Monday, 18 April 2016

Bernie Sanders draws in the crowds in Brooklyn

For the record I can't for the life of me see how this can end well.


Bernie Sanders draws record crowd in Brooklyn as race takes darker tone

Vermont senator draws closer to former secretary of state as she begins effort to court his voters and concentrate on Republican opponents


18 April, 2016


 Do they still have the seals and elephants?” pondered Bernie Sanders as he began his penultimate New York rally in a park he knew from childhood trips to the zoo. “I never thought I’d be back here speaking to 20,000 people.”

But if anyone else found it incongruous to see a 74-year-old democratic socialist from Brooklyn drawing huge hometown crowds – and ever closer to former state senator Hillary Clinton in the opinion polls – they were keeping it to themselves.

In most regards, Sunday afternoon’s sunny appearance in Prospect Park was a typical of the raucous rallies that the Vermont senator has been holding for nearly a year now, though the crowd exceeded all his previous events: 28,300 people, a record for Sanders.

The senator largely picked up where he left off in Greenwich Village four days earlier, before the frantic final round of campaigning was interrupted by a television debate with Clinton and a whistlestop trip to the Vatican and a meeting with the pope.



Yet one thing does seem to have changed in recent days. A bitter TV debate last Thursday coincided with signs that this race may be closer than anyone anticipated, and that neither Sanders nor Clinton, who later spoke on Staten Island, would dare leave anything to chance.

Twelve months ago, or even 12 days ago, Sanders’ stump speech would barely mention his opponent, or at most offer a few coded references to the distinctions in their campaigns, such as his rejection of Super Pacs and their differences on foreign policy.

But a new poll released by Gravis on Sunday night suggests the gap between them in New York may have narrowed to as little as six points, with Clinton at 53% and Sanders at 47%.

Though still large enough apart to leave Clinton the comfortable favourite – especially since New York primaries bar independents and even Democrats needed to register weeks ago – it is a dramatic narrowing from the 48-point lead Clinton enjoyed a month ago. Two other recent polls show the gap down to 10 points, and a poll averages show a 12 point gap.

So Sanders wasted no time in Prospect Park. He dove into a litany of reasons why his supporters should be suspicious of a candidate whom he once promised not to attack with negative campaigning.

Secretary Clinton has chosen to raise her money in a different way,” the senator began, after a typical denunciation of campaign finance rules, and before an attack on Clinton’s support for free trade agreements and fracking.

Clinton and her allies also drew a sharp contrast with Sanders while traversing New York on Sunday, and homed in on the issue of gun control as part of a sustained effort to portray the Vermont senator as soft on gun laws.

Clinton spoke about gun violence frequently on Sunday, from a congregation in Mt Vernon to a block party in Washington Heights to an event in suburban Long Island, which featured retired astronaut Mark Kelly his wife Gabby Giffords, the former congressman who was shot in the head in the 2011 mass shooting in Arizona. A group of African American women who lost their sons to gun violence, known as the “Mothers of the Movement”, also campaigned for Clinton across New York over the weekend.

Addressing the Grace Baptist Church in Mt Vernon on Sunday, Clinton vowed to take on the gun lobby while also linking gun violence to broader criminal justice reform.

The gun lobby is the most powerful lobby in Washington, in our country,” she said. “We must stand up to the gun lobby, just as we must end police violence and killings. They are part of the same threat that too often injures and even kills too many young people.”

Clinton also cast herself as no less of an aggressor toward Wall Street as Sanders. she praised Barack Obama for imposing tough regulations against big banks after the financial crisis of 2008 and vowed to enforce those rules as president, by prosecuting bankers if necessary.

I take a backseat to no one in making sure that nothing ever happens that hurts our people and our economy again,” she said.

But the former secretary of state, with a comfortable lead with the delegates who will decide the nomination, has also started courting Sanders’ supporters. She rarely mentioned the senator by name, and even while barnstorming New York on Sunday she directed her ire on Republicans and their hostile rhetoric toward immigrants and Muslims.

Imagine an America where we are unified again,” she told supporters in Washington Heights. “Where we stand against the hate[ful] rhetoric coming from the Republicans, where we say to Donald Trump, ‘Basta!’”

At an evening rally on Staten Island, Clinton also invoked how the city came together after the attacks on September 11 2001, to push back against Texas senator Ted Cruz’s mockery of “New York values.”


I actually think that Staten Island values are New York values. And New York values are American values.”







For those with the time and fortitude

Bernie Sanders debate Hillary Clinton April 14, 2016. Democratic Debate in Brooklyn



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