Last night in Nevada, luck was a lady as Hillary Clinton won the first 2016 Democratic debate with a hand up from Bernie Sanders and three also rans, who are already being primed for the political glue factory. It was Hillary’s night as she rode hard on President Obama’s coattails while retouching her scandal spotted
coat in bright, progressive colors. She will need several more layers to keep the primer coat from dripping but she virtually rubbed against Sanders all night to steal some of Bernie’s lefty luster. Clinton actually referred to herself as a progressive! The moment Bernie will rue appears below as he lets Hill off the hook for her LMAO email scandal. Is there something there? Here’s just a little background.
Though formally fair haired Speaker heir apparent Kevin McCarthy admitted that the Benghazi hearings exist to dent Clinton’s poll numbers, the email issue has weight. The FBI is still combing through her massive electronic trove to see if classified material was kept on her private server. Several classified messages have already been found, though Clinton claims that they were classified retroactively. Regardless, Hillary has a Sanders sound bite that gives her a pass on the whole thing. The email story is tied to Clinton’s honesty, or lack of same. Bernie just polished it up without even being asked. Bernie wants to talk issues but you don’t buddy up to your opponent if you want to win the Oval Office. Nice guys lose debates.
Sanders’ stump speech was virtually unchanged for the first debate but Hillary was in full chameleon mode from the gun. She presented swatch after swatch of shifting coloration while Sanders challenged her too little and cozied up to Clinton too much. “It’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so it doesn’t run amok.” Hillary said. Sanders rightly hit the banking collapse and the too rich bailout the banks received as people lost their life savings and homes otherwise. Bernie showed his accustomed passion for the issues but he needs to work on his jab to keep Hillary from stealing his identity. Husband Bill taught her how to swipe issues to claim as her own when it benefits her. As to intangibles, Clinton checked off every box. She sounded confident and her debate experience showed through again and again.
Bernie has earned props for not going negative but with the biggest PAC funded kitty in the race, Hillary has plenty of black powder in store. If Bernie won’t go negative with the presumptive nominee, then he at least needs to be a little less positive where his prime opponent is concerned. The good news for the Feel the Bern crowd is that their small donations are all but matching Hill’s corporate haul. Sanders added that his average donation is thirty bucks and that he was the only candidate on stage who was not a millionaire.
The three other horses in this race were barely visible, with the exception of ex Maryland governor Mark O’Malley. His performance would have thrust him into the spotlight any other year not called 2015. He claimed credibility on The Black Lives Matter movement, though proof of his contentions was fleeting. He threw the classic Democrat fire that worked in the last century. When O’Malley challenged Hillary directly on her vote to invade Iraq in 2002, Clinton purred, “I was very pleased when Governor O’Malley endorsed me in 2008.” Clinton has the advantage of having been seeking the Oval Office the longest and she knows the book on every opponent.
Jim Webb moaned about being shorted on time all night instead of asserting himself when it was most needed. Taking care to point out more than once that he fought in Vietnam, Webb played to his foreign policy strengths and showed mastery there. Anderson Cooper kept things moving and did not let his charges get away with not answering questions. Still, the podium holders were too deferential to Cooper’s glare and his horned rim glasses made him even more forbidding. Bernie needs to be more clear and direct on the gun issue. Here, Anderson calls him out on it.
Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee was a well meaning cypher who nearly floated off thanks to his lack of any true weight. When he challenged Clinton on her Iraq war vote and Cooper invited Hillary to respond, she stated with a dismissive smile, “No.” Chafee was utterly feckless and he has changed his political affiliation like other people change trash can liners. Clinton tolerated him like a toddler who wanted to pretend to drive her car. Chafee needs to retire to his estate in Rhode Island and stay out of his wife’s way. After all, she may have things to do during the day. As for Joe Biden, his Hamlet act continues. It’s getting old, Joe. Get in the fight or start your paid corporate speaking career.
Bernie Sanders’ best shot at the Presidency is residing at the Naval Observatory. The next Chief Executive will likely be decided by Jill Biden.