Things certainly got nasty between Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY) over the course of the New York primary.
The past several weeks found Clinton questioning Sanders’ experience and preparedness for the role of Commander-in-Chief. We saw Sanders openly questioning the former first lady’s qualifications for the presidency. And last Thursday’s Brooklyn debate was labeled “The Brawl in Brooklyn” by media outlets with the two Democrats shouting over each other to the delight of a raucous and divided crowd.
After Tuesday’s definitive, 16-point win by Clinton, the candidate struck a conciliatory and respectful tone in her victory speech. She reached out to Sanders’ supporters in an effort to unite the fractured Democratic base. “To all the people who supported Senator Sanders, I believe there is much more than unites us than divides us.”
So, Kumbaya for the Dems, right?
Yeah, that didn’t last long.
In his wrap-up of Tuesday night’s proceedings, Politico’s Glenn Thrush discovered exactly how bad the blood is between the two campaigns.
The tweet being incredulously digested at a Clinton victory party was an MSNBC report quoting Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver defiantly claiming his candidate would take the fight to the convention floor – even if Clinton secured an overwhelming lead among pledged delegates and supers.
“We kicked his ass tonight,” a senior Clinton aide told me Tuesday night. “I hope this convinces Bernie to tone it down. If not, f— him.”
This is how things go in Clintonland. The candidate rises above all the partisan division and behaves like the stately diplomat while she sends her anonymous attack dogs out to skewer her opposition with Chicago-style strong-arm tactics. Will Sanders be intimidated? Or will he take his campaign fundraising operation all the way to Philadelphia for a convention floor fight?
Surely this is one of the issues he’s contemplating as he “recharges” in Vermont.
Meanwhile, tell me again about how ugly things are in the Republican Party…