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Halperin, Heilemann Jab Clinton for Obsessively Stage-Managed Events

• September 14, 2015 7:00 pm

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Bloomberg co-hosts Mark Halperin and John Heilemann poked fun at Hillary Clinton on Monday, contrasting her meticulously-orchestrated campaign events to those of rival candidate Bernie Sanders.

Sanders drew praise from the pair for giving a speech at Liberty University, a Christian college that is typically seen as a Republican safe haven.

"The guy just went into the lion's den and did a great job," Halperin said.

Halperin and Heilemann joked about the advance work that would go into a Clinton visit to Liberty.

"I'm sure his campaign has discussions both before and after, but can you imagine if Hillary Clinton was thinking about going to Liberty University?" Halperin said. "She would have hundreds of hours of meetings."

"And they would have rewritten her speech 437 times. It would have been a nightmare of cobbled-together speechifying," Heilemann added, in a nod to the thin gruel Clinton typically serves in her public addresses.

Heilemann said that Sanders' consistent socialist message and willingness to speak to ideologically diverse audiences explain why he has generated "so much more enthusiasm than Hillary Clinton has been able to muster."

Sanders' red meat progressivism has drawn huge audiences of Democratic voters who are disaffected with Clinton because of her scandals and coziness with big corporations.

While Clinton maintains a lead over her competitors in national polls, Sanders has surged past her in the New Hampshire primary and is gaining in Iowa. An NBC/Marist poll has Sanders up nine over Clinton in New Hampshire. Clinton leads by 11 in Iowa, although that number has shrunk by seven points in just two months.