Illustration for article titled Tom and Bernie Are Over
Image: Getty

Happy Valentine’s Day to all who can still fathom the very concept of love, especially now that billionaire businessman and presidential hopeful Tom Steyer has thrown his former flame, Senator Bernie Sanders, under the bus. Steyer released a new digital ad that highlights what the Steyer camp described in a press release as “Sanders’s refusal to come clean” about the cost and funding of his Medicare for All plan.

The ad begins with an ominous voiceover: “There’s a reason people are nervous about Bernie Sanders scrapping Obamacare.”

This is interspersed with negative media coverage about Medicare for All and clips of Sanders seemingly dodging questions about its cost.

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“Unions don’t like it,” the voiceover continues. “Most Americans know it won’t pass. And Bernie can’t, or won’t, give us a price tag. But thankfully, there is a better way.”

Cheerful music builds as images of Steyer appear, and the ad insists that he’ll give Americans what they really want: A plan that doesn’t “tear down Obamacare” but instead builds it up by reducing costs, expanding coverage, and improving quality while protecting union-negotiated plans.

Of course, expanding on Obamacare is a gargantuan task in of itself when there are several states who have opted out of its Medicaid expansion program, and union workers will hypothetically be able to spend time negotiating for other important issues like higher wages and better work conditions when the lion’s share of their time isn’t spent negotiating their health insurance plans. But Steyer is hoping that building on a gutted healthcare system is a better pitch for Bern-weary Democrats.

This digital ad push comes ahead of the Nevada caucuses, where polling average aggregator FiveThirtyEight has Sanders in first place with 24 percent of the vote and Steyer in sixth place with 8 percent of the vote. But Steyer is currently in third place in South Carolina, whose primary will take place on February 29, according to FiveThirtyEight, which has Steyer tying with Michael Bloomberg at 10 percent, Sanders at 18 percent, and Joe Biden taking the lead at 25 percent.

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This is quite the emotional whiplash after Steyer was so eager to hang out with Sanders a couple of Democratic debates ago. All is fair in love and primary elections, after all. But there will always be that one beautiful moment when they danced... near each other on a gloomy January afternoon in Columbia, South Carolina, during a Martin Luther King Jr Day celebration.

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And, of course, the “I just wanted to say hi, Bernie” that started it all.

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It was a short love affair, but it was fun ride while it lasted. Never forget.

Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.

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