On the night of the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 election, the campaign of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton took the unusual step of inviting reporters to their campaign headquarters here as 40 campaign staffers eagerly pored over the debate in another room.
“Hillary Clinton wasn’t on the stage, but we think she was the clear winner,” said Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri after the debate, which was dominated by Donald Trump. “We think this was a really destructive night for the Republican Party.”
The former secretary of state herself was not on in the office. She was in Hollywood posing for selfies with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and raising money from Tom Hanks and Usher at a fundraiser at the home of Justin Beiber’s producer.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took a more “Spartan” approach, an aide said, watching the debate at a private home on Capitol Hill. “We’re splurging on pizza,” said spokesperson Michael Briggs. Sanders sat on a couch with a yellow legal pad and called out thoughts he wanted to tweet to staffers nearby.