Posts Tagged ‘Sam Frizell’

VAL 2016 | Den som tror att det bara är Donald Trump som spelar ”hardball” i årets valrörelse borde titta närmare på striden mellan Sanders och Hillary Clinton.

Time June 6 2016

I början såg det ut som om demokraterna skulle kunna genomföra sin valkampanj i en civiliserad ton och utan smutskastning. Men det var innan Clinton blev trängd av Sanders överraskande framgångar.

Idag är det ingen som tror att deras kampanjer skiljer sig nämnvärt från hur det brukar se ut i amerikanska valrörelser. Clinton och Sanders har båda visat att de kan ge och ta som riktiga politiska sluggers.

Philip Elliott och Sam Frizell har i en artikel för tidskriften Time tittat tillbaka på hur relationen mellan de två presidentkandidaterna har utvecklats under valrörelsen.

Sanders didn’t expect to win; he wanted to make some points and push a progressive agenda. If he were planning on running a traditional campaign, he would have rented bigger headquarters. Longtime Sanders aides assured reporters and donors that their boss would never run a negative ad against Clinton.


If Sanders had promised never to go negative, no Clinton had ever done so. The hammer fell during the first debate in October. When a moderator asked Clinton if Sanders had a tough enough record on guns, she pounced. “No, not at all,” Clinton said of her rival, who represents a mostly rural state. Months later, Sanders still smarts over the constant attacks about guns.“The idea that I am being called a tool of the NRA, a supporter of the NRA, is really quite outrageous,” he says.

Soon the hits from Clinton’s boosters were relentless. Sanders’ aides expected them, but the candidate’s shock at the Clintons’ hard-nosed politics was unmistakable. The tactics went against his hopes for a high-­minded campaign fought on issues, not on microfiche or her email practices. And as Sanders’ crowds grew, so did his poll numbers and contributions from small donors. And so did the Clinton attacks.


In fact, the Clinton machine was just warming up. Clinton researchers had spent months digging into Sanders’ vulnerabilities—standard operating procedure for any modern campaign—and countless outside allies offered their binders of research too. There was plenty to go around: he was once ambivalent about South American socialist dictatorships, he honeymooned in the Soviet Union, he voted against the Wall Street bailout that ultimately helped U.S. autoworkers and he had been critical of Barack Obama’s first term. Clinton tagged Sanders for being AWOL during the fight for health care in 1993 and ’94, despite plenty of TV footage and photography to the contrary. Fair or not, the onslaught left Sanders upset; he had never faced this kind of scrutiny. “We know a lot of stuff has been leaked into the papers which are lies and distortions,” Sanders says. “Their response is, ‘Look, that’s the world we live in, that’s what you gotta do.’ I understand that. I don’t think that’s what you gotta do.”

Goaded by his insular, mostly male circle of advisers, Sanders lashed back, questioning Clinton’s integrity and railing against her speaking fees from big corporations and Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs. “He got into a space where he felt comfortable pushing back,” says an adviser. “People get into a corner and they strike back very hard.” The cordial chitchat between their aides in the post-­debate spin rooms stopped or turned confrontational, with Clinton adviser Karen Finney and former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous, a Sanders ally, clashing in open view of reporters after one forum in Flint, Mich.

By spring, the candidates had stopped calling each other to offer congratulations on victories. Backstage at a campaign event in early April, an aide showed Sanders a headline in the Washington Post: “Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president.” Without reading the story, Sanders scribbled on his legal pad and angrily charged onto the stage at a Philadelphia event, saying “the American people might want to wonder about your qualifications, Madame Secretary!” Of all the arguments to make against Clinton, unqualified was perhaps not the strongest.

None of this was happening in a vacuum. Voters were paying attention, and in a year that favored outsiders over insiders, many cheered on Sanders, who chops his own wood for his stove and has never worn a tuxedo, even after 25 years in Washington. By West Virginia’s May 10 primary, exit polls showed as many as a third of Sanders supporters were saying that, to deliver the revolution their man was demanding, they would rather vote for Trump than Clinton.


She and her advisers know they must give Sanders something he can count as a win, lest they lose to Trump. Clinton’s closest advisers have promised him an open ear and a seat at the table in Philadelphia.


And if Sanders comes away empty-handed, more than the White House is at stake. A left-center split in the Democratic Party will unfold, and where that leads no one knows.

Tidskriftsomslag: Den amerikanska utgåvan av Time den 6 juni 2016.

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VAL 2016 |  Bernie Sanders bygger en presidentvalskampanj från ingenting. Och det verkar lyckas. Han har börjat knappa in på Hillary Clinton.

Magazine Cover Time September 28 2015 - Bernie Sanders

I en tid när utmanare med budskap som utmanar konventionerna i respektive partier – Donlad Trump hos republikanerna och Sanders hos demokraterna – är det som entusiasmerar väljarna kan det vara en fördel att  strunta i vad politiska rådgivare brukar viska i örat på presidentkandidater.

“Let the other candidates worry about the horse race; Bernie Sanders is worried about forever. It is the opposite of everything we’ve come to expect from the political process–and this year, being an opposite is the secret to success”, skriver Sam Frizell i Time.

Frågan är bara om det kommer att hålla hela vägen även om han, mot förmodan, skulle lyckas besegra Clinton.

Dåligt organiserade kampanjer har en tendens att förr eller senare göra bort sig.

Kampanjstrateger har också påpekat att Clinton är betydligt bättre på att locka färgade medan Sanders inte lockar väljare hos minoritetsgrupper i någon större utsträckning.

The Internet has killed the kingmakers. Freshness beats incumbency, while the perception of sincerity beats all. There is no room for focus groups in the elevator to the top of the polls; America wants its candidates straight up and packing a kick. This is how a squinty-eyed New Yorker goes from shooting his cuffs and hawking condos to the head of the GOP pack. It’s how Bernie Sanders can join the Democratic Party in April and by August be battling for first place in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Without a single TV ad–or a single congressional endorsement–Sanders has exposed the weakness of the party’s Clintonian establishment while at the same time spotlighting its hunger for an ideological savior. Polls now indicate that if the nominating contests were held tomorrow, Sanders would edge out Clinton in Iowa and beat her in New Hampshire by 10 points. Nationally, he has cut Clinton’s lead from an impregnable 46 points to a crumbling 21 points in just two months.

But even those metrics don’t convey the extent of the Sanders phenomenon. At Clinton events, campaign staffers section off floor space before her speeches to make her crowds look densely packed. Sanders needs no barriers. His audiences are authentically huge–28,000 in Oregon, 11,000 in Arizona, 7,500 in Maine. His volunteer army, meanwhile, though mostly self-organized online, numbers more than 182,000 people spread out from rural Alaska to the Florida Keys, people who have asked the campaign how to improvise events, knock on doors and spread the gospel from campus quad to living room to farmer’s market.


Sanders is all rallying cry. When the Wall Street Journal attempted to tally the cost of his agenda–trillions in new government spending on health care, 90% tax rates on the superwealthy, free public college, a Scandinavian-style safety net–his defenders criticized the effort.


“Carter, Clinton and Obama all ran against the party,” Simon Rosenberg, Democratic strategist and veteran of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, observed of the last three Democrats to reach the Oval Office. “We don’t do coronations. It’s not our thing.”


The challenge Sanders faces is to build a campaign that can harness this energy effectively. His paid staff is growing rapidly, from four to nearly 40 in New Hampshire in just a month’s time. In Iowa, Sanders is quickly catching up to Clinton, with 54 paid staff to her 78 organizers. He’s set his sights on hiring in the Super Tuesday states.

He has volunteers eager to be involved in 47 states from Alabama to Michigan, where the campaign has no staff and no offices. In a largely unproven experiment, two staffers at the Burlington, Vt., headquarters are using conference calls, Internet chats, organizing parties and digital seminars to train hundreds of Sanders enthusiasts–who in turn are supposed to train other volunteers in rippling circles of self-sufficiency.


“The whole notion of self-organizing is a pipe dream,” says Marshall Ganz, a Harvard-based adviser to both the Dean and Obama campaigns. “One of the great values of the Internet is it’s a way to share information, but it’s not a substitute for relational structure and accountability.”


Clinton’s aides say they prepared for a strong challenger and they’re not changing course. The insurgent has been unable to break through with African-American voters, who could prove decisive in the later primaries. “Sanders may be rocking her with white progressives,” says Joe Trippi, a veteran Democratic strategist. “His problem is whether he can break Clinton’s domination of minorities. It’s a huge hurdle if it can’t be solved.” Clinton is still far ahead in nationwide polls, leading Sanders by around 20 percentage points. And her minions have begun to attack, sending out fact sheets that draw comparisons between Sanders and former Venezuelan ruler Hugo Chávez. “That is the kind of politics that I’m trying to change,” Sanders says of team Clinton’s attack.

Tidskrifsomslag: Time den 28 september 2015. Omslaget är den amerikanska upplagans.

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