Bernie Sanders for the first time compared himself to the frontrunner for the Democratic Presidential nomination Hillary Clinton and stated some of the differences between the two of them regarding same sex marriage and foreign policy.
He made a turn from his peaceful campaign which until now was focusing on his own policies only and he was always stating that he never ran a negative campaign and never attacked his opponents.
However, during the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, which was attended by the three Democratic Presidential hopefuls, Sanders took another direction in his campaign for the White House and compared to the first debate where he was mostly congenial towards Hillary Clinton, the annual dinner in the early voting state of Iowa was marked by him highlighting the differences between him and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
According to Reuters, Sanders took a chance at the event which was attended by more than 6,000 Democrats to speak out on his early support for same sex marriage ever since 1973 and his opposition to the Iraq war. He never mentioned Clinton by name, but his statements were a suggestion to the policies of former President Bill Clinton, who signed the 1996 law which prevented same sex couples to receive federal spousal benefits. The law was overturned by the Supreme Court ruling of this year.
He also mentioned Clinton’s vote while being a Senator of New York for authorizing the war in Iraq, about which she has said that it was a mistake because with the information she has now she would have never voted for authorizing it.
Another issue that Sanders mentioned was the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and the Keystone XL Pipeline, which were started during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department. However, Clinton has come out in opposition to the issues very recently, something that Sanders has took a dig at calling the opposition to the issues a “no brainer.”
Iowa is the first voting state which will hold the party nominating contest on the 1st of February and is crucial for setting the tone for the Democratic primary race for the 2016 Elections. President Barack Obama was nominated by the Democratic Party largely because of his victory in Iowa in 2007, which was based by his speech during the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.
According to Reuters, Sanders is willing to replicate Obama’s win and stated “About eight years ago all of the political experts talked about how another Democratic candidate for President just couldn’t win, he was unelectable. Remember that guy? What was his name? Oh, it’s President Obama.” He also added that he is sure that history is about to repeat itself, stating “Well Iowa, I think we are going to prove the pundits wrong again.”
The Jefferson-Jackson Dinner is a kind of a special event in the Democratic primaries which can shake up the nature and the direction of the race, which was especially notable with Obama knocking Clinton out of her lead in 2007. However, Clinton’s lead during this campaign is not that easily overturned due to immense support by the Democratic establishment and ever growing opinion poll numbers.