Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has won five of the last six Democratic nominating contests with extremely strong margins. The Clinton campaign is still confident it can make it through the nominating cycle ahead of Sanders, but glimpses of frustration from the Democratic front-runner and her campaign have started to emerge.
One of the first noticeable moments of public annoyance from Clinton was at the NBC News/New Hampshire Union Leader debate in Durham, N.H., on February 4. She demanded that Sanders end his artful smear of her campaign.
Last Thursday at a rally in Harlem, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was confronted by a Greenpeace activist who asked her if she would “act on [her] word and reject fossil-fuel money in the future in [her] campaign.”
Without skipping a beat, when she probably would have preferred to take one, Clinton responded forcefully: “I am so sick -- I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I’m sick of it.” The unseemly outburst comes after a string of wins for Sanders, even as lawmakers are asking the Senator to begin clearing the path for a Clinton nomination.
One can imagine the pressure Clinton is facing as the presumptive nominee, while dealing with an FBI investigation, attacks from extreme conservatives on the right and precise attacks from the progressive, millennial-attracting Sanders supporters to her left.
While both candidates have said things about each other that vary from the truth, Clinton must feel especially hard done by attacks on her record from the progressive branch of her party.
There is certainly no love lost between the Clinton and Sanders campaigns.
In a culmination of months of disagreements and tussles between the candidates, the two campaigns have now locked shoulders over the details of a Democratic debate in New York, which both candidates claim to want. It’s the dates they can’t agree upon.
Both Sanders and Clinton have accepted invitations to debate in New York, just not the same ones. Clinton told NY1 and ABC that she would attend debates on the evening of April 14 and morning of April 15.
Sanders, however, has accepted an invitation from NBC to join an April 10 prime-time debate, while also being available on either April 11, 12 or 13. With the New York primary contest on April 19, the clock is ticking.
Both campaigns are blaming one another for the missed connection.
Brian Fallon, a Clinton spokesperson wrote on Twitter: “We are at the point that if we agreed to a debate in Williamsburg, they’d say Bushwick. If we said Gowanus, they’d demand Park Slope.”
The Sanders campaign, on the other hand, had spokesperson Michael Briggs call out the Clinton campaign’s decision to participate in the April 14 debate as “disingenuously announced.” It was noted that Sanders had previously proposed that date; now he has a rally planned in New York City that night.
The negotiations are taking place between the two campaigns, with the candidates themselves staying out of the detailed conversations.
No resolution will be the worst outcome for New York voters. As for the candidates, Sanders probably has more to gain from more face-to-face time with Clinton on TV.