On April 14, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton squared off in arguably the biggest democratic debate so far in this election.
The debate’s location in Brooklyn, New York brought extra meaning to both of the candidates, despite their huge differences.
Bernie was born and raised in Brooklyn, and takes pride in being a native of New York City. Hillary served as senator of New York from 2001 to 2009 and has a solid base of supporters in the Empire State.
Sanders opened the debate by responding to the question of whether or not Clinton has the judgment to be president. Bernie stated that clearly Hillary has the experience and qualifications to be President of the United States, but that he questions her judgment as a political official, citing her voting for the Iraq War and disastrous trade agreements.
Bernie then brought up that her campaign is being backed by Super PACs and special interests.
Hillary defended her ties with Wall Street, stating that she has “called them out” throughout her political career, in response to which Bernie delivered one of his greatest blows in the debate, “Secretary Clinton called them out! My goodness, they must have been really crushed by this. And was that before or after you received huge sums of money by giving speaking engagements? They must have been very, very upset by what you did.”
Hillary responded to Bernie’s criticisms by stating that Bernie did not have concrete answers to how he would break up banks, one of his campaign’s core issues. In relation to Hillary’s seemingly suspicious relationship with Super PACs, she responded that there was no evidence to support Sanders’ claims that she is influenced by Wall Street.
Then, in arguably one of the tensest moments of the debate, Hillary and Bernie argued over whether Clinton actually supported raising the minimum wage to $15. Wolf Blitzer actually had to intervene in the argument and tell them to stop shouting and to take turns, an indicator of how energetic and emotional the debate was.
I believe that although Clinton stood her ground fairly well and was ready to respond to Sanders with a consistent set of arguments and points, Senator Sanders truly came off as the most genuine and authentic candidate.
It seemed as though every time Bernie exposed a bad decision or vote that Hillary made in her past, she never responded directly, but rather she would bring up her allegiance with Obama or would change the topic all together to fit her interests and her rhetoric.
While Bernie might not be as polished as Hillary, the vast majority of his decisions and votes have been consistent throughout his political career as senator, while that definitely cannot be said about Hillary.
Regardless, this election will be a nail biter, and one can only imagine that the intensity will increase in both parties as we approach the final Republican and Democratic nomination.