One weekend, two candidates:  Clinton in New Hampshire; Sanders visits Iowa

Despite the caucus season remaining a distant seven months away, two Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, abided to the demands of campaigning on this Independence Day weekend while pursuing their crusade to succeed Barack Obama.

The weekend and their whereabouts notwithstanding, the two illustrated starkly different campaign styles and their methods elicited sharply contrasting reactions from their audiences.

For Bernie Sanders, one who embodies the future of social progressivism, there appeared nothing immodest about him:  While on the path to the White House, the Vermont senator aggressively courted voters, greeted the press and delighted in the customary byplay with potential supporters.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton demonstrated the sterile life of her campaign:  Hillary appeared to feign enthusiasm while attempting to convince voters of her campaign themes.  With steely determination, Hillary prefers to rely on the power of the Clinton name, the Clinton brand and the romantic attachment to her personally to drive her candidacy instead of revealing guiding principles or an unmistakable message.

In one stop, a carefully scripted visit to Gorham, New Hampshire, Hillary continued her strategy of sequestering the press, including the very obedient propagandists who typically are enthusiastic about her campaign for the White House.  While visiting Main Street in Gorham, Clinton received mixed reactions:  Hillary was both cheered and jeered.  The climax in Gorham was Hillary’s experience with one opponent who carried a placard blaring one word, BENGHAZI.

The parade route — just under a mile along the town’s Main Street, dotted with Clinton campaign posters — was complicated by a persistent heckler who trailed Clinton waving a poster that read “Benghazi,” and yelling out taunts at the candidate (“Carpetbagger!” “Where were you at 3 in the morning when the phone rang!” “Tell us when you were poor!”). Clinton wore a grin-and-bear-it smile as she continued shaking hands. “I’m just having a good time meeting everybody,” she shrugged when asked by reporters about the disruption.

Hillary benghazi

Unwilling to define themselves as members of Team Hillary, Clinton’s response in public is identical to her replies to Congress:  When encountering those who are bitterly in earnest against her, Hillary not only flinches, she refuses to recognize them, their unforgivable interference and casts an aggrieved persona toward those who sought a direct response to unanswered questions on the ever-contentious Benghazi issue, forcing the public to rely on inspired hunches to explain for the innocent casualties of the attack on the Benghazi consulate.

Politics is rarely linear.  For Senator Bernie Sanders, his weekend was a triumph as he revealed a philosophical depth and personal authenticity Hillary lacks.  Sanders forecast a political intelligence which could convince the hardest Clinton ideologue he may be a reasonable alternative to the wearisome Clinton campaign.  Demystifying the Clinton campaign is not difficult: Paranoia has gotten the best of Hillary and she has come to dread her day-to-day existence.  The public is aware of her verbal tricks, her stale formulations and her evasive answers.  Her campaign is found wanting and without an answer for Senator Sanders.

While both Clinton and Sanders play the Blame-Righty game, Sanders boasts a campaign free of ties to Wall Street while Clinton feebly attempts to conceal her deep ties to the financial sector, particularly her over reliance on The Street’s campaign donations.

For Bernie, his trip to Iowa was an unqualified success:  Sanders was warmly greeted by those in a region which both welcomed his campaign as a breath of fresh air and found themselves free to judge his abilities.  For Hillary, her visit to Gorham left an utterly unpleasant impression.  Clinton’s stop could not have had precautions more vigorous to evade the press corps.  On a granular level, her trip was designed to obliterate, punish and discourage any intrusion.  The future of Hillary’s campaign will be reduced to a bumper-sticker campaign.