I have just finished live tweeting the Democrat debate which aired on CBS from Des Moines, Iowa and here are my observations.
Before I get to the candidates, I will say I thought John Dickerson did a competent job in moderating the debate. He and the panelists (who were Iowa print and broadcast journalists) challenged the candidates without making the show about them.
Bernie Sanders – He was very uncomfortable talking about foreign policy in the wake of the Paris attacks. While Hillary and O’Malley spent their entire opening statements on the Paris attacks, he spent about five seconds on it before moving to the more familiar terrain of millionaires, billionaires, Wall Street and the rigged economy. To give you an idea how out to sea he is on foreign policy he actually said climate change causes terrorism. Tell that to the people of Paris.
Bernie did get under Hillary’s skin though with regard to her Wall Street donations. Although her reaction was over the top, I think she scared him sufficiently that he steered clear of her for the rest of the night apart from when he said we should stay off Hillary’s e-mails for good. Other than that, Bernie supports tuition free college. Well, I’d like to pitch for the Red Sox, but that isn’t going to happen either.
Hillary Clinton – Hillary was in firm command of things until Bernie challenged her on Wall Street campaign contributions. Then out came Shillary. She replied that most of her Wall Street donors were women and then she bizarrely invoked 9/11. But her anger was enough to force Bernie to back off. If Obama were on the debate stage with her, he would have gone in for the kill.
Could Hillary also please explain how reversing liability on gun manufacturers stops mass shootings? In any case, her arguments in favor of reversing liability for gun manufacturers as well as her defense of Obamacare and for Obama’s executive orders on immigration are music to Republican ears. But right now she’s speaking to the ears of Democrats and that’s all that matters for now.
Martin O’Malley – This was his best showing to date. O’Malley woke up the crowd when he called Donald Trump an “immigrant bashing carnival huckster.” He seemed a lot more willing to challenge Hillary than Bernie and mixed it up with her on minimum wage and characterized her Wall Street reform proposals as “weak tea” which “teaed” off Hillary. O’Malley even likened her to Annie Oakley. Unfortunately, most Americans under the age of 50 have no idea who the hell Annie Oakley is. O’Malley doesn’t need a miracle to become the Democrat nominee, he needs an indictment.
The next Democrat debate will take place five weeks from tonight on December 19th in Manchester, New Hampshire and will air on ABC.
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