I've said it before and I'll say it again: Bernie Sandesr' fundraising is an incredible achievement, one for which he deserves credit, but the central animating theme of his campaign against Hillary Clinton has become that anyone who doesn't raise all their campaign contributions this way is a Democratic whore (not his words) who can't be trusted. This weekend, actor George Clooney gave the best rebuttal I've heard to this charge, one which the Clinton campaign ought to study hard.
I think what's important and what I think the Clinton campaign has not been very good at explaining is this and this is the truth: the overwhelming amount of money that we're raising, and it is a lot, but the overwhelming amount of the money that we're raising, is not going to Hillary to run for President, it's going to the down-ticket.
It's going to the congressmen and senators to try to take back Congress. And the reason that's important and the reason it's important to me is because we need, I'm a Democrat so if you're a Republican, you're going to disagree but we need to take the senate back because we need to confirm the Supreme Court justice because that fifth vote on the Supreme Court can overturn Citizens United and get this obscene, ridiculous amount of money out so I never have to do a fundraiser again. And that's why I'm doing it.
Clooney went on to praise Bernie, even offering to raise money for him if he wins, but also offered a crucial distinction that Bernie fails to make:
CHUCK TODD: Do you think people that are coming to your event tonight and went last night, that they think they're gonna get extra access to Hillary Clinton, to a President Clinton?
GEORGE CLOONEY: No. I actually don't think that's true. I think there is a difference between the Koch brothers and us, you know? The difference is if I succeed, if we succeed in electing an entire Congress which would be quite a success but a Senate and a President, you know, the tax policies that they would enact would probably cost us a lot more money quite honestly.
The Koch brothers would profit if they get their way and that's what, you know, there's no profit for us in this. You know, understanding this: Koch brothers have said that they're gonna spend $900 million not on the presidency but on the down-ticket, on the senators and the congressman and the gubernatorial races and local races. And so our job is to try and counter that in some way.
It would be nice if all politicians could subsist on $27 donations, really nice, but until the rules change for everyone, it's silly to assert that anyone who doesn't is of the Devil.