Cockburn hit the powder hard this morning, as he trudged through the snow to watch Bernie Sanders speak at St Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, ahead of tonight’s Democratic debate and Tuesday’s primary.
Most old people don’t usually do too well in the cold, but Bernard isn’t most old people. The bookies’ favorite and alleged victor of the Iowa caucuses spoke for around 30 minutes at Politics and Eggs, a breakfast at the New Hampshire Institute for Politics. Sanders hit all his usual beats for the ‘politics’ — the economy, homelessness, wages, the opioid epidemic — while Cockburn was more preoccupied by wolfing down the scrambled eggs.
Sanders bemoaned America’s ‘dysfunctional healthcare system’ and ‘dysfunctional childcare system’ and described how ‘teachers in New Hampshire in some school districts start off on salaries of $29k a year’. ‘We have a corrupt political system,’ declared the Vermont senator — though he was talking about the big picture rather than the recent Iowa balls-up, which he said was ‘done’.
Perhaps in a preview of tonight’s key match-up, Bernie reeled off a series of news headlines from publications like the Washington Post and the Hill that concerned Pete Buttigieg’s close ties with billionaires.
During the Q&A session, an attendee mentioned how Jeremy Corbyn, standing in the UK on a similar policy platform, had led the British Labour party to ‘the worst defeat they’ve had in half a century’. He then asked, ‘how can you assure us that you would not face the same onslaught?’ Bernie dodged the question, talking instead about how he would beat Trump and the need to build an unorthodox coalition and ‘reach out to Trump’s working class supporters.’
While Bernie may make mincemeat of Buttigieg in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, and the South Carolina one that follows it, it appears he may need to come up with an answer. Will he lead the Democrats to electoral wipeout? Or will Mike Bloomberg, a blasted billionaire, build a roadblock out of cash to stop Sanders’s momentum?
Cockburn is particularly tantalized by the idea of a contested convention in Milwaukee, where two men who weren’t Democrats five years ago will compete for the nomination of that party. Despite not being at tonight’s debate, the smallest man in the race may cast a large shadow across the stage.
For now though, Bernie is in his comfort zone, in the freezing north. The cold never bothered him anyway.