Hillary Clinton Sharpens Focus After Democratic Debate TusslesThat’s pretty funny.
By JONATHAN MARTIN and ALAN RAPPEPORT FEB. 12, 2016
DENMARK, S.C. — Hillary Clinton forcefully attacked Senator Bernie Sanders before a heavily black audience Friday, highlighting his criticism of President Obama, the Affordable Care Act and for what she suggested was a single-minded focus on economic fairness at the expense of racial justice.
One day after the two squared off at a debate that emphasized issues relating to race and gender, Mrs. Clinton made clear that she intends to run in this state’s primary by effectively seeking Mr. Obama’s third term — and claiming Mr. Sanders would be a threat to the first black president’s accomplishments.
“He has called the president weak, a disappointment. He tried to get some attention to attract a candidate to actually run against the president when he was running for re-election,” Mrs. Clinton told a gymnasium full of voters near the campus of a historically black college here.
It was a reprisal of her offensive at Thursday night’s debate, but she escalated her assault further, portraying Mr. Sanders as an impediment to the health care law so associated with Mr. Obama that, she noted, it bears his name. …
Separately, the “super PAC” supporting her, Priorities USA, said it would begin running ads that Mrs. Clinton is the true heir to Mr. Obama’s legacy when it comes to helping blacks.
The electorate in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Feb. 27 is expected to be at least half black, a constituency that reveres Mr. Obama and was crucial in his defeat of Mrs. Clinton in the 2008 Democratic contest here.
Mrs. Clinton still enjoys a substantial advantage over Mr. Sanders among African-Americans in polls, but her campaign is plainly concerned about his making inroads with such voters. Her campaign has conducted focus groups of African-American voters, an aide said, which revealed that many of them associate attacks on the health law as no different from attacks on Mr. Obama himself.
Mr. Sanders voted for the legislation, but has called for going further and enacting universal, government-run health care for all Americans. …Free Stuff just isn’t good enough.
More broadly, Mrs. Clinton is effectively seeking to turn Mr. Sanders’s grounding in class-based politics into a liability, suggesting that he is insufficiently focused on the immediate problems of black voters whose quality of life will not be lifted by curbing Wall Street excesses or reforming the campaign finance system.[Comment at Unz.com.]