Getting ready for the Democrat Debate: the first one I’ve been interested in

In about 30 minutes the Democratic debate starts. Yes, as stated earlier, Hillary Clinton remains the heavy favorite but there is at least a hint of competition. The Clinton campaign has noticed:

Emphasis mine:

As the Democratic rivals prepare for what is likely to be a contentious televised debate on Sunday night, the Clintons are particularly concerned that her “rational message,” in the words of an aide, is not a fit with a restless Democratic primary electorate. Allies and advisers of the Clintons say Mr. Sanders is clearly connecting with voters through his emotional, inspiring rallying cry that the American economic and political systems are rigged for the wealthy and powerful. By contrast, Mrs. Clinton has laid out an ambitious policy agenda, but more recently has been stressing her electability and questioning the costs of Mr. Sanders’s ideas.


“Hillary is a pragmatic progressive — she’s not an advocate,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont, who last week campaigned in Iowa for Mrs. Clinton over his home-state senator Mr. Sanders. “She quietly pulls people together and gets things done. Even though that’s not in vogue right now, I think that’s what voters will want in the end.”

But Mrs. Clinton’s problems are broader than just her message: Opinion polls show that some Democrats and other voters continue to question her trustworthiness and whether she cares about their problems. Recent polls show that her once-formidable lead over Mr. Sanders in Iowa has all but vanished, while he is holding on to a slight lead over her in New Hampshire.

Mrs. Clinton and her team say they always anticipated the race would tighten, with campaign manager Robby Mook telling colleagues last spring that Mr. Sanders would be tough competition. Yet they were not prepared for Mr. Sanders to become so popular with young people and independents, especially women, whom Mrs. Clinton views as a key part of her base.

I agree. It is strange but back in 2008, I preferred Obama, but for a different reason than most others preferred him. I was sizing up two “read every white paper on the subject” candidates and chose the more professorial one. Others liked his charismatic, “Hope and Change” slogan. That wasn’t MY reason.

Now many who were for Obama are now for Sanders…and yet I remain with the “read every white paper” candidate. I want results, not slogans.

A pro-Clinton website article goes on in a similar fashion, adding that Sanders hasn’t fallen under the harsh spotlight as yet:

Bernie Sanders has gotten this far in the 2016 Presidential race largely due what amounts to the rare political free pass. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has been hesitant to point out any of his various weaknesses, or punch holes in his simplistic math-challenged proposals, or delve into the numerous bizarre question marks about his personal life, because she’s feared coming across as mean spirited. The media has been hesitant to punch Sanders out of the race because it benefits from the ratings his unusual campaign brings. And the republicans won’t touch him because they’re praying they get to run against him in the general election. But now Bernie has gotten just far enough that he’s about to be properly vetted for the first time in his political life.

Sanders has almost uniquely benefited from a perfect storm of circumstances in which no one on any side of him has wanted to criticize him, or point out his increasingly obvious weak spots as a candidate. That’s helped him tremendously, because his base largely consists of those who are too politically naive to know if his policies are realistic or not, or if he really has any idea what he’s talking about. When they see that there’s been a near total lack of criticism of him, they take it as a sign that their enthusiasm for him is validated.

Nevermind that Bernie Sanders still has yet to release his long promised health care plan, or that he can’t give straight answers on taxes, or that his understanding of foreign policy is on an elementary school level at best, or that he’s too politically unsavvy to ever figure out how to work with (or work around) congress on any of his proposals. Nevermind that Bernie’s political incompetence would probably cost liberals and democrats most of the gains they worked so hard to achieve during President Obama’s tenure.

And nevermind that Sanders never held a job before the age of forty, and had an illegitimate child, and apparently collected unemployment benefits improperly, and that he admits to having once written and published rape fantasy essay in the Vermont Freeman. These personal issues all occurred decades ago, and may or may not be relevant to his current suitability as President.


Bottom line: Hillary Clinton’s negatives are out there for all to see. So far, those of Bernie Sanders are not. Now, the “rape fantasy essay” charge, while “true”, is a bit ridiculous. It was fiction. A child out of wedlock: maybe I don’t care (so long as he supported it) but, again, I want the playing field to be fair, at least in terms of negatives.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting.

I am actually looking forward to this Democratic debate..for the first time in this cycle.


January 18, 2016 - Posted by | 2016, Democrats, politics | , , ,

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