Cohen at Clinton HQ opening. Note that the cardboard cut-out of Hillary (far right, back) appears to be smiling at the congressman's words of support.
If Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush goes looking for some kind of satisfaction this weekend, he may have to settle for a backhanded compliment from 9th District Democratic congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis.
Addressing Hillary Clinton supporters at the formal opening of local Clinton-for-President headquarters on Poplar Avenue Thursday night, Cohen gave a serious of harsh reviews of other GOP field presidential contenders (Example: “Marco Rubio, he’s a Barbie doll. They tell him what to say, and he smiles.”)
Then, by way of acknowledging that Bush, whose polling numbers have been consistently low, could be experiencing his last stand in this weekend’s Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, Cohen said, “It’s unfortunate that probably their best candidate is Jeb Bush.”
“Best of a bad lot” was roughly the connotation had in mind. In making the case for Clinton apropos the advent of early voting for the March 1 “Super Tuesday” primary in Tennessee and numerous other states, Cohen scourged the GOP presidential field in general as being threats to “women’s rights, voting rights, union rights, everything that has to with the fiber of the middle class , and the things we’ve fought for.”
The congressman was much kinder toward Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s opponent in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. Noting that Sanders, whose Memphis supporters have also opened a local office on Poplar, a short distance away, is making a race of it in the primaries, Cohen said, “Bernie Sanders is my friend, I’ve worked with him on many issues.”
He said that he and Sanders have co-sponsored a number of bills and made numerous joint appearances for various causes, but that, in most of those cases, “we haven’t been successful, because we see things in a big way,” and, given the realities in Congress, most of those things “are not going to happen.”
“Don’t say anything bad about Bernie Sanders,” Cohen cautioned the 75 or so Clinton supporters crowded into the office’s front room. “We want all those Sanders people to work with us, come the fall.”
Cohen began his remarks with the good tidings of an endorsement of candidate Clinton from U.S. Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, an African-American luminary and assistant Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.
The opening of the local Sanders office took place last Saturday and drew more than 100 people, many of them in the “millennial” age group. Matt Kuhn of the Sanders campaign had addressed that group.