She came swinging immediately out of the gate, saying Sanders was out of his depth on foreign policy and unable to talk about it "without having some paper in front of him."
In one sentence, she summed up her argument: "It's easy to diagnose the problem; it's harder to do something about the problem."
Clinton landed blows once again on guns. "He kept his word to the NRA," she said of Sanders. And she delivered one of the loudest applause lines of the entire night by noting that throughout so many debates, "We've not had one question about a woman's right to make her own decisions about abortion."
Jewish voters make up nearly 1 of every 7 New York Democratic primary voters, according to a new NBC News poll, and Israel emerged as a key issue between Clinton and Sanders.
The candidates played against type on the Israeli-Palestinian debate, with Sanders, who is Jewish, speaking up for the rights of Palestinians, while the more hawkish Clinton advocated for Israel's conservative government. The argument at times was a toxic well of lefty political debates, with each adopting positions that would be familiar to any college dorm room debater.
Sander criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rigidity. And he knocked Clinton for devoting so little time to the plight of Palestinians in her recent speech to AIPAC, the Jewish lobby group that Sanders snubbed last month by declining to speak to them.
Clinton defended Netanyahu — his job is "very difficult," she said — and said the U.S. should engage in the region only "without ever undermining Israel's security."
New York State of Mind
Sanders, with his outer-borough accent, declares his origin with every word he speaks. But he reserved direct appeals for his closing argument. "I grew up in Brooklyn the son of an immigrant," he said, telling his family's story.