Today I had a lengthy conversation with Jane Sanders who is married to U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Although she did bust my chops a bit for throwing a few questions at her all at once (I tend to do that, just ask the Chasers) she was straightforward with her answers and really towed the ‘Party line’ regarding class warfare. Essentially saying that there’s enough money among the rich to fund all the projects desired by the American people, especially free college for Millennials.
The challenge with the “Party line” of course is what some on the political Left call hypocrisy as the Sanders family income reported in 2014 topped $200,000 putting them solidly in the top 6% of earners nationwide. Go ahead, check your income here… You know you want to…
Early in the conversation she brought up the pension mess in NJ and I asked her what Bernie’s solution would be to solve it. She immediately went to the local talking points from the union bosses and legislative leaders that the problem lay squarely with the fact that the state has skipped payments. No mention of course that Governor Christie has made higher payments into the system than his predecessors. And of course no mention that the challenge in New Jersey is the continuing desire for politicians on both sides of the aisle to spend without regard for the actual revenue available.
Even when discussing jobs, her concept of job creation was based on infrastructure development and additional government spending.
We did agree that the choices this year are clear for voters. Between Republicans and Democrats the solution to underfunded pensions and job creation is either massive government spending or by stimulating the economy to create new wealth instead of coming up with new plans on how to spend dwindling resources. Between Bernie and Hillary it’s a case of the old guard, establishment and the wave of new progressives aggressively adding new voters into the mix by dusting off the old socialist recruiting handbooks. Seems the future of the Democratic Party actually does hang in the balance.
As a a bit of a political junkie, the best part of the conversation was learning that Bernie is committed to staying in the race through the convention. Although Hillary will likely win enough delegates after her expected win in New Jersey next Tuesday, the first ballot win is based on ‘super-delegates’. These are top party leaders and elected officials who seem to overwhelmingly support Hillary. Not so fast says Jane though…according to her, the ‘super-delegates’ are not committed formally so without enough ‘awarded delegates’ (delegates won state by state based on primary election results) the convention may still be a fight. Interesting. And I hope so.
What’s funny is that everyone expected the GOP to blow up over Trump and instead the party is slowly coming together with Trump running even with Hillary in many battleground states.
Here’s the entire interview: