Not that anyone who helped Barack Obama get elected to the presidency has any business warning anyone about picking someone too radical for the country, but it is nevertheless worth noting that Barack Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina is sounding the alarm about Bernie Sanders, whose recent surge in Iowa has party insiders on edge.
In an interview with Politico, Messina argued that Trump would easily take advantage of Bernie's unrepentant socialism in key battleground states.
“If I were a campaign manager for Donald Trump and I look at the field, I would very much want to run against Bernie Sanders,” Messina told Politico. “I think the contrast is the best. He can say, ‘I’m a business guy, the economy’s good and this guy’s a socialist.’ I think that contrast for Trump is likely one that he’d be excited about in a way that he wouldn’t be as excited about Biden or potentially Mayor Pete or some of the more Midwestern moderate candidates.”
Messina has not officially endorsed any 2020 Democrat yet, but he's recently attended a Biden fundraiser, and his wife supports Biden.
“From a general election perspective, socialism is not going to be what Democrats are going to want to defend,” Messina argued. “If you’re the Democratic nominee for the Montana Senate race, you don’t want to spend the election talking about socialism.”
Of course, what Messina fails to acknowledge is that other 2020 Democrats have also embraced radical socialist policies in order to appeal to the increasingly radical Democratic Party base. The main difference between Bernie Sanders and his rivals is that Bernie wears his socialism on his sleeve, while the others deny being socialists at heart.
Messina is not the only Obama campaign alum sounding the alarm on Sanders. “My concern about Sanders would be just how low his ceiling may be,” said a senior campaign adviser who wished to remain anonymous. “The argument Sanders would make is he can turn out tough-to-turn-out voters. While many are very progressive like the Sanders base, most aren’t, most aren’t connected to politics, they tend to be more moderate.”
Well, I'm not so sure about that, but we'll see if the party heeds the warning or not soon.
Sanders has a razor-thin edge in polling in Iowa.