2016-04-28 / Opinion


Will Hillary Hold a Grudge?

Leave it to Rhode Island to confound the nation’s political pundits. After all, wasn’t Hillary Clinton like a favorite daughter here in the Ocean State? With a week or so to go before Rhode Island’s 2016 Democratic presidential primary, the polls showed her comfortably ahead of Vermonter Bernie Sanders, everyone’s favorite next door neighbor.

A few days before the election, the polls began to show things tightening a bit. But just a bit. Nothing to fret about.

And then—wham! On a night when the former Secretary of State was winning the other four primary contests, all in the Northeast, Mr. Sanders delivered not a knockout blow, but surely a reminder that, as Yogi Berra so correctly observed, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

Mr. Sanders did not just squeak past Mrs. Clinton in the Ocean State. He won big, as these things go, clobbering Mrs. Clinton 55 percent to 43 percent on a night when she and her followers could just look past us here because the results were so much better elsewhere.

For what it’s worth, Newport County seemed to march in step with the rest of Rhode Island in opting for Mr. Sanders and his down-with- Wall Street, no-tuition-at-public-colleges campaign rhetoric. Mr. Sanders won in Newport with 56 percent of the vote to Mrs. Clinton’s 42 percent. In Middletown, it was 57 percent to 41 percent. Portsmouth went for the Green Mountain fellow by 57-42, and in Tiverton it was 55-43, according to the Rhode Island Board of Elections.

Voters right here in Newport County pretty much had the same election day feelings as the rest of the state.

For Mrs. Clinton, we guess she will have little or no trouble at all looking past her Rhode Island surprise. At least for the short run. As they like to say—over and over on CNN—the math just no longer works for Mr. Sanders nationally. We wonder, though, should she defeat Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in November, whether newly-elected President Hillary Clinton will have a long memory of what happened to her campaign bandwagon here on April 26, 2016.

Under similar circumstances, politicians often do have long memories. Mrs. Clinton does not, at least publicly, seem to be the vindictive sort. And, at least up to April 26, she seemed to enjoy a pleasant relationship with Rhode Island and its people.

Here in the nation’s smallest state, we can only hope that she does not hold a grudge.

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