Journalists have followed the presidential candidates all over the country for almost a year, but the White House hopefuls have spent much of the last two weeks in the media capital of the world, competing for votes ahead of Tuesday’s New York primaries. On issues big and small, they’ve been through the gauntlet.
Before New Yorkers head to the polls, let’s re-live some of the media moments we’ll remember from that time the campaign trail wound through the Big Apple.
Bernie Sanders’s bumbling interview with the New York Daily News
The Daily News has attracted lots of attention throughout the campaign for explosive front pages (more on that later). But in the run-up to voting in New York, it was the tabloid’s endorsement interview with Sanders that got everyone talking.
In his conversation with the Daily News editorial board, the senator from Vermont appeared to have an alarmingly shallow understanding of how some of his core proposals would actually work. He seemed unable to explain how he would break up big banks or prosecute the Wall Street executives responsible for the financial meltdown of 2008.
Larry David spoofed Sanders’s vagueness on (New York-based) “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend.
Hillary Clinton’s subway misadventure
The next president won’t need to be able to operate a turnstile to enter the White House, but the absence of any practical importance didn’t stop Clinton’s struggle in the New York subway from playing over and over online and on television news.
Besides being funny, Clinton’s MetroCard mishap embodied a common complaint about politicians — that they pander to local audiences by doing things that they would otherwise never do in their not-at-all-normal lives.
“I love it ’cause it’s so convenient,” Clinton said of riding the subway. “It is just the best way to get around.”
No one believes or expects that a former secretary of state and first lady would take public transportation. So why do it? Because New York, apparently.
John Kasich’s inexcusable decision to eat pizza with a fork
At a pizza parlor in Queens, cameras captured the Ohio governor using a fork to eat his slice.
Kasich’s problem here was essentially Clinton’s in reverse; instead of being ridiculed for trying to look like a common man, he was mocked for appearing so high-brow as to need a fork to consume finger food.
Fork-gate was so scandalous as to require an explanation on “Good Morning America.” He explained: “The pizza came scalding hot, okay?”
Donald Trump’s secret meeting with Megyn Kelly
It sure wasn’t a secret for very long, but Kelly’s visit to Trump Tower for a sit-down with the Republican front-runner last week signaled a possible cease-fire in the most viciously one-sided media war of the campaign.
After MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin spotted Kelly entering the Trump building “incognito,” fellow journalists wondered what the candidate and his chosen nemesis might have talked about.
The Fox News Channel host, whom Trump has targeted for nasty criticism since the first GOP debate in August, told viewers Wednesday that she requested the meeting, cleared the air, and pitched a one-on-one interview.
“I hope we will have news to announce on that soon,” Kelly said on her program.
Ted Cruz’s ride on the FU train
The New York Daily News followed up the Sanders interview with its true specialty — a scathing cover. This one ripped Cruz for his remark in a radio interview way back in January that Trump “embodies New York values.”
Cruz has tried over and over to explain what he meant — that he didn’t intend to insult all New Yorkers. “When I talk about New York values, what I’m talking about are the liberal Democrats who have been, frankly, hurting the people of New York over and over again,” he said during a CNN town hall event last week.
But the Daily News — and others in New York — haven’t been willing to give the senator from Texas a pass.