Flanked by supporters, including former New York Mayor David Dinkins, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton celebrates after winning the New York primary election.
Hillary Clinton’s party Tuesday night in a Manhattan hotel ballroom didn’t only celebrate her thumping win in the New York Democratic presidential primary. It also included criticisms of her vanquished opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Clinton herself was initially gracious in her victory speech. “To all the people who supported Sen. Sanders,” she said, “I believe there is much more that unites us than divides us.”
But this triumphant politician omitted the pro forma congratulations on a race well run that winning candidates typically extend to losers. And Clinton soon segued into a dig at a rival who has clearly rankled her. “Under the bright lights of New York, we have seen it’s not enough to diagnose problems,” she said in an unmistakable reference to Sanders. “You have to solve them.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Clinton backer who preceded her to the podium, took a similar shot at the defeated challenger. “In New York,” Cuomo intoned, “we don’t just talk the progressive talk; we walk the progressive walk.”
The evening’s most direct attack on Sanders was delivered by former New York mayor David Dinkins, who is 88. He told a cheering crowd: “The Sanders campaign makes empty promises and calls for a revolution without a plan.”
Some of Clinton’s less-prominent supporters drew more positive contrasts between their candidate and the insurgent. “Bernie’s policies and stands are admirable,” said Jacqueline Stewart, a volunteer for the Clinton campaign. “He’s a concept guy, but I want someone who gets things done.”
Manhattan attorney Noah Mamis also praised Sanders for “keeping Hillary honest and pushing her to the left.” Mamis suggested, however, that Clinton is more likely than Sanders to achieve the goals that he said they share.
Mamis is the brother of Josh Mamis, who worked in the 1980s as editor of the Vermont Vanguard, a forerunner of Seven Days.
Clinton, he added, has been the target of “a lot of really misogynistic attacks over the past decades.”
Volunteer Kathy Green cited Clinton’s gender as an important factor. “I want a woman in the White House — for future generations and for us right now,” Green said. “She’s also more qualified than any guy.”
“I’m with her!” the audience chanted throughout the evening, alternating at times with “Madam President!” The celebrants also joined Clinton in reciting one of the tag lines of her campaign: “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”
Craig Buckley, a Manhattan resident wearing an “Out for Hillary” T-shirt, dismissed doubts about her credibility. “I trust her completely,” Buckley declared.
But what about her change of positions on same-sex marriage — from opposition to support?
“I don’t view it as changing,” Buckley replied. “I view it as evolving.”