For a little over 30 minutes Monday, inside Boston’s historic Old South Meeting House, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called out specific people for commendation or condemnation. One person she did not mention was her primary opponent, US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Twice, Clinton referred to her “esteemed opponent” with whom she disagrees on free college education and guns. But unlike her campaign speeches of just a week ago, in the hours before the Nevada Democratic caucuses, she refrained from calling Sanders out by name.
Following her win in Nevada, a blowout win South Carolina last Saturday, and with big expectations for Super Tuesday, Clinton appeared to look past Sanders to focus on her potential Republican opponents.
Clinton spoke Monday to a capacity audience of 650 of supporters and press packed into the historic venue, as another 1,000 people listened outside. She was introduced by Attorney General Maura Healey and Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
She addressed the need to preserve the Affordable Care Act, pass comprehensive immigration reform, create jobs and take on the gun lobby. She also talked at length about problems with contaminated water in Flint, Mich.
“A child in Flint is just as precious as a child in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, or New Orleans.”
Among the 11 states holding a Democratic primary or caucus on Tuesday, Massachusetts has emerged as a battleground. Both Clinton and Sanders — as well as former president Bill Clinton — are holding events in the state, and it will be Sanders’ second trip to Massachusetts in a week.
Massachusetts could serve as something of a last stand for Sanders. His campaign is behind Clinton in the delegate count and claims it has a shot at winning just five states on Tuesday, with Massachusetts being the biggest delegate prize.
However, over the past week Clinton has been the one with momentum. A week ago a Public Policy Polling gave Sanders a seven-point lead in Massachusetts. Polls later in the week show the race tied. A Suffolk University poll released Monday morning showed Clinton up by 8 percentage points.