Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bernie Sanders' Game Show Style Campaign

You know it's great when you're told you're going to win a new car and all expenses trip to Bermuda and back. But how confidant are you in the host's promises?

This is sort of how I receive Bernie's promises. While I say he's like a game show host, in a sense he's more like a telemarketer-and I can speak to this as I've done that game.

What you do is you don't let them think about pesky details of how or why or who or when. Just assure them it will be great. It's a purely aspirational pitch. You don't want them to do their due diligence but make the impulse buy.

Bernie did the same thing again on his healthcare plan. He was asked what it will cost and how much it will expand the size of government and his answer was: we're the only major country without universal care.

"Sanders just laid out an expansive vision for the role of the federal government in health care, higher education, infrastructure and more. He talked less about how to pay for it. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that under current policies, the federal deficit is on track to rise from 2.9 percent of the economy in 2016 to 4.9 percent."

"I'm sort of curious that Sanders wasn't willing to answer that question - the percentage size of government question. OTOH, the health care program would expand the government by 40%? That sounds too high."

"Clinton's getting the better of Sanders here on the health care exchange - in part because he's falling back on generalities and she's hitting points that I think are basically accurate."

Great point by Josh Marshall. I've said this before. Bernie's strength as a Hedgehog is also his weakness. HIs simplicity is simplistic and a glittering generality.

Another way to put it, is he's a auto salesman. Doesn't have to be used cars. When you go to the lot, the dealer wants you not to ask too many questions about mileage, durability, etc. He wants you to fall in love with the idea of it.

That's Bernie's point. To appeal to how great it would be to have single payer, not the prosaic question of how you get there.  

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