In Council Bluffs, the mania of Bernie

From deep under cover, reader Dave Begley emails us this lively report on last night’s campaign activities in Iowa, featuring Bernie Sanders’s standing room only rally in Council Bluffs:


I attended Bernie’s meeting last night in Council Bluffs, Iowa (photo above). There were about 3,000 people there and many were from Nebraska. I wore my Carleton College shirt and was in complete disguise. The average age was about 30 compared to an average age of about 50 at Jindal’s event.

Bernie spoke for 75 minutes. Way too long. He has to cut at least 20 minutes if not more. Bobby did his stump speech in 30 minutes. Nothing personal or funny from Bernie; all policy.

Bernie did get several standing ovations. People were very fired up. People are very frustrated and angry and he hit several hot button topics.

Not a single mention of Hillary and I think that is a giant mistake. For him to win this thing he has to get votes from casual voters and to do that he has to attack Hillary’s weak spot: honesty.

“Enough is enough” was his theme.

Lots of class warfare talk about income inequality with all sorts of stats.

Called for a higher minimum wage, single payer healthcare, free college, paid FMLA, break up the banks, public finance of campaigns, no TPP, cut student loan interest rates, reclaim manufacturing jobs, massive infrastructure program and stop global warming.

Jindal and other GOP candidates would also like to bring manufacturing jobs back to America and one way to do it is with lower energy prices. Bernie, however, didn’t mention that point. It has already started here because of super low natural gas prices.

Trump has called for a massive infrastructure rebuild (including a border wall) so I was happy to see Bernie and The Donald on the same page.

Wants billionaires to pay their “fair share” of taxes but no numbers mentioned. I didn’t see local billionaire Warren Buffett in the crowd, but he is a big backer of Hillary anyway.

He thanked the Pope for his recent letter on the environment and I wanted to puke. From Bernie’s point of view, the debate is over and the science is settled. It is all about the billionaire class selling fossil fuel and causing the world to burn up by the end of the century. I had to laugh at that prediction as not a single person in that room will live to see 2099.

Weird moment when he said that Republican “family values” was code for denying women contraception but he got another standing O.

He recited at great length the decline in the middle class over the last 20 years but gave Barack a complete pass. He said that the GOP wouldn’t go along with Barack and so it was not Obama’s fault. Nothing is.

Both Bernie and Bobby pointed out the massive problems we have, but they have entirely different solutions.

Bottom line is that Bernie might well win Iowa and New Hampshire. Both are small states that favor the candidate that can get people fired up. Bernie was on fire last night.