Hillary Clinton speaks at the start of the Democratic presidential candidates debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 13, 2015. (EPA/JOSH HANER/THE NEW YORK TIMES/POOL)
Editorial page editor

Hillary Clinton had a good debate, as most everyone agrees. She came across as smart but not smarmy, tough but engaging, principled but not dogmatic.

But I wish she had answered Anderson Cooper’s final question differently.

“Which enemy are you most proud of?” Cooper asked all five candidates, and all five dutifully provided answers. Clinton cited the National Rifle Association, health insurance and drug companies, the Iranians and “probably the Republicans.”

Here’s what she might have said.

“Well, Anderson, there are plenty of folks who might think of me as their enemy: the NRA, the health insurance and drug companies, Iran and probably the Republicans. But you know what? Thinking of people we disagree with as ‘enemies’ is one of the things that’s wrong with Washington today. I’ve disagreed with those interest groups plenty, and I certainly will continue to disagree with the Republican Party on pretty much every issue. But they’re not my enemy. They’re Americans, with a different philosophy, and when I’m president I’m going to do my best to work with them and get things done.”

I think that would have been good for the country, and smart politics too.