This is the first time this campaign season that I have felt like Hillary Clinton was in legitimate trouble. Bernie Sanders attended a campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama yesterday. Bernie is supposed to struggle in the South. Bernie is supposed to not be able to reach black voters. Meanwhile, Bernie drew an overflow crowd of 7,000 people who somehow raucously cheered the least inspiring public speaker I have ever seen for almost a solid hour.
Wait, that’s not true – Bernie Sanders is not the least inspiring public speaker I have ever seen. That distinction belongs to Hillary Clinton. For some reason, with polls showing a tightening national race and with Bernie Sanders leading in Iowa and New Hampshire in particular, Hillary has decided to incorporate into her already-flatlining stump speech a pitch that can only be described as “lower your expectations.”
Watch this video here, from today’s Morning Joe, of Hillary speaking to an audience that is clearly about to fall asleep, telling them to basically give up on their dreams, then contrast it with Bernie in Birmingham yesterday:
Don’t get me wrong: I applaud Hillary Clinton’s refreshing realism about the efficacy of government programs. It’s just that telling a bunch of Democrat voters, “Hey, let’s be real here, usually when the government tries things, it doesn’t work” is a good way to get those voters to vote for someone else.
This is the exact same dynamic that Hillary faced coming down the stretch in Iowa in 2008, and it’s starting to look like she might well get the same result.