Is Bernie Sanders having his Trump moment? While the Sanders campaign should have been celebrating his victory in the Wisconsin primary, it was suffering from a barrage of negative media coverage of his disappointing interview with the New York Daily News editorial board. (Remember Trump's foreign policy interview with the New York Times last month?)
If you haven't read any of the Sanders interview, I suggest you do. Opinions vary, but for the most part, major newspapers, magazines and political sites have criticized his lack of knowledge on the centerpiece of his campaign: taking Wall Street to task and breaking up the banks. He was also taken to task for his unsettling answers on Israel, ISIS, and Sandy Hook and guns. Overall, he sounded out of his depth.
Sanders has injected a lot of important ideas into the campaign. I agree with him that we have a moral obligation as a country to try to rebalance our economic scales. But the question for me has always been, how would he do it? What are the plans behind his big, sweeping statements? And how would he galvanize Congress to work with him? The interview didn't answer those questions - it raised more.
Sanders is finding out what it's like to be under the media microscope -- something Hillary Clinton has had to deal with since she was first lady. As political analyst Mark Halperin tweeted, "if Hillary gave answers like this to ed board, she would be crucified." Amen.
I'm always amazed at how much hate gets hurled her way. The insults and accusations have been shot from the Right for the whole of her career, and now they're coming from Sanders fans. But if you do your research -- or just read this article -- you'll be reminded why she is the most capable and accomplished candidate in the ring, and why she has the relationships and gravitas to be president of the United States.
So without further ado, a little love for candidate Clinton.
• Champion of women: Throughout her career and especially as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has worked with women here and around the globe to improve their plight. She has met with world leaders and the disenfranchised and voiceless to better understand the struggles women face, give voice to those struggles, and fight for justice. Just listen to Meryl Streep introduce Secretary Clinton at a Women's World Summit in 2012. She explains how deeply Clinton has touched women throughout the world, and how effectively she has changed the conversation around women's rights.
• Foreign Policy expert: With everything that's going on in the world, we need a president who knows what she's doing, and knows everybody. Focus all you want on her email server, but you're missing the much bigger picture. "Nearly every foreign policy victory of President Obama's second term has Secretary Clinton's fingerprints on it," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid told Politico. Those victories include killing Osama bin Laden, the new START Treaty with Russia, normalizing relations with Cuba, and restoring our leadership, alliances and reputation overseas after the Bush administration did so much damage - a long, painstaking and multi-pronged effort.
• Deal Maker: Clinton had a leading role in the daunting effort to get China, Russia and Europe to agree to crippling sanctions against Iran. "Hillary Clinton was the principal author of the sanctions on Iran that brought them to the table," says Howard Dean, former Democratic Party Chairman and Vermont governor. That statement has been echoed by many other Democrats. She also personally negotiated a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
• Coalition Builder: It's one thing to have voters behind you, but you need Congressional allies to get legislation passed. Hillary Clinton has infinitely more support from senators, representatives, governors and state legislators than Bernie Sanders. Even Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has endorsed Clinton rather than his fellow Senator Sanders. Call it business as usual, but the reality is the president needs allies in Congress to get anything done. Period.
• Unflappable HRC: If you haven't watched any of the hearings before the Congressional Select Committee on Benghazi, do it now. They grilled her for eleven hours. It was a witch-hunt meant to discredit her campaign. But she stood up to the GOP bullies led by Congressman Trey Gowdy. As much as they tried, they couldn't rattle her - she never cracked under pressure. Isn't that a quality we want in the leader of the free world?
• Advocate for children: From her days with the Children's Defense Fund, to her work in the White House, to her tenures as New York Senator and Secretary of State, Clinton has always championed the causes of children. She was a critical player in the Adoption and Safe Families Act. And though some foes have tried to discredit Clinton's claims that she was instrumental in securing health insurance for millions of kids, Factcheck.org says she absolutely deserves the credit for SCHIP, or CHIP.
• Team Player: "Clinton has been raising money for other races; Sanders hasn't, and is still being evasive on whether he will ever do so," Says NY Times columnist Paul Krugman. There's not going to be a Sanders revolution if Congress remains in the hands of the GOP. Yes, Clinton is trying to get herself elected, but she is also working to help the broader party.
• Glass Ceiling Buster: And last but certainly not least, let us not forget that Hillary Clinton would be the country's first woman president. Sanders fans say that shouldn't be important, and they refuse to choose a candidate based on gender. I respect their choice and reasoning, and of course they shouldn't vote for Clinton solely because she's a woman. But when will we ever have a more qualified, intelligent, liberal woman running for the White House? If you've always wanted to see a woman in the Oval Office - Clinton is definitely the ticket.