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Sanders campaign weathers first scandal

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30 May 2015

Bernie Sanders

Rep. Sanders tries to divert the attention of attendees at a town-hall-style meeting somewhere else.

CONCORD, New Hampshire -- The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is distancing itself from an essay in which he wrote that a "typical woman" fantasizes about being "tied up and gang-raped by a pack of wild dogs."

The "independent" Congressman — a term that even Vermonters view more favorably than "rabid socialist" — wrote the essay a mere 43 years ago. The fact that it surfaced now suggests that the 2016 campaign will be as trite and irrelevant as the 2012 campaign, which featured decades-old anecdotes about Mitt Romney's treatment of the family dog and of Kindergarten classmates. Similar dated scandals would have swirled around the head of the victor, President Barack Obama, if any records of his youth existed.

The 1972 essay, which surfaced this week in Mother Jones, herself also besieged by pack dogs, had been published in the Vermont Freeman, a bondage journal out of Burlington.

Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs told CNN that the article "in no way reflects Sanders' views or record on women. It looks as stupid today as it did then." Briggs said that Sanders would have penned the essay when he was still in his sixties, during the phase of his life when he was receiving testosterone shots that undoubtably influenced his choice of words.

The article raised the bar for the 2016 campaign, signaling that no candidate will be able to have anything in his past that looks stupid in retrospect. Newsrooms at esteemed, impartial networks such as NBC were not affected, as they had already abandoned the career-threatening "small bald spot" of Scott Walker to search for dumb wisecracks he made while on the Student Council.

The inevitable winner of the Democratic Party's primary campaign, Hillary Clinton, was unavailable for comment, as she was still busy out in the barn at Chappaqua, cleaning the disks of her private official Department of State email server with Brillo pads. Unstoppable Republican candidate Jeb Bush does not have to worry, as he has never said anything controversial in his life, possibly excepting his recent call for foreign control of the nation's grade schools and jobs.

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