I watched the first twenty minutes of the PBS debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton last night and came away with one thought before turning in: Bernie Sanders is a very nice guy, a strong advocate for the poor and marginalized, but he’s not going to win the election if every answer to every question is about income inequality. I get it that it is a big deal and it is an important issue, but it’s not the only thing we have to deal with. On that score, he’s beginning to skate into Marco Rubio territory; but at least he comes up with a different version of the same answer.
Ms. Clinton looked calm and in control last night, and from the clips I’ve seen, she answered Mr. Sanders’ challenges with aplomb. And then she had a good closer:
We agree we’ve got to get unaccountable money out of politics. We agree that Wall Street should never be allowed to wreck main street again. But here’s the point I want to make tonight. I am not a single-issue candidate and I do not believe we live in a single-issue country. I think that a lot of what we have to overcome to break down the barriers that are holding people back, whether it’s poison in the water of the children of Flint or whether it’s the poor miners who are being left out and left behind in coal country, or whether it is any other American today who feels somehow put down and depressed by racism, by sexism, by discrimination against the lgbt community against the kind of efforts that need to be made to root out all of these barriers, that’s what I want to take on.
This isn’t the last debate, but by at least one account it went well for Hillary Clinton and showed that losing by nearly 20 points in New Hampshire didn’t rattle her.