Small Potatoes & Few in the Hill: The NYTimes Presents Sen. Sanders with A Status Update


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During the 2016 campaign, Sanders was of infinite use to the NYTimes hierarchy in their decades-long quest to demonize Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s not running in 2020, and it would seem the NYTimes wants the widest audience possible to know their current far-more-lukewarm assessment of the Vermont Independent:

Senator Bernie Sanders met on Wednesday with former staff members who conveyed their dismay over the mistreatment of women during his 2016 campaign, in an effort to calm the unrest over sexism that is overshadowing his possible 2020 bid.

Mr. Sanders met with roughly two dozen former workers for about an hour in a conference room at a hotel near the Capitol. The meeting was convened in response to a recent letter sent by more than two dozen people who worked on Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign, asking to meet with the senator and his leadership team to discuss issues of harassment.

The senator did not make himself available for comment afterward, and some attendees said they preferred to keep the discussions private. One woman said she found the meeting exhausting but declined to elaborate…

Among those close to Mr. Sanders who attended were Jeff Weaver, his 2016 campaign manager, and Ari Rabin-Havt, Mr. Sanders’s deputy chief of staff. There were also some people from his campaign arm, including Arianna Jones, a communications aide. Mr. Sanders’s wife, Jane Sanders, made a brief appearance.

Mr. Sanders skipped an important Senate vote on Russia sanctions to attend the meeting around noontime. He was the only senator not to appear as Republicans blocked a Democratic resolution to prevent the Trump administration from easing sanctions on a Russian oligarch. The measure, which required 60 votes to proceed, was defeated, 57 to 42, and his vote would not have affected the outcome.

There were some signs of trouble even before the meeting began. Some attendees were upset that the draft of the agenda did not directly address specific allegations of mistreatment of women, or say which top Sanders aides would attend. Several women said the travel logistics were poorly handled, with some saying they were not invited until 48 hours before the daylong meeting was scheduled to begin…

Truly, a climactic change of attitude. Perhaps the NYTimes will be able to unearth copies of Sen. Sanders’ tax returns this time?

30 replies
  1. 1
    eemom says:

    even: I can’t it. As the kids say, sort of.

  2. 2
    wasabi gasp says:

    @eemom: The kids say Bernie or Bust, grandma.

  3. 3
    Juju says:

    Does he get to run as a Democratic candidate this time?

  4. 4
    Emma says:

    @wasabi gasp: As long as they don’t drag the rest of us along (and they won’t because we got Bernie’s number), conditions accepted.

  5. 5
    gwangung says:

    There were some signs of trouble even before the meeting began. Some attendees were upset that the draft of the agenda did not directly address specific allegations of mistreatment of women, or say which top Sanders aides would attend. Several women said the travel logistics were poorly handled, with some saying they were not invited until 48 hours before the daylong meeting was scheduled to begin

    Yeah, that’s the Sanders I remember….Couldn’t organize a frat party if given a keg, a tap and plastic cups.

  6. 6
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Emma: Don’t understand what you’re saying. Pop in the choppers.

  7. 7
    some guy says:

    @gwangung:

    forget it Jake, it’s Vermont.

  8. 8
    Emma says:

    @wasabi gasp: Too bad, Come back when your adolescent acne clears and I shall explain.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    Why, oh why, does anyone pay any attention to Wilmer? As relevant as a vertical hold knob on a TV.

  10. 10
    columbusqueen says:

    Once an ass, always an ass–anybody else wonder what stories Wilmer’s ex-girlfriend might tell if she were willing to talk?

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    Looks like Jennifer Rubin took one more step towards joining us here on the Dark Side — she publicly criticized her hero Mitt:

    don't want to hear Cruz, Cornyn, Ermst, Inhofe, Lee, etc. are tough on Russia. Their vote today was a gift to Putin and Trump. Oh, and put Romney in that group. He voted no on cloture.— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) January 16, 2019

  12. 12
    Aleta says:

    What a pathetic effort. Private requests to meet privately with him since 2017. A public request from a small group to meet privately was over a month ago. Last week he had still refused to schedule anything. Two days notice to mostly meet with his staff? He came for an hour; and used it to miss a vote? What an important guy. Secretive too.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    Greetings, comrade! Your supervisor must be pleased with you if he’s put you back on the daytime shift. Almost time for a tea break in Moscow.

  14. 14
    gwangung says:

    @NotMax: I need a punching bag that clearly needs to be punched on a specific issue?

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Aleta:

    Not just any vote: he missed having to vote on lifting Russian sanctions. Interesting timing, da?

  16. 16
    sukabi says:

    Also from the article

    Some of the women who have spoken out to reporters about pay disparities, harassment and other instances of discrimination said they were not a part of the planning process for the meeting and were not aware it was happening. Last Friday, concerned that there would be no meeting, some of those women told the Sanders office that they felt it would be unfair to be excluded should a meeting occur, according to emails reviewed by The Times.

    On Monday, Mr. Sanders’s office told them it would be arranging travel for them to arrive in Washington by Wednesday. But the women said the office did not send them formal invitations or any details about what would be discussed.

    Some of them scrambled to rearrange their schedules, but several women said they did not hear back from Mr. Sanders’s office after being asked for travel details. One of the women was Sarah Slamen, who was the state coordinator in Louisiana in 2016 and who told The Times that she quit Our Revolution, Mr. Sanders’s progressive organization, because of gender discrimination.

    Ms. Slamen said she was eventually given a midnight flight back to Texas on Wednesday after the meeting. She declined, she said, because she is six and a half months pregnant. Though she said she would not attend and did not book a flight, she later received a confirmation email for a hotel in Washington.

    She said the logistical mix-ups were reminiscent of a 2016 campaign that she and some other women said was chaotic and disorganized.

    “That they botched this process is emblematic of their inability to run a meeting,” Ms. Slamen said.

  17. 17
    Aleta says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, you know, better not alienate the money or the intercept or Chomsky.

  18. 18
  19. 19

    @Mnemosyne: “How Convenient”. (says in Church Lady voice.)

  20. 20
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sukabi:

    On Monday, Mr. Sanders’s office told them it would be arranging travel for them to arrive in Washington by Wednesday.

    One does wonder exactly when the Russia sanctions vote was put on the Senate’s schedule, doesn’t one? 🤔

  21. 21
    sukabi says:

    @Mnemosyne: don’t know if it was that or he didn’t actually want them there so purposefully screwed the travel plans…could be both.

  22. 22
    sukabi says:

    @sukabi: adding Ragnarok Lobster’s thread on this there seems to be overwhelming support for the 2fer. Ditching the sanctions vote using his pr meeting.

  23. 23
    plato says:

    @sukabi:

    If it talks like a putin puppet, if it acts like a putin puppet …

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    Truly, a climactic change of attitude. Perhaps the NYTimes will be able to unearth copies of Sen. Sanders’ tax returns this time?

    This is a bit of a low blow. The problem ain’t with the NY Times being unable to “unearth” Sanders’ tax returns. He should voluntarily make them available.

    However, the NYT story is total BS, sloppy pseudo journalism and worse editing. The real problems that may have existed for women staffers is drowned in trivia about the logistics of getting people together. And the rightfully highlighted section about the “important” vote Sanders missed — what’s up with that? It certainly sticks out, but doesn’t help Sanders. And yeah, it makes him look like a Putin puppet.

    And this bit reeks of condescension:

    Still, the meeting was the most concrete attempt yet by Mr. Sanders and his advisers to calm unease among former workers and supporters after allegations emerged about mistreatment of women during his 2016 campaign.

    It does make you wonder, though, whether the Times is trying to help Sanders or to damn him with faint praise?

    Either way, it’s not working. Not for Sanders or the NY Times.

  25. 25
    bjacques says:

    The FTFNYT will start caring about Bernie’s tax returns only if he wins the primary. His emails somewhat later.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    This blog should get an award for being so right about this guy.

  27. 27
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Baud: President Hillary is award enough, no?

  28. 28
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    “The meetings lasted for nearly a day. Bernie Sanders attended for less than an hour. 🤔”

    This sounds exactly like the “exciting political opportunity*” that came to my campus about 20 years ago promising my then hero St. Ralph, who appeared for ~ 10 minutes at most and did not set both feet in the room to do so. It turned out to be a high pressure sales pitch for some dope’s campaign to be CA Insurance Commissioner.

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    I was wondering which Democrats/Independents voted to allow Russia to skip out on their punishment. Bernie missed the vote. Well, that actually does say something. On several fronts. None of which look good on you Bernie. Oh and by the way, California requires you to release your tax returns or they won’t allow you to appear on a Primary in the state. Just sayin’.

  30. 30
    BobbyK says:

    @Emma: Does Hillary? She used to be a republican before she decided to be democrat.

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