Primarily a New York State of Mind

New York may be the city that never sleeps, but it sure is the city (and the state) that likes to vote. The presidential primaries came to New York yesterday, and the results may just be a turning point in the campaign.
As expected, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won big, and they acted like winners. They also put on their best presidential personae during their victory speeches.
It was more pronounced in the case of the front-running Republican, Donald Trump, who in previous primaries advertised his golf courses, steaks and wine, slammed his opponents and mocked the media. This time he gave a short 8-minute speech, thanked everybody, called his rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, by their respective titles, Senator and Governor, instead of “Lying Ted” and “Absentee Governor,” and was kind to the media. (Photo above by Jabin Botsford, The Washington Post)
As one CNN commentator said: “It was a fundamentally different Donald Trump” on his Big Apple stage – Trump Tower. His only dismissal of his main rival, Ted Cruz, was more of a boast than a sledge: “We don’t have much of a race anymore, based on what I see on television. Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated. . . . We’re really, really rocking.”
And he was rocking. He stepped out on the Trump Tower platform to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” and as we all know if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. With nearly all the votes counted, Trump won 60 per cent of the ballot, compared to 25.2 per cent for Kasich, and 14.8 per cent for Cruz. He now has 845 delegates to 559 for Cruz, and he needs 1237 to secure the nomination.
Trump warned the Republican establishment: “Nobody can take the election away from us,” saying the system was rigged. He suggested if he didn’t reach the magic 1237 number by the July convention, but got close, he deserved the nomination. CNN’s numbers man, John King, said he might even get there if he wins the five East Coast primaries next week, and can keep up his streak all the way to California on June 7. He was supremely confident in his hometown: “I can think of nowhere I’d rather have this victory.”
A distant third, Ted Cruz campaigned in Philadelphia, the major city in Pennsylvania, whose primary will be held on April 26. Cruz made a plea to the city’s Republicans: “Join me on this journey of less talk and more action because I know you may have been knocked down, but America has always been best when she is lying down with her back on the mat and the crowd has given the final count. It is time for us to get up, shake it off and be who we were destined to be.”
For Hillary Clinton, a senator in New York for 8 years, her victory over Bernie Sanders was particularly satisfying, telling her supporters in Manhattan: “You have today proved once again, there’s no place like home.” She added: “The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch, and victory is in sight.” (Photo above by Melina Mara, The Washington Post.) And after a bitter slanging match with Sanders leading up to the primary, Clinton took on a presidential air and held out an olive branch to Bernie: “I believe there is much more that unites us than divides us.”
Her speech to the party faithful was longer than Donald Trump’s but as in past primaries, she was giving her stump address about barriers, in contrast to her Republican rival: “He’s been so against everything America stands for … so instead of building walls we are going to break down barriers.” In an emotional ending, she praised Erika Smegielski, the daughter of the principal of Sandy Hook elementary school, Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in the mass shooting in Connecticut in 2012. Clinton said Erika has become an advocate for gun control, and “turned her sadness into a strategy and her mourning into a movement.” Let’s hope Hillary continues to push for gun safety, especially when the National Rifle Association takes aim at her.
Hillary Clinton got over a million votes, 57.9 per cent, to more than 750,000, or 42.1 per cent of the vote for Bernie Sanders. She has 1,893 delegates to 1,180 for Sanders, and needs 2,383 to become the Democratic nominee. The 74-year-old Senator from Vermont gave no sign he was about to quit, telling reporters: “Today we took Secretary Clinton on in her own state of New York and we lost. There are five primaries next week. We think we’re going to do well.”
Born in Brooklyn, Sanders tried to capture voters with a campaign ad
linking him to the Democrats’ legendary leader, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The narrator said over footage of the former president: “Even when the deck is stacked, a New Yorker will find a way to break up big banks, create millions of jobs and rebuild America. Some say it can’t be done again. But another native son of New York is ready: Bernie.”
Both Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz have mountains to climb if they have any hope of catching up to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
Barring unforeseen events, always possible in this bizarre primary season, Clinton and Trump are likely to emerge as their parties’ respective nominees, and fight one of the dirtiest political campaigns in US history.
Let the mayhem begin.
PS Or Americans can listen to the wise counsel of President Barack Obama. This was his reaction to the Trump triumph: “Last night’s results should be a wake-up call to all of us.”

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