Heckle: Clinton’s attempt to dismember the Sanders campaign is plagued by her past


Katy Klopfenstein/Iowa State Daily

Presidental candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at the Democratic debate at Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University in Des Moines on Nov. 14.

Michael Heckle

Bernie Sanders has taken his first real steps toward serious presidential considerations by surpassing former Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Though Clinton still leads in most national polls, losing these first two nominations would be a serious blow to her campaign. With an uphill battle still ahead of him, Sanders has shown that he is no longer the unelectable socialist he once was, and the Clinton campaign has noticed.

In the lasts Democratic debate, Clinton unloaded a barrage of criticism on the Vermont senator. Attacking everything from his electability to his foreign policy, Clinton is beginning to make the Democratic landscape reminiscent of 2008.

Yet, Clinton’s attacks on Sanders’ ideas on universal health care seem to be a shot in the dark, if not blatantly disingenuous. Calling Sanders’ plan a “risky deal,” Clinton claims that Sanders’ plan would dismantle the Affordable Care Act, give state governors control of the public’s health care and lead the country back into a debate about national health care — though one can easily make the argument that this debate has never ended.

Sanders is not only a supporter of the Affordable Care Act but he also helped write it. Clinton’s baseless acts show that she knows nothing about the reality of Sanders’ plan for single payer health care — or she is simply being dishonest; shocking for a Clinton.

Single-payer national health insurance refers to a plan in which health care financing is organized by a single public entity while the actual delivery of care remains in private hands. This, in no way, would give state government control of an individual’s health care or his or her insurance. The “single payer” refers to the distribution of coverage, not funding. A system in which governors control health care would be directly contradictory to such a plan.

The Clinton campaign then went on to alienate its own supporters shortly after the State of the Union Address. Chelsea Clinton criticized Sanders’ health care proposal during her first solo appearance in the same manner her mother did.

Chelsea Clinton, who had formerly succeeded in highlighting the presidential hopeful’s softer side, seemed not only uncomfortable but uniformed during her brief speech. Democrats have taken notice with many people considering the sad excuse of a speech to be uncharacteristic and a sign of Hillary Clinton’s concern toward her dwindling numbers.

Clinton seems to be dismantling her own campaign more than Sanders’. Despite high poll numbers, Clinton’s political career, and that of her husband’s, has been plagued with controversy.

Clinton was under fire during the past summer for storing emails on her personal computer. Although Clinton had previously claimed that none of the emails contained top secret information, she was later found to have deleted more than 30,000 emails.

That claim has proven to be a lie as she was found to have more than 1,200 classified documents, some of which she had sent over an insecure line. In fact, some of these documents were so secure that even top members of the Senate Committee on foreign relations could not view them.

Clinton’s dishonest and scandalous career has not gone unnoticed by the American people. A CNN survey conducted in December of 2015 showed that 55 percent of Democratic voters consider Hillary Clinton to be the least honest candidate.

A Quinnipiac University poll found that 91 percent of Democratic primary voters consider Sanders to be honest and trustworthy, with only 66 percent saying the same about Clinton.

As Sanders’ popularity continues to rise, Clinton seems to be on the back foot. By lashing out at Sanders with biased and disingenuous attacks, the Clinton campaign looks as if it’s drowning, even though its poll numbers are still very well afloat.

The gradual surge of popularity on Sanders’ part and the scandalous history and reality of Clinton could spell the downfall of the Clinton campaign.