According to Politico, David Brock, Hillary Clinton’s surrogate, reportedly will begin airing attack ads calling on Bernie Sanders to release his medical records. Brock, who once wrote a book highly critical of Hillary, is the founder of the Correct the Record PAC, which coordinates directly with Clinton’s campaign. Clinton’s campaign gave Brock’s group $275,000 last June, according to the Daily Caller.
Is there anything wrong with calling for the medical records of the 73-year-old Sanders? I don’t think so (but I doubt it has much resonance as a campaign issue).
However, shortly after Brock’s attack was reported and widely criticized on Twitter, the Clinton campaign tried to distance itself from its hatchet man’s salvo. Campaign chairman John Podesta tweeted, “@DavidBrockDC chill out, we’re fighting on who would make a better President, not on who has a better Physical Fitness Test.”
As usual, Hillary is trying to have it both ways. I doubt that this will endear her to the electorate, including the Democrats she’s trying to peel away from the surging Sanders.
Team Clinton reportedly is frustrated by what it perceives to be a lack of media scrutiny of her Democratic rival. Is the media trying to help Sanders by shielding him scrutiny? Perhaps. A good race is always more fun to cover than a walkover.
It may be, however, that there’s comparatively little to scrutinize when it comes to Sanders. He didn’t amass a fortune through a sleazy Foundation. He didn’t conduct official state department business, or send and receive classified information, on a private email server.
Sanders isn’t being investigated by 100 or so FBI agents. He isn’t associated with major foreign policy failures, though that’s only because he was never close to being in charge of U.S. foreign policy.
From all that appears, Sanders hasn’t enabled serial infidelity by his spouse or led a campaign to intimidate if not destroy women who allege sexual misconduct. Nor, as far as we have reason to believe, did Bernie Sanders ever participate in the destruction and/or concealment of law firm billing records that were sought pursuant to a congressional investigation.
It should also be noted that the mainstream media isn’t talking about many of Hillary Clinton’s past scandals. Sanders could argue that Clinton isn’t getting sufficient scrutiny, but he doesn’t because he’s an issues guy. In this respect, I wish there were more like him.
Politico says there is also internal frustration in the Clinton camp about a dearth of surrogates willing to criticize Sanders on television. There must be such a dearth. Otherwise, the campaign would not have to rely on the candidate’s daughter and a shady operative like David Brock.
Neither one has more credibility than the Clinton campaign itself, a very low standard. Indeed, the campaign’s attacks on Sanders have been ineffective so far. Sanders’ polling remains strong and, says Politico, the Washington Post reported last week that Sanders had collected $1.4 million in campaign contributions since Clinton began a series of attacks.
A demand by David Brock, disavowed under pressure by the Clinton campaign, for Sanders’ medical records isn’t likely to improve Hillary’s situation. If anything, it may prove counterproductive.
Hillary may just have to tolerate Sanders’ surge until primaries in state with lots of African-Americans occur.