In their Brooklyn debate Thursday night, Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton demonstrated their home-stretch strategies: Sanders is seeking to undermine voters’ confidence in Clinton judgment while Clinton portrays Sanders as a pie-in-the-sky kvetch bent on false complaints against President Obama and her.
The problem for Sanders is that his examples – Clinton’s vote on Iraq, her reliance on large campaign contributions and her undisclosed paid speeches to Wall Street companies – are either old news (Iraq, which she has publicly regretted) or simply not salient voting issues.
On the other hand, Clinton aligns herself with Obama on gun control, foreign policy (as his Secretary of State), campaign contributions, the environment, Wall Street reform, the Affordable Care Act and more issues on which Sanders finds Obama (and Clinton) wanting. And Democrats – especially in New York — still love Obama.
The other big problem for Sanders — who is trailing Clinton in the upcoming New York primary by double digits – is that he went about as far as a Democrat from New York could go in a) pissing off black voters by insulting Clinton’s wins in the South and b) pissing off Jewish voters by vigorously criticizing Israel and defending the rights of Palestinians. Refusing to apologize to the Sandy Hook parents was almost as clumsy a political move.
Not to mention his sarcasm, finger wagging and inability to stand still when being criticized. His worst moment was when he was seen laughing while Clinton detailed the human costs of gun violence – which she noted was no laughing matter.
Twice Clinton defended New York values — an attack on Ted Cruz without mentioning him — and twice she smacked Sanders by saying it’s easy to diagnose a problem but harder to come up with a solution. (If only she would take Calbuzz’s suggestion for a campaign slogan: Real Progress.)
If you liked Sanders before the debate, you came away pleased that he ripped into Clinton with more bite and anger than ever before. If you liked Clinton before the debate, you came away pleased at her presidential demeanor and her brassy and tough treatment of Sanders on significant issues. If you we undecided before the debate, you’re hopeless.
Here’s the Calbuzz live Twitter feed, in reverse order.
Twice tonight, HRC stood up for New York values…we won’t just make promises we can’t keep we’ll deliver results, she says.
A lot of black voters may be wondering why BS dismisses the Dem vote in the South. So he pissed of Jews and blacks.
HRC is smart to point to her race v Obama and call for unity against the GOP after she wins the nomination.
BS says he’s winning younger voters because they understand depending on big money donors won’t work in future
BS “acknowledges” he got his clock cleaned in the Deep South, the most “conservative” part of the electorate
BS says he raised $$ for DSCC after Dana asks why he hasn’t raised $$. HRC says it’ll be important to unify the Dem Party
Are you a Democrat, BS? Why would I be running for Dem nomination if I weren’t?
HRC says abortion rights important issue, not a distraction as BS said of Trump’s pledge to punish women
HRC says she won’t contradict Obama on Garland nomination to SCOTUS. BS says he would ask BHO to withdraw to overthrow CitznsUntd
BS does himself no favors in NYC by continuing to sound critical of Israel. He won’t give it up. Stupid local politics.
BS is forthright on Israel and Palestinian people but it won’t help him in NYC. HRC refuses to criticize Israel and stands firm.
HRC still gnarly on Libya — too much explaining, not enough contrition. BS equates regime change in Libya and Iraq, blames HRC
Bernie: “What you do do …” Scatalogical humor?
BS challenges HRC on carbon tax. She says “I don’t take a back seat to your legislation that you haven’t been able to get passed”
HRC’s strategic decision to side with Obama against Sanders is becoming increasingly apparent.
It’s easy to diagnose the problem, it’s harder to solve the problem, HRC says, smacking BS for his constant critique of Obama
HRC “I want white people to recognize that there is systemic racism” BS says he called out “super predator” because it’s racist.
BS says he doesn’t owe Sandy Hook parents an apology — HRC says protection for gun makers was abdication of responsibility
BS says he lost electn cause he was for banning assault weapons. HRC notes he changed between ’88 and ’90 against waiting period
BS laughing when HRC talks about people dying from gun violence is a very bad move. And he keeps pointing trying to interrupt
History has outpaced Secty Clinton, BS says, re $15 min wage. HRC says she’s always supported fight for $15. BS calls BS
Bernie says his plan to bring back jobs would be paid for by higher mini wage though we might pay a few cents more at McDonalds
BS says he’ll release 2014 tax returns tomorrow…others, soon, he says
Dana asks why HRC doesn’t release her speeches? HRC replies with tax returns. Dana hangs in there. HRC says when everybody does
Bernie mocks HRC’s assertion that she called out the banks — before or after taking money for speeches, BS asks
Dana asks BS to name a decision HRC made as senator that shows she was influenced by donations from banks — BS can’t HRC notes
BS says he doesn’t need Dodd-Frank to tell him to break up banks — says Treasury shouldn’t declare what size banks should be
Hillary says Bernie is attacking President Obama who had superpacs — it’s a phony attack, she says
Bernie goes after Hillary’s vote for Iraq war, dependency on big money from Wall Street
Hillary attacks Bernie’s judgment when he couldn’t tell NY Daily News how to break up banks. Bernie laughs.
Hillary opens with defense of New York values. Bernie responds by questioning her judgment.