UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 19: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally at the Rec Hall at Penn State University on April 19, 2016 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania will hold its primary election on April 26, 2016. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders Takes Digs at Clinton Campaign in New Book

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By Jillian Berman | 6:16 am, November 16, 2016

As the title of his new book “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In” (St. Martin’s Press) suggests, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders devotes hundreds of pages to laying out a road map for achieving progressive policies. In chapters entitled “Defeating Oligarchy” and “Ending a Rigged Economy” he delves into topics that were signatures of his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president.

But in the wake of Republican candidate Donald Trump’s win, which shocked Democratic voters and pundits alike, readers may be more interested in the shorter section of his treatise that looks back at Sanders’ ultimately unsuccessful campaign against Hillary Clinton. In it, he recounts his campaign strategy, provides his perspective on memorable moments — who could forget, “We’re tired of hearing about your damn emails”? — and manages to get in his fair share of digs at Clinton and the political establishment more broadly.

We’ve rounded up some highlights below:

Sanders doesn’t let up on the notion he pushed through the campaign — that he faced an uphill, and ultimately unfair, battle to winning the nomination

—Even though Sanders projected confidence when asked by media early on in the campaign if he was running to win the nomination, he reveals in the book that “in my heart of hearts, I knew how difficult this challenge would be.”

“We were not just running an insurgent campaign as an underdog, we were taking aim at the nation’s entire political and financial establishment.”

—Sanders recounts efforts to get the Democratic National Committee to agree to more debates, so he and other candidates would have the chance to showcase their views. “Unfortunately, but not surprisingly as we later learned, the DNC and chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz were not terrible interested in what we had to say. They had another agenda.”

(Wasserman Schultz stepped down from her leadership post this summer after a trove of hacked emails revealed that the committee took pains to help boost Clinton’s position in the primary battle).

A few pages later, Sanders says that when the DNC announced the debate schedule would include only six matchups: “It was clear that they wanted to give Hillary Clinton’s opponents as little public exposure as possible.”

Sanders accuses Clinton surrogates of being ‘sleazy’ and ‘unfair’ at times:

—He criticizes a pro-Clinton super PAC for “an ugly and dishonest attack” that attempted to link Sanders to controversial former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez over a deal Sanders negotiated to bring Venezuelan heating oil into Vermont to help low-income residents. “It was a very sleazy attack. Our response: explain to our supporters what the Clinton super PAC had done and raise money off of it,” he writes. He also describes Clinton’s attack against his gun control record as “unfair,” but notes he didn’t handle it well.

Likely twisting the knife in the hearts of some Democratic voters, Sanders argues that he polled better than Clinton against Trump:

—“The Clinton campaign may not have liked it. The Democratic establishment may not have liked it. But it was becoming increasingly clear that I was the strongest candidate if Democrats were to retain the White House,” Sanders writes of polling data from the end of 2015.

—In explaining why he stayed in the primary battle even after it seemed increasingly likely that Clinton would win, Sanders cites polling data showing him doing better against Trump than Clinton. “If the Democrats wanted to win in November, our hope was that many of the superdelegates would begin to understand that we were the campaign to make that happen,” he writes.

(In the wake of the election, Sanders said of speculation as to whether he could have beaten Trump, “What good does it do now?”)

Sanders had ‘mixed feelings’ about the possibility of Vice President Joe Biden entering the primary race:

—Describing Biden as “a friend of mine,” Sanders said he felt ambivalent during the period when Biden was debating whether to enter the race for the Democratic nomination for president. “On one hand, what the polls seemed to show was that his candidacy would probably be helpful to us, because he would split the more conservative Democratic vote with Clinton,” he writes. “On the other hand, our entire campaign effort was now focused on Clinton.”

Sanders offers what now appears to be prescient media criticism:

—In the wake of Trump’s win, media critics have derided news outlets for being out of touch with most Americans and missing Trump’s rise. In a chapter called “Corporate Media and the Threat to our Democracy,” Sanders criticizes the media for focusing too much on the concerns of those at the top. “As a general rule of thumb, the more important the issue is to large numbers of working people, the less interesting it is to corporate media,” he wrote.

A 90-minute meeting laid the groundwork for Clinton to move toward Sanders on college affordability:

—Sanders says that on the evening of June 14, he his wife and his campaign manager met with Clinton and some of her top campaign officials for 90 minutes in a Washington hotel room. “Out of that meeting came the groundwork, announced some weeks later, for very strong Clinton proposals on making public college and universities tuition free,” he wrote.

(During the primary campaign Clinton and Sanders sparred over their proposals to make college more affordable. After Clinton won the primary battle, she announced a revised version of her original plan that adopted planks of Sanders’ proposal. If elected, Clinton vowed to make public college tuition-free for families earning $125,000 or less).

The book isn’t all serious policy proposals; there are some lighter moments as well:

—Sanders got lost on the way to his first stop after announcing his campaign. “The GPS got us to exactly the right address on Main Street, but it was the wrong town. Not a great way to begin the campaign,” he wrote.

—The Vermont senator was fan of comedian Larry David’s impression of him on “Saturday Night Live”, writing that David “did Bernie Sanders better than I did.”

—Sanders takes what will likely be a controversial stand in some corners of the music universe by describing Mango Jam as “my favorite Vermont band.” Mango Jam played the opening music for Sanders’ rally announcing his candidacy. Vermont is also the spiritual home of Phish, a jam band with a cultlike following. Phish’s drummer Jon Fishman endorsed Sanders during the primary campaign and played at at least one Sanders rally. At the time Sanders declared of Phish “They are one of the great bands, have been one of the great bands in this country.”

—The 75-year-old senator admits he’s a “Luddite” when it comes to social media: “Let me make the radical statement that I don’t believe that you can say something profound in the 140 characters that make up a tweet,” he writes.

This article originally appeared on Marketwatch.

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