The transcript of Hillary Clinton’s interview with the editorial board of the New York Daily News runs to nearly 12,000 words—almost an hour’s worth of reading if you wanted to take your time.
But you can skip all that and just read these six words: “I better have something to drink.”
Those words came not from Clinton but from an anonymous member of the feisty New York tabloid’s editorial board, after he or she asked the Democratic presidential candidate about her plan to make college debt-free.
What follows is an extremely detailed back-and-forth about how states and the federal government coordinate college funding, why tuition is increasing across the country, how families receive student aid and what her plan would do to change all this specifically.
And it’s not just that. The transcript shows Clinton going into similar levels of detail about her plans for economic policy, mass incarceration and banking regulations, among other topics.
That’s nothing new. Clinton has always been a wonk’s wonk, but in this case, she’s also looking to one-up Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, who was tripped up by questions over policy details when he met with the Daily News editorial board earlier this month.
To Clinton’s detractors, the more collegial tone of the questioning here is a giveaway that the editorial board is not feeling the Bern. To Clinton’s defenders, the exchange shows that she’s paid attention to the policy enough to understand—and explain—the reasons behind her plan as well as the specific details behind how it works.
It may also provide some insight into why she’s struggling, though. Even people who are paid to do this for a living wonder if they need a drink before a dry discussion of campaign policy.