Hillary Clinton's Closing Statement At The New York Debate Was Her Last Pitch To Her Home State
On Thursday night, the two Democratic candidates for president got together for yet another primary debate, one that wasn't even on the schedule to begin with. Despite the DNC only having arranged for six debates at the start of this primary season, Thursday night was the third additional debate that's been added in after the fact. And it was a predictably high-stakes night for both candidates ― here's Hillary Clinton's closing statement, her last pitch to the voters of New York heading into the state's massive primary.
The Sanders and Clinton campaigns went back and forth for a while, negotiating the terms of the extra showdown, before finally settling on the night of April 14 for a debate hosted by CNN in the borough of Brooklyn. Both candidates have a certain claim to the state, with Sanders having been born in Brooklyn back in 1941, and Clinton having served as New York senator from 2001 to 2009, and having made Chappaqua her home since 1999. And considering how many delegates are on the line ― 291, the biggest single-state haul so far, and the second-biggest overall, trailing only California ― you have to imagine that they're picking their words pretty carefully. Here's how Clinton decided to round out the night.
Thank you. I am very grateful for the fact that the people of New York gave me the great honor of serving as your senator. You took a chance on me in 2000, and then you reelected me with one of the biggest margins we've had in our state in 2006. During those years, we worked closely together. I tried to have your back, and time and time again you had mine.
We took on the challenges of 9/11 together, we got the money to rebuild New York, we came to the aid of our brave first responders, construction workers, and others, who endangered their own health by helping to save lives and search for survivors. We worked to create jobs despite the disastrous policies of George W. Bush, across New York. And we stood up, time and time again, against all kinds of vested, powerful interests. I'm asking for your support again, in the primary on Tuesday, to continue that work together. To take what we did in New York, and to take those New York values, to the White House. And put them to work on behalf of all of our people.
To knock down the barriers that stand in the way. You know, of course we have economic barriers, I've been fighting against those trying to even the odds most of my adult life. But we also have racial barriers, gender barriers, homophobic barriers, disability barriers, we have a lot of barriers that stand in the way of people being treated as they should and having the chance to live up to their own God-given potential. So I am humbly asking for your support on Tuesday. I'll work my heart out for you again, and together, we won't just make promises we can't keep, we'll deliver results that will improve the lives of people in New York, and America! That's what we'll do together! Thank you, New York!
One thing is for sure: Clinton badly wants to carry her home state, because Sanders has been pulling off a string of victories lately. Despite the fact that Clinton still has a comfortable lead in pledged delegates (219 heading into Tuesday's primary), it'd still be a bad look for her to give up another major upset, like what happened in Michigan. She's currently leading Sanders by nearly 14 points in the Empire State polls, so if she suffered a defeat or even a narrower victory than expected, it could add to the growing sense that she's struggling to coalesce the Democratic electorate.
That said, however, she's almost surely safe from suffering a big loss. The Democratic primaries all allocate their delegate proportionally, rather than in the winner-take-all fashion some of the Republican primaries employ. The upshot is that this makes it really tough to stage a comeback in the latter states on the schedule ― you need to win by large margins to significantly dent a delegate deficit, because in a close vote, your rival is sure to get almost as many delegates as you do. Luckily, you won't have to wait very long to find out whether this debate moves the needle ― the New York primary is going down on Tuesday, just days away.