Sour Bits from Iowa’s Town Hall and Hillary’s Red Attire


The Iowa Town Hall shown on CNN came and went. The host was Chris Cuomo whose brother Andrew, is a big Hillary supporter. Some conflict of interest there, but by now the entire DNC charade is blatantly obvious. Look at the number of debates, the times and dates of the debates, DNC Chair Schultz’s cozy ties with Hillary, and of course the lack of mainstream media coverage to Sanders. Unable to keep ignoring him they’re starting to cover him, but the slant they take is either dismissal or by using scare tactics: he’s a socialist, he´s too old, or that he´s going to bankrupt the country by giving us healthcare and free college.

Back to the town hall. Was it just me who got a bit annoyed at the constant repetitious soundbites before it began? From Feinstein shining light on Hillary about her experience, how she can get the job done (what job?), to Bill saying he told her to leave him, that she was a better politician, etc., To Obama saying in an interview that same day “I think Hillary came in with the both privilege — and burden — of being perceived as the front-runner. … You’re always looking at the bright, shiny object that people haven’t seen before — that’s a disadvantage to her.” In this case the “shiny object¨ is Sanders. Obama who had vowed to stay neutral in this election shows concern for Hillary.

And then there was the laughable tidbit which compared Hillary to Madonna in name recognition. Who is not familiar with Hillary. Afterall she was the young Watergate committee lawyer. Why not include that she was a Goldwater Girl? No, instead they would throw in her ´vast´ experience as a former senator of NY, former secretary of state, etc, Feinstein saying that she does not need it, but wants it (the presidency, I guess).

A myriad of defenses from the likes of Bill Daley about how she was the ¨original good wife¨ that sustained such a vast right-wing conspiracy attack (Bill’s adultery). Why can a big network like CNN come up with more tidbits about the candidates instead of rehashing the same stuff over and over? I guess they think reiteration works. It was meant to get the viewer to know the candidates more, but of course the glaring inclination favoring Hillary was present.

Then it thankfully ended and the town hall began. This format was better in it that it gave more time to the candidates to answer the questions, and it made the viewer more familiar with their platform. Of course Cuomo drilled Sanders, but let Hillary slide on all pertinent subjects. He didn’t bring up her connections to big banks, nor ask her to explain on her generalities especially when she grandiosely said that she was for ¨all types of inequality¨. She never elaborated. As usual she just threw soundbites and said that under her husband the economy hadn’t been better, in terms of job creation etc., She failed to mention that Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform caused extreme poverty–that is the number of households living on less than $2 a day vastly increased.

As for Bill’s job creation mirage called NAFTA, Public Citizen published a report that details the wreckage. Not only did his promise not materialize, but many results are exactly the opposite. Such outcomes include a staggering $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada and the related loss of 1 million net U.S. jobs under NAFTA, growing income inequality.

Sanders when asked about Planned Parenthood’s endorsement of Hillary, said that he has 100% freedom of choice record and that their choice is based on the organization’s leadership, not on their members. And on education, he said that we live in a different world that for a hundred or so years we believe in free public education up to 12th grade, but guess what? The world has changed, a college degree is the equivalent of what a high school education used to be. When asked how it would get paid, he said pay through a tax on wall street.

Cuomo then predictably digged him by asking if the ¨era of big government will be back under president Sanders.¨ Sanders answered him, ¨the era of protecting middle and working families is certainly something that I will make happen…we should expand social security, and lift the cap on taxable income.¨

Those were some highlights of the town hall, yet shortly after corporate media began their articles claiming Hillary had won. Of course they’ve done this on every single debate. If one looks and analyzes the polls this contradicts their elitist point of view, but that’s another story. One clear and frankly disturbing example is that of Frida Ghitis, a world affairs columnist for the Miami Herald and World Politics Review, and a former CNN producer and correspondent, who wrote ¨Hillary Clinton roared to a clear victory in the Iowa town hall Monday night, coming across as energetic, articulate, knowledgeable and experienced. I never thought I’d find myself commenting on the clothing choices of female political candidates (men have almost no choices to make) but in this case, Clinton’s red top underscored her fiery presentation. For once, the men may have wished they had worn red jackets!¨

At first I didn’t know what to make of this grotesque adulation. How does wearing a red jacket makes one ¨roar, look energetic, articulate, knowledgeable and experienced¨ Nevermind how, just to write that by wearing this apparel gives Hillary the qualifications to win the presidency of the U.S. are troublesome and superficial. Ghitis could just be rehashing whatever the Clinton campaign is pushing or scarier yet, her own views. If one takes into consideration Clinton´s apparel, as well as her views and comments, she´s more in line with the fiery Republicans.

What has been evident all along is that Hillary want to be president so bad, she salivates at the thought of power and keeps painting herself in any color that will suit her. Suddenly she encounters something that might feel like a deja vus from 2008. Afterall she was ready to just flow in and accept her coronation, so now her campaign keeps trying different tactics. She lies, flip/flops on most issues and that is evident to anyone who keeps up with the race. Hillary never expected to encounter the ¨political revolution¨ that Sanders and his supporters have created despite the odds, despite the DNC´s flagrant attack on it and despite the lack of media coverage.

Unlike Hillary, Sanders was honest, was his likable, fiery self. He explained his policies in detail, and explained the world of differences between himself, and Hillary and the status quo she represents.

Leticia Cortez is a teacher, writer, loves film. She was born in Mexico, grew up in Chicago and has travelled the art world. She presently teaches Latin American Literature at St. Augustine College.