Politico is out with a great article exploring the historic relationship between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
As you can imagine, Bernie was skeptical of a centrist Bill Clinton running for president in 1992, and immediately after Clinton won the election and appointed Hillary to lead health care reform, Bernie set to work attempting to convince her of the virtue of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system. As you can probably also imagine, he wasn't successful. Still, please do read what follows. The dialogue between Hillary and a Harvard Medical School physician supporting single-payer -- accompanying Bernie to his meeting at the White House -- is important for the record.
They got their meeting at the White House that month, and the two doctors laid out the case for single-payer to the first lady. “She said, ‘You make a convincing case, but is there any force on the face of the earth that could counter the hundreds of millions of the dollars the insurance industry would spend fighting that?’” recalled Himmelstein. “And I said, “How about the president of the United States actually leading the American people?’ and she said, ‘Tell me something real.’ ”
Wow. This paragraph -- the interaction it describes -- brilliantly highlights the core difference between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton as candidates (and people!): Bernie believes that American politics can overcome the power of corporate wealth, Hillary is resigned to that power dictating the direction of our politics -- and public policy. (Unfortunately, some DC journalists feel the same way
, which is why we get this "President of Reddit" crap from Vox.)
So, Democrats have a choice. One candidate believes that citizens -- and strong leaders representing those citizens -- can shape public policy. The other candidate believes that corporations -- like private health insurers with outrageously-wealthy CEOs -- have all the agency.