The Democratic candidates hopped on the last exit to Brooklyn for their last scheduled debate. Surrounded by the shadows of silent Navy Yard boats and egged on by latte-fuelled raucous bearded hipsters, the showdown lived up to expectations of a bruising clash after weeks of heightened tension between the two campaigns. Hillary looked for ways to cool off the berning momentum of her eight-consecutive-wins rival while Sanders had to convince cynical New Yorkers of his ability to engineer a political revolution. But Clinton needn’t worry too much as the polls have her winning her home state by a large margin, which, if she pulls it off, will be a sure comfort to her delegate following and the Democratic Party establishment.
Israel, the big banks, Sandy Hook, tax returns, racism and global warming were all touched upon at the debate and both candidates gave the expected answers and a solid performance. However Sanders’ less-than-enthusiastic support of Israel probably hurt him the most with Jewish voters; Clinton failed to give a valid reason for not releasing her speech transcripts, which doesn’t help her trust issue. Sanders came back strong on Wall Street; Clinton took the moral high ground on guns. Sanders fans were treated to plenty of finger wagging, eye rolling and his outdoor voice; Clinton supporters insisted that her ducking and evading of yes-no questions were complex and nuanced responses. And while neither pulled their punches, no one was KO’d, which is actually bad news for Sanders. Despite his recent wins he’s still very much the David to Clinton’s Goliath and nothing short of an FBI indictment is going to convince her delegates to back him instead.
Sanders is trailing by double digits in the New York polls, and despite his loyal fan base, Pope cred and Occupy Wall Street backing, he just can’t seem to grow a following beyond his base of support. But if you missed the debate and want a full recap: Saturday Night Live got in on the action, hosting a Seinfeld-themed debate where Elaine interrogated Sanders (aka Larry David) about his Wall Street policies. His response? “Yada, yada.” No soup for him, but hopefully the real Sanders will get enough votes in Tuesday’s primary to justify his continuance in the race.
Feel the Bern? Maybe you have a fever? Movie for your cure: Saturday Night Fever