- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 9, 2016


Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders’ political revolution had roots in President Barack Obama’s historic nomination in 2008.

At the time, Mr. Obama was a political newcomer, fresh with progressive ideas. He wanted single-payer healthcare, promised to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and vowed to protect social security for generations to come.

He was the progressive liberal to Mrs. Clinton’s practical pragmatism.

At the time, she criticized his lofty values of “hope” and “change.”

“I could stand up here and say, ‘Let’s just get everybody together. Let’s get unified. The sky will open. The light will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing, and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect. You are not going to wave a magic wand and have the special interests disappear,” Mrs. Clinton said in a rebuke to Mr. Obama’s policy plans.

She echoed those criticisms of Mr. Sanders in a campaign stop in January.

“I wish that we could elect a Democratic president who could wave a magic wand and say, ‘We shall do this, and we shall do that.’ That ain’t the real world we’re living in!,” Mrs. Clinton said in Ames, Iowa.

Either Mr. Obama’s progressive ideals have been crushed under the political reality of living in the White House for eight years, or he’s just endorsed the wrong person to continue his legacy.

For it’s Mr. Sanders’ not Mrs. Clinton who has been campaigning on a single-payer healthcare system, who initiated the call for a $15 dollar living wage, and has suggested enhanced social security benefits.

And it was Mr. Sanders who voted against the Iraq War, and has criticized Mrs. Clinton’s previous foreign policy decisions, much like Mr. Obama did in 2008.

In Mr. Obama’s video endorsement of Mrs. Clinton, he emphasized Mrs. Clinton’s government experience, from participating in the decision to conduct the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, to guiding the country’s diplomacy.

That’s all well and good, but Mr. Obama didn’t seem to put much of a value on experience in 2008. He served in the Senate for only 300 days before he launched his bid for President. Before that he served for seven years in the Illinois state Senate, had a few best-selling books and was a community organizer.

“I certainly didn’t expect to find myself in this position a year ago,” Mr. Obama said in a statement released as he created a presidential exploratory committee. “But as I’ve spoken to many of you in my travels … I’ve been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics.”

A different kind of politics.

Maybe hope and change really can’t be achieved in Washington. It seems like Mr. Obama is saying as much with his endorsement of Mrs. Clinton.



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