Words Count, Tone Counts

The knock-down, drag-out affair Thursday night between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had all the elements of a classic New York showdown—yelling at each other, talking at the same time, some trash talk and what seems like a genuine dislike for each other, all in front of an obnoxious crowd. Both made good points. Both boxed the other in on certain issues. In the end, it was Sanders’ tone that did him in. It was disrespectful, sarcastic and condescending. To me, that decided who won the debate.

Let’s review:
• Broadway’s Morgan James was great singing the national anthem. She was a relatively unknown singer before the debate. She was polling three points ahead of Hillary by the end.
• Bernie let us know once again that he started in last place, he is now in second. Congratulations.
• Hillary was in a place where Bernie was “hope” and she was “nope.” That’s what happens when you can actually explain how your proposals will work.
• Is it me or is it kind of hard to believe that Sanders’ average donation is still $27—not a dollar more or a dollar less?
• She may not like it but Hillary is the epitome of the establishment.
• I want to ride to work on a unicorn and slide down a rainbow. Sorry, I’m just “thinking big.”
• If Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were playing the “hear your name, do a shot” drinking game, they’d be hammered before halftime.
• Sanders clearly had Clinton on the speech transcript thing. But she had him on the why-haven’t-you-released-your-tax-turns thing.
• I think Bernie’s answer to the lack of releasing his tax returns was, “My wife ate my homework.”
• The crowd was pro-Bernie and it seemed to rattle Hillary at times.

please go away
• No one won the gun debate. Hillary’s claims about guns involved in New York shootings were disproportionally from Vermont got three Pinocchios from fact checkers. And no one cares that the NRA gave Bernie a “D” grade. He voted against the Brady Bill and for giving gun manufacturers immunity.
• Hillary was hit for her support and her husband signing the crime bill back in the 1990s. It has led to mass incarcerations. But when Bernie was asked how he planned to drop the prison population, he said, “We will work with states across the country.” Really? Gee, how come no one thought of that?
• Let me put this to rest: war deaths across the world, ISIS murders in Paris and Brussels, North Korea building a warhead to carry a nuke, and common sense tell us that climate change is not the number one national security issue facing us today. Bernie is still hanging onto the contention that is it. Climate change is a deadly problem that needs to be dealt with asap. It is not as immediate or threatening as the others.
• Hillary is more pro-Israel than Bernie, a Jew. After the debate, Bernie jetted off to the Vatican. I’m so confused.
• I can’t possibly listen to her cackle or his accent for eight years. I’m voting for Morgan Freeman.
• I’m not sure but I think Bernie moved my state to the “deep south”—the place where Hillary has won. Bay Staters will be shocked to know this.

In the end, it was Bernie Sanders’ tone that blew for him any chance of winning. He spoke of himself in the third person, laid on the sarcasm very thick, and was generally angry and condescending. Clinton was angry—like someone who has just had enough of someone who won’t go away. Bernie, however, has morphed into a Bernie Bro. Sad.