Look, we get it. With such a crowded field of candidates the Democrat Presidential hopefuls are desperate for attention, and any money they can glean from the potential donors. Sometimes you have to be creative. And, sometimes, creative can appear desperate.
While stumping in Iowa Sanders hosted a softball game at the iconic “Field Of Dreams” baseball stadium. This is the site of the movie of the same name in Dubuque County, Iowa that has gone on to become a tourist destination. Major League Baseball recently announced it will play at the site in 202, and the Sanders camp saw fit to get some press by piggy-backing on the announced event.
In conjunction, they are now offering a Bernie Sanders baseball card for any donors.
To celebrate tonight's softball game at the iconic Field of Dreams, we made these limited-edition baseball cards!
Donate any amount to get yours now. https://t.co/t6YJWoixmc
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 19, 2019
While he may be able to handle underhand pitches for a photo op I’m just not getting the feel of Bernie sprinting around the diamond. Others were also having some challenges with the imagery.
What Vermont residents see when they refuse to hand over their wallets. pic.twitter.com/CTMhnBLqzP
— BT (@back_ttys) August 19, 2019
Is that an assault bat? We need to ban assault bats, right?
— Mitch Behna (@MitchBehna) August 19, 2019
Knock it out of the park, Comrade! pic.twitter.com/yJnHberZO3
— The Left Ruins Everything (@TheLeftRuins) August 19, 2019
You just knew somebody had to do this. And it is accurate.
Can I donate in Venezuelan bolívar?
— TexasDaD (@TeXasDaD915) August 20, 2019
Shouldn't these be free?
— Tommy Walker (@BabaOTownshend) August 19, 2019
You know, now that you mention it…
If they build it, we will tax it.
— Dan Ditzler (@longgonedaddy) August 20, 2019
And then, Bernie and baseball fields may not be the best combination…
No thanks. I remember what happened the last time one of your biggest fans showed up at a ball field.
— RatAssassin (@_RatAssassin) August 19, 2019
Will @SteveScalise be at your softball game?
— Head Pharaoh 🕋 (@pharaohfire) August 19, 2019
Ouch!! That’s a rough reference. Accurate, sure — but rough.
And then there was a bit of a problem with journalistic ethics. Turns out the game was being played between teams of Bernie Sanders campaign staff and members of the media.
Bernie Sanders' campaign sent an email to supporters promoting a softball game between his campaign staff and members of the press at Iowa's iconic Field of Dreamshttps://t.co/t0nF6hSbRy
— POLITICO (@politico) August 19, 2019
But let’s not make any assumptions about the press being chummy with candidates. After all, they are just playing softball with staffers — to match the type of questions likely to be tossed underhanded at the candidate.
Tellingly, it never dawned on the media types that the optics here might have been problematic. It was only after agreeing to play that it was pointed out that Sanders would use this as a fundraising opportunity. Imagine that — a candidate was not just having a luxury sporting event but using it for his campaign efforts! Why, we never saw that coming!!!
But that solicitation gave some media outlets the jitters.
CNN and ABC pulled out, not wanting to be associated with a campaign fundraising effort. (And a POLITICO reporter planned to attend but not play, citing her lack of athletic talent) https://t.co/t0nF6hSbRy
— POLITICO (@politico) August 19, 2019
There is your modern media, folks. It’s totally fine to hobnob with a candidate you are objectively covering as a reporter, until you learn that an event on the campaign trail might be used to actually benefit the fortunes of said campaign.
You know, unlike every single possible event/appearance/movement that every single candidate has ever made on a campaign — since politics were invented. This came as a COMPLETE surprise this time!
Correction: Article now states MLB will play in the Iowa stadium next year.