason to ask for this debate unless she felt she really needed it. No one who is leading ever wants the other guy to have another chance at changing the public's mind. What's also interesting is that she wanted it between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. We have known from polls for weeks—and so has Hillary— that Sanders has a huge lead in the New Hampshire polls. So why this last minute wild attempt to pull New Hampshire away from him?
Is it because of South Carolina?
I think Hillary Clinton's much-vaunted "fire-wall" of South Carolina has begun to smolder. The theory of the establishment-oriented commentators has been that Clinton can afford to lose both Iowa and New Hampshire because the large black vote in South Carolina and other Southern states assures she will win that block. Black people supposedly love her because they supposedly love Bill Clinton.
I don't believe black people are automatons. None I know are. They can change with the times. They can reflect now that so many black men are in prison because "their" president Bill Clinton pushed some hideously hard "law and order" measures so he could be "a centrist" and more popular. Ferguson and similar outrages have pulled back the curtain on America's shameful abuse of law enforcement, and this has further fueled the recognition that we imprison minorities at an unconscionable rate, aided by Clinton era measures. I'm not black, but I figured out that one. Blacks can too.
As for blacks loving Hillary because they loved Bill, well, I loved Harry Truman but his wife Bess made my skin crawl. People, be they black or whatever, choose whom they like.
Besides, there's a lot of young black people who do not remember the Clinton years in a compelling way. If you are twenty now, the Clinton years happened when you were a toddler. So it's not surprising that a rumor is coming from the black South that a generational divide has developed in the black community. Young black people are drawn to Bernie Sanders, just as young white people are. People aren't their color; people are people. Youth calls to youth.
So maybe Hillary feels she must fight like hell for New Hampshire, that she can no longer count on a firewall of the black South.
Well, I'll say this. Given these three startling moves on her part these past two weeks, either she believes that she's in deep trouble or she sure is giving a good imitation of a candidate who believes just that.
What a year!