Sunday, December 20, 2015
Democratic Presidential Debate #3
With only three candidates, each politician got a much longer chance to talk and explain their position on a lot more issues. The ABC News occurred on a busy Saturday and even when I tried to tune in, it was difficult and most people who know me looked at me as insane as this was the way I wanted to spend my Saturday. The live stream crashed so I had to pick it up and watch it this morning avoiding any analysis spoilers.
The data breach seemed to be a nonissue and Bernie's quick apology shut down any controversy the questions hoped to conjure up. Hillary graciously accepted, and they all used this chance to attack the political process.
The first issue bounced back and forth between ISIS and the recent attacks with a heavy incorporation of gun control. It's interesting how the issues aren't even debated the same and will be even more interesting when they bridge the gap to come together to debate next Fall. Martin O'Malley struggled to get his voice heard but when he had the chance to speak, I didn't hear many specifics. Bernie Sanders continued to stress that he did not vote to fight the war in Iraq. Hillary and the other candidates agreed that a coalition should be formed by Islamic states like Jordan and Saudi Arabia to fight against the threat of terrorism.
The highlight that news sources want to talk about is, of course, Donald Trump and Hillary's attack on him saying that he was a recruiting tool. Even on this side Trump is shifting the campaign.
On gun control, there were plenty of speeches about limiting the purchase but as the hosts pointed out, there are already hundred of millions of dangerous weapons out there in the USA. Clinton strove to distance herself from the Republican party, she's thinking long game while O'Malley and Sander worked to knock her down. Overall I see a unwillingness from the left to take a strong stand against guns, which are such a controversial issue.
They moved on to economic issues and showed small differences. The whole debate was trying to distinguish from these very similar candidates. Colleges and Wall Street retained most of the attention. Both the other candidates sought to tie Clinton to the corporate bigwigs but not quite successfully. She managed to dodge any attacks and came out unscarred. Each debate has allowed her to further her message. The economic debate casts Sanders as a socialist, and he embraces the label though in certain demographics this may hurt him.
Surprisingly they didn't direct the debate towards the recent protests over young men and women of color dying from police force in communities. The question came but didn't stick around long enough to explore the issue. I can understand the leaders of these movements getting upset and feeling unrepresented.
Another gaping hole that went unaddressed and seemed odd after the agreements in France was Climate Change. Sanders mentioned it at the beginning but there were no particular questions on the issue. The issue certainly won't get any attention in the other party so not hearing it here was strange.
I believe that Clinton will retain her leading poll numbers and go on to take Iowa but New Hampshire will still be a fight against Sanders though she will most likely pull it out there as well. O'Malley could stick around for the primaries but I don't see him going far or winning any states, even Maryland. This other side of the race adds some extra excitement to an already thrilling political campaign.