The tension between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over the latter campaign’s data theft was supposed to explode during Saturday night's Democratic. That didn’t happen.
Here's what did: Sanders admitted his campaign had done “the wrong thing” by looking at the Clinton camp’s data, though he added his staff had a previous opportunity to look at those data and had done “the right thing.” He said he had fired the person responsible. He accused the Democratic National Committee of treating his campaign unfairly in the aftermath of the data theft revelations. Then came the big moment: He apologized to Clinton. Clinton not only accepted, she dismissed it as an important issue in the campaign—an echo of Sanders’ first-debate line that the American people “don’t give a damn” about Clinton’s emails.
And that was it. The conversation moved on to issues of national security and gun regulation, the issue was gone for the evening, and the bitter, personal struggle between Clinton and Sanders that debate watchers were waiting for never happened.
And guess what? It’s probably never going to.
If a face-to-face throwdown full of personal attacks was ever in the cards, they would be on the table already. Both candidates have now had a chance to go for a crushing personal attack—and both not only passed, they came to their rival’s aid: Sanders waived away Clinton’s private email server, Clinton dismissed the Sanders campaign’s data peek as a nonissue. (Yes, their campaigns did some sniping, such as this agressive tweet from a Sanders advisor. But both times when given a high-profile stage for a face-to-face attack, the two played nice.)