Hillary jumps ugly on Bernie in New Hampshire debate

Hillary Clinton had her “What difference at this point does it make?” moment last night in her debate with Bernie Sanders. The first time the two of them shared a stage as a duo, she took the opportunity to go indignant, a mode of discourse at which she has lots of practice. It came as a response to Sanders  pointing out of the absurdity of poising as a progressive while taking millions from Wall Street. Hadas Gold of Politico summarizes:

Clinton accused Sanders of going negative on the campaign trail, telling the Vermont Senator at the Democratic debate that his campaign was smearing her name.

"I think it's time to end the very artful smear that you and your campaign have been carrying out in recent week," Clinton said after Sanders talked about getting money out of politics. (snip)

"Sen. Sanders has said he wants to run a positive campaign. I’ve tried to keep my disagreements over issues, but time and time again, by innuendo and by insinuation there is this attack that he is putting forth," Clinton said.

"Which really comes down to anyone who ever took donations or speaking fees from interest groups has to be bought, and I absolutely reject that Senator. I really don’t think those attacks by insinuation are worthy of you," Clinton continued.

Then she leveled the challenge: "If you have something to say, say it. But I have never changed a view or a vote because of a donation I've received."

Sanders was taken aback: "Whoa, whoa, whoa...wow."

Hillary was roundly booed after the "artful smear" line. Watch:


It is a good thing for Sanders that a lamp was not available onstage.

Late in the debate, the two candidates attempted a reconciliation after a helpful question from a moderator. Daniel Taintor at NBC News:

Ahead of the candidates' closing statements, Chuck Todd asked Clinton whether she would consider asking Sanders to be her running-mate should she win the Democratic nomination. Clinton said she doesn't want to get ahead of herself, but added that if does win, Sanders will be her first call.

Sanders returned the kudos. "Sometimes in these campaigns things get out of hand. I respect the secretary, I hope it's mutual." Sanders added that "on our worst days, we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate."

"That's true!" Clinton responded, and the two candidates, who have run increasingly heated campaigns, shook hands.