The Democratic race has so far managed to seem civil when compared with the all-out war for the GOP nomination. However, things took an unexpected turn on Monday night when famed actress Susan Sarandon suggested during an interview with MSNBC that she might be inclined to support Donald Trump if Hillary Clinton leads her party's ticket. She went on to cite money that Clinton received from the fracking industry as well as her past foreign policy stances as reasons for her unwillingness to support the Democratic frontrunner.
The statement was so contrary to the liberal zeitgeist that it seemed to take Chris Hayes several minutes to register what had happened. But Sarandon's stance, though surprising at first, represents a cohort of liberals who thoroughly reject Clinton for not being liberal enough.
We decided to take a look at Susan Sarandon's political giving, to try and understand what this segment of liberal donors and voters cares about, and who they support.
Among the notable contributions are Emily's List and several other progressive PACs. Her largest donations were to Bernie Sanders, who has received $12,000 from her historically. Some have likened her current support for Sanders to her previous backing of Ralph Nader in 2000, who some believe played a spoiler role that ultimately cost Gore the presidency. As the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart put it: "This is not Sarandon’s first time making the perfect the enemy of the good".
But what about Sarandon's support for John Edwards who like Clinton, voted for the Iraq war and received many contributions from big business. Not to mention the fact that Sarandon supported Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign with a $1,000 contribution - a fact that she failed to mention in her MSNBC interview.
The takeaway seems to be that things have changed recently, possibly since the 2008 financial crisis, and people's tolerance of big business' influence in politics is at an all-time low. Sarandon was willing to support Clinton in 2000 as a New York senator with a bright political future. But a couple of wars and one economic meltdown later, Clinton seems to have lost her liberal appeal. You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain, someone once said.