By GINA C. PECORA /

I sometimes tune in to watch Andrea Mitchell’s show on MSNBC because she has a fair reputation for how she treats the news. But when she was talking with Jose Diaz-Balart today about the exchange with the Latino woman at the Democratic Town Hall last night, whose husband had been deported for 10 years, I felt Mitchell either missed the boat or was intentionally padding the Hillary support. I realize that most Washington insiders feel that Clinton has the better chance in the general, but I am really surprised at this one bit of reporting today because it made Mitchell sound very naive.

Maybe that is a persona she adopts from time to time in order to serve another purpose; but for my part, I was outraged last night to begin with at how that whole first question was handled by the media and then, predictably I might add, by Clinton. Sanders won the coin toss and went first. This automatically sets up the opportunity for the following candidate to one up him on the topics that were brought up in his segment.

The woman asked when and how he would enact policies to bring her husband home. And she interrupted his answer as well, in order to press the question of “when”; so he had to splice his answer in by saying that it would also depend on Congress to act, even though he said he would make it a priority. I don’t believe the other candidate ought to be allowed to watch the first candidate’s Q&A if it gives them the benefit of forming a more studied response when it is their turn.

 Just for the record, at that moment Clinton did not offer anything better or different than Sanders had. She just shouted it louder.

In the first place, Clinton herself was never asked the question directly, which means that she did use her speaking second status to take advantage of the format to intrude herself into the topic and make it appear that she was more empathetic to the woman and her plight. Just for the record, at that moment Clinton did not offer anything better or different than Sanders had. She just shouted it louder. But that doesn’t mean her efforts would be more effective than his. When pressed later on by Diaz-Bolart to set a timeline on helping Latino causes, Clinton seemed compelled to answer that she would propose it within the first hundred days of her administration. She insisted the “legislation would be introduced” within that time period because these causes were so important to her. Balart asked her to reaffirm that, and Clinton seemed almost desperate to do so.

For his part, Sanders also missed the opportunity to link the theme of his campaign of grassroots activation of voters to how soon he could effectively address the woman’s issue. He did say that Congress would have to act, but his premise has consistently been that enough voters can motivate Congress to act. This could have been linked to an effective response to the woman’s question.

But it was unfair of Mitchell to contrast, as she did, the compassion of Hillary’s supposed outreach to the woman, and Sen. Sanders’ failure to do so. Clinton had a full half hour or more to form that response after viewing Sanders’ impromptu exchange on the question.

Young people are not gravitating to Hillary because they sense this manipulation of the facts and circumstances. This type of grand standing is evident to them. They are drawn instead to someone with passion, but who doesn’t feel the need to impress people with inflated rhetoric and over the top style.

And I would like Mitchell to refrain from making transparently naïve or partisan observations on situations such as last night’s, and to give a more insightful analysis on what is a complex scene.