Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Meet Again — in the Senate
On Tuesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont ran into each other in Washington at a meeting of the Senate Democratic Caucus, of which Mrs. Clinton used to be a member. The two candidates were warm and friendly.
Mrs. Clinton praised Mr. Sanders for the enthusiasm his campaign has brought to the race. He returned the compliments.
The meeting prompted Mr. Sanders, whose big crowds and soaring poll numbers have thrown the Clinton campaign a curveball, to reminisce about their friendship.
“I have known Secretary Clinton for 25 year, since she was first lady,” Mr. Sanders said in a statement. “I served with her in the Senate. I like and respect Hillary Clinton, but … ”
There’s always a “but” with these things, and in Mr. Sanders’s case, it includes a laundry list of issues on which the candidates disagree.
He said he and Mrs. Clinton had “differences of opinion” that he hoped to debate in a “serious discussion.” Then he listed almost every hot-button issue igniting the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, including:
Trade Agreements: Mr. Sanders hates them; Mrs. Clinton is lukewarm, depending on the fine print.
The War in Iraq: He always opposed the war; she was for it before she was against it.
The Patriot Act: He voted against it; she voted for it as a senator and has been mostly mum about N.S.A. bulk data collection since.
Keystone XL Pipeline: Mr. Sanders strongly opposes the contentious North American oil pipeline loathed by environmentalists; Mrs. Clinton has not spoken out for or against the project, beyond voicing her general concerns about climate change.
Wall Street: He wants to see the big banks broken up and the 1933 Glass-Steagall regulatory provision reinstated; she wants increased regulation on banks and the so-called shadow banking industry of hedge funds and high-frequency trading, but she has not advocated to reinstate Glass-Steagall or break up the big banks (and is unlikely to do so).
Minimum Wage: He wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour; she has said that she, too, wants to raise the minimum wage, but has not specifically called for $15 an hour.
Debt-Free College: He has proposed a plan that would make public colleges and universities tuition free by putting into affect a financial transaction tax; she has pushed to make college “as debt-—free as possible,” but has not specified how and has not endorsed the financial transaction tax.
Other than that, it was just a friendly encounter between two old colleagues who ran into each other on a Tuesday afternoon in Washington.