A Good Debate Night for Serious Democrats


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Last night’s Democratic debate was unlike anything we’ve seen this election so far- there was a debate on issues. There wasn’t a reality TV star spewing racism and personal attacks. There wasn’t a clown show atmosphere. There wasn’t a generally xenophobic tone. There was a real, live debate.

For my part, I was very happy with what I saw last night. I think at least three of the five candidates had good nights. I think the night produced confidence in the American public towards our candidates’ ability to lead the nation.

My thoughts on the field:

  • Hillary Clinton won the debate- She was strong, smart, clear, and Presidential on that stage. I was impressed that she didn’t sit back and play defense all night. Instead she made her points, tangled with opponents when needed, defended herself strongly, and laid out a clear vision for the country. While she appealed to progressives, she didn’t say anything that will lose her the general election. Her relentless case for defending working class people won her points. She looked like the prepared candidate on stage, and she did a great job of re-assuring us all that she’s the front-runner.
  • Bernie Sanders showed he can hang- Bernie Sanders had never been in anything like last night before. I think he did a very nice job of introducing himself to America, and making a case for his election. You can talk about the themes- money in politics, fight climate change, regulate Wall Street, a smarter foreign policy- because they were clear. This was the first time he left the “home field” of the progressive left, and he did take fire on issues like gun control and calling himself a socialist, and neither went great for him, but he did fight out of the corner and stay on his feet. I thought he did enough to continue being considered serious.
  • Martin O’Malley- I thought O’Malley came across as smart and polished. Being on stage with the front-runners will help him. I think he did a good job painting a picture of his time as Mayor and Governor being a positive. I thought he looked strong on some key issues, and probably helped his future prospects.
  • Jim Webb- This is a lesson in how fast politics can change. This guy was elected as a Democratic Senator in 2006. In 2015 he seems out of step with the party on many issues.
  • Lincoln Chafee- Huh? Wow.

It was a good night. I’m proud to be a Democrat.

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