Old Foes Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Team Up to Woo the Kids

Old Foes Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Team Up to Woo the Kids.DURHAM, N.H. — Election Day has drawn too near now for Hillary Clinton to bother with understatement.

Her backdrop on Wednesday, for an event with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont about college affordability, included 17 renderings of the phrase “debt-free college.”

She spoke conspicuously of “my friend Bernie Sanders,” looking out on a student-heavy crowd inside a university field house here, and wrapped her former rival in a warm embrace from the stage.

Both insisted they would be the best of partners — the leader of a nascent left-wing movement and the woman who withstood it to seize the Democratic nomination — if only the voters would give them the chance.

“None of this will happen if you all don’t turn out to vote,” Mrs. Clinton said, as Mr. Sanders nodded from his seat behind her. “None of it.”

Eleven weeks into an unlikely political union, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders have settled into a workable rhythm.

They may not love each other. They may not always demonstrate much chemistry. But they are determined to present a united front for the sake of the kids. Or, at least, prospective voters ages 18 to 29.

The ostensible focus on Wednesday was Mrs. Clinton’s education platform, which has absorbed many of Mr. Sanders’s ideas from the primaries. Among other policies, she has called for the elimination of tuition at in-state public colleges and universities for families with annual incomes up to $125,000, as well as an effort to make college debt-free for all.

In a pair of speeches and a panel discussion at the University of New Hampshire, the two Democrats hammered those subjects and several more, like climate change, that seemed aimed at young voters who flocked to Mr. Sanders early on but have remained wary of Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Sanders took the microphone first, in fighting form, thrashing Donald J. Trump’s proposals to grant tax breaks to wealthy Americans and conveying his eagerness to work with a “President Clinton.”

“Is everybody here ready to transform America?” he asked, to roars. “You’ve come to the right place.”

Moments later, he blessed their shared plans with an adjective he had used often in his bid for the nomination. “This,” he said, “is a revolutionary proposal for the future of our country.”

If Mr. Sanders’s rhetorical signature is soaring promises with a Brooklyn timbre, Mrs. Clinton tends more toward wry amusement. “Isn’t this one of the strangest elections you’ve ever seen?” she asked.

Repeatedly, she preached the importance of showing up at the polls, pointing out signs saying, “I will vote,” and coaxing the crowd to a round of applause for same-day voter registration.

At one point, a chant broke out, amplified by several former Sanders supporters in the room: “I believe that she will win.”

Still, the Clinton-Sanders union, like any shotgun partnership, has encountered occasional strain.


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