A comment on: .@MatthewPulver: The Bernie Sanders smear campaign has begun – Salon.com

A very worthy read from Matthew Pulver whom I criticized a little last week.

There is no question that the McCaskill trial balloon was ill-advised, and on a cable show that, as it is, makes progressives see red. If Clinton’s goal is to pivot left in a credible way, then McCaskill should be cordoned off like the press corps was last weekend.

The only thing I differ on with Pulver is that the danger lies not in the Clintons seeming entitled, they already do, but further reinforcing that they cannot be trusted to carry out the progressive agenda they now claim to support. The Clintons’ schtick has always been the claim of being in the middle. Suddenly, the claim is that Hillary was really always to the left of that. Hillary Clinton has a big problem with trust in the polls. Pundits have brushed it off as unimportant, but with a contender in the mix that is the  one metric that will come back to bite.

The danger for Clinton is Sanders succeeding in convincing voters that he will stand strong for the people’s agenda as president. If he achieves that, then she will have been “Baracked” a second time.

A Hillary Clinton surrogate took the campaign’s first real shot at Bernie Sanders last week. But it ain’t working.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to test out some new talking points to address Sanders’ astounding crowds and climbing poll numbers. McCaskill went with the “acknowledge-then-conflate” maneuver. Sanders’ crowds are at times dwarfing those of any candidate in either party. This cannot be denied. So Team Clinton has to try to make that clear sign of success a liability.

“Well, you know, Rand Paul’s father got massive crowds, Ron Paul,” she said. “He got the same size crowds. Pat Buchanan got massive crowds. It’s not unusual for someone who has an extreme message to have a following.” […]

Continuing to call Sanders an “extremist” might only convince many Democrats that the Clintons consider the party theirs.

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