Bernie Sanders is fine-tuning his message for his audience. That’s excellent political strategy — pundits can (please) stop saying Bernie isn’t ready to play in the big leagues. Sanders’ message has consistently been that Americans are all in this together, that we share a future. The candidate even titles his most poignant, potent ad simply “America.” But the “America” Sanders showed the Americans in Iowa months back looks a lot different from the one he’s showing people before the New York primary. That’s just good targeting — ask any political operative or pragmatist. But why are there hardly any non-white faces in the “America” video the Sanders campaign released before Iowa? While the new video is much more diverse?
The multiple videos really represent not a problem for Sanders — if anything it shows his sensitivity to politically reality and his ability to react to it. What it does reveal is that America is a very complex place, from the way it looks to the way it thinks. And that candidates hoping to appeal broadly to the American electorate must stretch their message to make it fit. Here is the new, latest cut of “America” that the Sanders campaign features on its site. Below that is the version we saw closer to the Iowa vote.
Here’s the Sanders ad getting ready for Iowa: