A Consequential Week Comes to an End, and Rifts Endure

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 7.21.59 AMMAGGIE HABERMAN

Friday, April 8, 2016

Good Friday morning.

What was one of the most consequential weeks in the presidential primaries is finally winding down, after a series of wins, losses and skirmishes that could make it more difficult to put the political parties back together.

On the Democratic side, it was one of the nastiest weeks to date, as Hillary Clinton, back in New York where she served as senator for eight years, strongly implied that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her rival for the nomination, was not qualified for the presidency. Mr. Sanders responded with a searing attack of his own about Mrs. Clinton’s qualifications. Then, on Thursday, Bill Clinton erupted at Black Lives Matter activists while campaigning for his wife in Pennsylvania, as he defended not just his wife’s record, but his own from the 1990s.

Mr. Clinton also defended his wife’s use of the phrase “super-predators” during the 1990s, when crime was rampant.

“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack, and sent them out in the streets to murder other African-American children,” Mr. Clinton said. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens — she didn’t.”

By the evening, both the Sanders and Clinton teams appeared conscious of trying to tamp down their fight. But though Mr. Clinton made his remarks in Pennsylvania, they could still haunt Mrs. Clinton in the New York primary. So could Mr. Sanders’s comments to The Philadelphia Daily News that he is planning for a fight over the party’s platform at the convention.

Still, the rift is nothing compared with what is taking place on the Republican side, as the party committee prepares for the strong likelihood of a contested convention. Donald J. Trump, who seemed thrilled to be back home, will not hold campaign events before Sunday, when he is likely to head to upstate New York. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio will continue working to keep Mr. Trump below 50 percent of the vote in the primary on April 19, to minimize his delegate haul in what will almost certainly be a win.

What We’re Watching Today

Mrs. Clinton will continue her appearances in New York, hosting a round-table discussion on job growth, a rally in Buffalo and another rally in Rochester. Mr. Sanders will appear on the “Today” show, “Morning Joe” and “The View,” and will hold events in Brooklyn.
Mr. Trump will hold a news conference at a golf resort he owns near Los Angeles, while Mr. Kasich will hold town-hall-style events in Syracuse and in Fairfield, Conn.