Presidential debates can sometimes lack substance. This presidential Democratic debate night was very much full of substance and much more clarity was given on what divides the Democratic presidential candidates. This debate was indeed substantive and well worth watching. Bernie and Hillary had quite a night. This debate was informative, at times combative, even though primarily civil as opposed to the recent Republican presidential debates. Bernie did well and clearly won the debate by all accounts.
The question before Democrats in the Presidential primary race is about whether we want evolutionary or revolutionary change. O’Malley did himself proud but the debate clearly goes to Bernie Sanders. Despite a moment when he was on the defense concerning gun control he dominated the debate. This attack launched by Hillary against Bernie was a rather unsubstantial. This attack with all the facts considered wasn’t much of an attack.
Hillary was very much on the defensive regarding her reception of funds from Wall Street. Bernie was very strong regarding this issue and spoke well considering health care as a right and moving toward a Medicare for all approach.
Hillary’s attacks against Bernie seemed to fall short of anything truly effective. O’Malley seems, on the issues, a better version of Hillary but his lack of traction so far leaves him a very very dark horse in the race.
Bernie was acclaimed as the “winner” of the debate by the pundits. Given the mood of the country and Bernie’s ability to swiftly come from behind and actually overtake Hillary in these early races I believe that this contest may swiftly come to be “his to lose or win”.
The internet was definitely showing more interest in Bernie Sanders. Those physically present at the debate seemed to be leaning pro Hillary. Nevertheless, Bernie got a great share of the applause in the room.
Many have probably wished that they could have heard more from Martin O’Malley. He did speak well. He can’t be counted out yet. He could still come from behind. However he would have to depend on people seeking another option. They might just tire of the two leaders but that would have have to happen soon. However, due to the internet, I think that the volatility in this race will be high. We should watch for possible surprising twists and turns as the race continues. The leaders, though unlikely, could still stumble and fall.
Again the issue is whether we want a mere evolution of good trends or a revolution. Do the American people want evolutionary change? Do they want instead a more substantive revolutionary change? When we consider revolution we have to look at Hillary’s view of the American people. She seems to think that Americans just aren’t ready. Does she think that America is not courageous enough or smart enough to push for revolutionary change? Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, seems to believe in the ability of the American people to stand up for real change. He seems to believe that Americans can understand the importance of it. We might say that in this instance Bernie Sanders believes more in an America whose greatness lies not just behind it, but now and in the future.
O’Malley to his credit mentioned more about climate change than either Hillary, or surprisingly, even Bernie. However Bernie has made it a major topic in many of his speeches. It is definitely the most important issue of our times. Not addressing it would seem to be “fiddling while Rome burns”. Perhaps we should rather say “while the planet burns”.
Be sure to watch the commentaries at the end of the debate, they are very informative.
Feel the Blue
David “Mitch” Sotelo