As a supporter of Secretary Clinton, I think it is hard to overestimate the value that Senator Sanders is providing to the Democrats in their bid to hold the White House: he is keeping the primary interesting, he is articulating a powerful challenge to the likely nominee centered on what is likely to be a core issue in the general election: economics, and he is doing it all in a civil but pointed manner.
Voters who might have tuned out, or even headed in desperation to the dark side, have remained engaged with the only passingly pragmatic political party in the nation. Bravo.
The likelihood that Clinton will be the nominee continues to increase day by day — ((calendar/(math + votes)) — but Sanders has done an excellent job, has gotten stronger as the campaign has continued, and was forceful in their latest debate. NYT:
Mr. Sanders, who has fallen far behind Mrs. Clinton in their all-important race to accumulate delegates to clinch the party’s nomination, has rarely been so aggressive. He portrayed Mrs. Clinton as an unapologetic champion of free trade for much of her career, in hopes of hurting her with Rust Belt Democrats. He tied her aggressively to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mr. Clinton’s signature trade policy, and to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Obama’s 12-nation trade pact, which she supported as secretary of state but then denounced as a presidential candidate.
Mr. Sanders also attacked Mrs. Clinton’s support of the federal Export-Import Bank, the credit agency that antigovernment populists on both sides have called an instrument of “corporate welfare,” and he feigned amazement when she expressed criticism of some trade deals.
“Secretary Clinton has discovered religion on this issue, but it’s a little bit too late,” Mr. Sanders said. “I was on a picket line in the early 1990s against Nafta, because you didn’t need a Ph.D. in economics to understand that American workers should not be forced to compete against people in Mexico making 25 cents an hour.”
For the most part, Mrs. Clinton deftly parried her rival’s arguments, deriding many of them and agreeing with a few, and at times interrupting Mr. Sanders in hopes of provoking a testy explosion.
As an aside, it is vaguely amusing to see the NYT’s relentless partisanship for Clinton: the passage above starts with a reminder that she is ahead, and finishes the same way. All in a day’s work for the paper of record.