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Clinton Drives Daily News to Drink

'Wonky' interview with editorial board brings out need for hard stuff

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's answers to the Daily News' questions went into a lot of detail. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's answers to the Daily News' questions went into a lot of detail. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The New York Daily News editorial board got more policy detail from Hillary Clinton than it did from Sen. Bernie Sanders. But it came with a price.  

“I better have something to drink,” one of the interviewers said, after the Democratic presidential candidate began responding to a question about her college affordability plan. She couldn’t have agreed more.  

“Yes, something stronger maybe,” she said, before launching into a long and detailed explanation of how her proposed New College Compact would work. The setting was the Manhattan newsroom of the Daily News last week. The one-hour and 17-minute interview that followed went into the sort of nitty-gritty usually reserved for C-SPAN 3.  

Sanders was panned for giving vague and shallow answers to the Daily News editorial board on April 1. There would be no such criticism for the former secretary of state.  

“Look, I’m excited about this stuff. I’m kind of a wonky person. I’m excited by it,” Clinton said as she wrapped up her granular explanation of how a National Infrastructure Bank would invest in bridges, roads and other neglected parts of the U.S. landscape.  

That was the Daily News’ prompt to contrast her college plan with that of Sanders, who has proposed tuition-free college and enjoys wide support among young people.  

“Get excited about your college plan now,” she was asked. Clinton then laid out her plan, which aims to provide tuition assistance through a combination of work-study programs, states investing in education and stanching the increase in tuition hikes, by building up public institutions so they accept more students from humbler circumstances, and revamping the financial aid process and touting community colleges.  

Her roughly 1,500-word explanation didn’t quite have the ring of Sanders’ “free tuition” — two words that are simple to understand in a political campaign.  

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