The only way to truly gain street cred with New Yorkers is to show them that you understand the source of their deepest daily misery. So if presidential candidates want to win New York City, they gotta go underground.
It all started last week when Bernie Sanders—a Brooklyn native (Flatbush, specifically) who later moved to Vermont—was interviewed by the New York Daily News editorial board. It was all going okay until they asked about his public transportation habits:
Daily News: I know you’ve got to go in a second. When was the last time you rode the subway? Are you gonna a campaign in the subway?
Sanders: Actually we rode the subway, Mike, when we were here? About a year ago? But I know how to ride the subways. I’ve been on them once or twice.
Daily News: Do you really? Do you really? How do you ride the subway today?
Sanders: What do you mean, “How do you ride the subway?”
Daily News: How do you get on the subway today?
Sanders: You get a token and you get in.
Daily News: Wrong.
Sanders: You jump over the turnstile.
Daily News: We would like our photographer to be there when you jump over the turnstile.
Bernie! To be fair, Sanders has an incredibly detailed transportation proposal that includes a plan for $1 trillion (TRILLION) to be spent on fixing US transit infrastructure—namely urban subway systems and high speed rail. Hillary Clinton has a $275 billion plan.
Although Sanders recovered well, that gaffe certainly gave Clinton—also a former New Yorker, depending on who you ask!—the perfect window in which to demonstrate her public transit prowess.
This morning, Clinton showed us all that she was truly of the people by taking the subway. Except, um:
Someone asked her the last time she rode the subway, and she estimated it had been “a year, year and a half?” She did manage to get a pretty good dig in at Sanders, however:
“I think it was my first term when we changed from tokens to MetroCards.”
She’s right! Sick burn, Hills!
Then she boarded a Bronx-bound 4 train and rode it... one stop. Presidential candidates, they’re just like us!
Now I want to see them race on Citi Bikes.