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21 Jan, 2020 17:16

Paging pot, this is kettle: ‘Nobody likes him,’ Hillary Clinton says of ‘divisive’ Bernie Sanders

Paging pot, this is kettle: ‘Nobody likes him,’ Hillary Clinton says of ‘divisive’ Bernie Sanders

Two-time presidential also-ran Hillary Clinton hasn’t dropped her grudge against erstwhile opponent and current Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders, and her comments on his ‘likability’ have triggered a backlash from all sides.

Clinton excoriated her former competitor as unlikeable and ineffective, telling the Hollywood Reporter that “nobody wants to work with [Sanders]” in the Senate in an interview published Tuesday ahead of a four-part documentary due to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. 

While the former secretary of state has long blamed Sanders, as well as Russia, former FBI director James Comey, WikiLeaks, actress Susan Sarandon, and dozens of other entities, for her 2016 election loss, Tuesday’s attack comes on the heels of several polls placing Sanders at the front of the 2020 primary pack in key demographics

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More controversially, at least in a party for whom Trump has taken on mythical, Antichrist-like qualities, Clinton said she would not commit to backing Sanders if he is nominated to face off against President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election. “I’m not going to go there yet,” she said in response to questions over whether she would ‘vote blue, no matter who,’ after eviscerating her former Senate colleague as a “career politician” who “got nothing done.”

Clinton made a point of going after the Vermont senator’s supporters – accusing his “online Bernie Bros” of “relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women” – in an attack reminiscent of her infamous “basket of deplorables” campaign speech which dismissed Trump supporters as bigoted rednecks. Whether she forgot about her longtime strategist David Brock’s 2016 initiative to deploy legions of paid “Barrier Breakers” to attack Sanders supporters on social media, or merely hoped the reader had forgotten that ugly episode, wasn’t clear. The Sanders campaign has never been accused of paying trolls to smear the senator’s rivals, however.

Even while criticizing the Sanders campaign as divisive, Clinton echoed Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s out-of-left-field claim that Sanders had told her a woman couldn’t be president; a bombshell Warren dropped before the most recent Democratic debate which shattered an unspoken detente between the two candidates when she all but called him a liar to his face on national TV. Clinton reminded the audience she’d won the popular vote against Trump, a familiar line but one that Sanders himself used to defend himself against Warren’s charge.

Commentators on social media pointed out that Clinton might not want to try to go head-to-head with Sanders on “likability.” The democratic socialist from Vermont was rated highest in Morning Consult’s most recent Senate poll, while Clinton herself was disliked by more than half the electorate even when she was running against Trump. 

Others pointed out that when one moves in Clinton’s circles, “likability” is at best abstract, and at worst irrelevant.

Still others questioned the timing of Clinton’s interview, with the first caucus in Iowa less than a month away.

Even #Resistance types were horrified, though less at Clinton’s eternal-flame-like grudge against Sanders than her refusal to back the senator against Trump.

Many were just glad she wasn’t planning on jumping into the 2020 race.

Clinton’s cooperation with the documentary, which made a point of not talking to Sanders, Trump, or any other figure who might have cast a less than flattering light on its subject, was reportedly total, giving over 35 hours of interviews. The portrait that emerges over its four parts is likely the closest that film audiences will ever get to an officially sanctioned Hillary biopic, undying grudges and all.

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