Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday since 1997.
Hillary Clinton is campaigning in New York State Monday, including appearing with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at a rally in Manhattan celebrating the passage of a minimum-wage increase and a paid family leave law.
Later in the day, the Democratic presidential candidate will hold a rally in the Albany area.
To win big in the April 19 New York Democratic primary, she needs to:
Aim high: Losing to Bernie Sanders, or merely getting past him, could humiliate the state’s former junior senator. It would sap her of momentum as the surprisingly long primary season churns on. She must win a convincingly strong majority, a high bar.
Set aside the script: Even at this late date, it pays to start looking a bit spontaneous. Chewing out that Greenpeace protester won’t hurt among those still open to supporting her. She should hang out a bit, do surprise appearances, get fans’ adrenaline running. The huge crowd for Sanders in the Bronx last week could be a cue.
Skip the ‘roots’ game: Let’s face it. Americans are mobile nowadays. Even if his accent lingers, Sanders left Brooklyn a long time ago. And even if Clinton still sounds like she’s out of Park Ridge, Ill., the Empire State was an important stop for her after Arkansas and Washington. Playing up ‘genuine’ New York-ness, whatever that is, sounds false.
Work the phones: In a “normal” year, which this doesn’t seem to be, Clinton could rely mostly on the state Democratic Party’s movers and shakers to do the job. She has party bigs in her camp, of course, but her campaign must build a broader urgency to get people who care enough out to the polls.
Eyes on November: In her TV and speeches, she’s already cast showy New York billionaire Donald Trump (whose last wedding she attended) as a potential threat to women’s rights, diplomacy and domestic harmony. She can and will put herself forward as the person who will lead “us” to stop the threat. “Us against them” on a macro scale may be her most persuasive pitch.