Update 1: He was conciliatory and then she slammed him. That sets him free to hit back. He should let her have it... and the audience is with him.
Update 2: Oh, I am too tired. Up since 3. Will watch the rest tomorrow.
Update 3, the next morning: I've got the transcript now, so I wanted to show you want I was talking about at Update 1. The moderator, Wolf Blitzer, asked Sanders about his statements about Clinton lacking the "qualifications" to be President. His answer felt conciliatory to me:
SANDERS: Well, I've known Secretary Clinton, how long, 25 years? We worked together in the Senate. And I said that in response to the kind of attacks we were getting from the Clinton, uh, campaign. "Washington Post" headline says "Clinton Campaign says Sanders is Unqualified" and that's what the surrogates were saying. Does Secretary Clinton have the experience and the intelligence to be a president? Of course she does. But I do question... her judgment. I question a judgment which voted for the war in Iraq... the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country, voted for virtually every disastrous trade agreement which cost us millions of decent-paying jobs. And I question her judgment about running super PACs which are collecting tens of millions of dollars from special interests, including $15 million from Wall Street. I don't believe that that is... the kind of judgment we need to be the kind of president we need.Clinton's response felt to me like a failure to accept the conciliation:
CLINTON: Well, it is true that now that the spotlight is pretty bright here in New York, some things have been said and Senator Sanders did call me unqualified. I've been called a lot of things in my life. That was a first. And then he did say that... he had to question my judgment. Well, the people of New York voted for me twice to be their senator from New York and... and President Obama trusted my judgment enough to ask me to be secretary of State for the United States. So, look, we have disagreements on policy. There's no doubt about it. But if you go and read, which I hope all of you will before Tuesday, Senator Sanders' long interview with the "New York Daily News," talk about judgment and talk about the kinds of problems he had answering questions about even his core issue, breaking up the banks. When asked, he could not explain how... that would be done and...when asked... about a number of foreign policy issues, he could not answer about Afghanistan, about Israel, about counterterrorism, except to say if he'd had some paper in front of him, maybe he could. I think you need to have the judgment on day one to be both president and commander-in-chief.In print, the difference in tone feels completely insubstantial. They disagree on policy and they ramp that disagreement up into questioning "judgment," which feels somewhat more like an attack on character or competence.
Update 4: I'm going to do a new post on the discussion of race and crime.