Hillary Clinton has a few things to say about her former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In “Hillary,” a four-part Hulu documentary series premiering at this week’s Sundance Film Festival, the former presidential candidate expresses her irritation with the independent from Vermont, dismissing his track record as a senator and noting the “vitriol” of his supporters.
“Honestly, Bernie just drove me crazy,” she says in an interview early in the second episode. “He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him [in the 2016 primary]. Nobody likes him. Nobody wants to work with him. He got nothing done. He was a career politician. He did not work until he was like 41, and then he got elected to something. It was all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”
Though Clinton is no longer running for public office, Sanders is among the front-runners in the Democratic presidential primary, with the first contest, the Iowa caucuses, set for Feb. 3. Clinton is on the trail with another high-profile project, promoting the Hulu documentary, which the streaming service plans to launch in March — at a time when the Democratic nomination could be all but decided.
Clinton’s comments have gone public on the heels of a week in which infighting between Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts dominated campaign coverage. The candidates disagreed about whether Sanders had once said that a woman couldn’t win the presidency. The tensions came to a head during an exchange, recorded by a hot microphone, at the end of Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Des Moines.
The Hulu series cuts between intimate video of Clinton and her inner circle on the campaign trail in 2016 and the story of her journey from a conservative family to becoming a controversially outspoken first lady and, ultimately, the first woman nominated for the presidency on a major party ticket. Director Nanette Burstein conducted dozens of hours of interviews for the documentary, which also features commentary from friends, advisors, journalists and family members, including husband Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton. The interviews with Hillary in the documentary were filmed over three sit-down meetings beginning in November 2018.
Burstein had access to extensive video of Clinton and her team throughout the bruising 2016 primary campaign against Sanders and the unpredictable general election campaign against Donald Trump. “Hillary” captures the former secretary of State in unguarded moments speaking candidly about the burden of being a woman in politics and venting her frustration with what she sees as Sanders’ unrealistic promises. “I do suffer from a responsibility gene,” she says of her unwillingness to campaign on policies such as free college tuition. “I don’t like to say something that I’m going to do that I know is not doable.”
At one point, while backstage getting ready for a campaign appearance, she asks, “Do you think anyone talks to Bernie Sanders about his goddamn shoes?” She later bemoans the many hours she spent having her hair and makeup done. (By her count, at least 25 days on the campaign.)
In a discussion with her advisor Jake Sullivan about the rising tide of populist anger among voters, Clinton says, “there is a level of vitriol” among Sanders’ supporters: “This is the strangest election,” she says. “The turmoil and disillusion and discouragement and anger and all of that.”
“Hillary” also touches on other difficult chapters from Clinton’s decades in public life, most notably her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment scandal that ensued.
The series will be available to stream beginning March 6 — three days after Super Tuesday.