By Matt Johnson, The Systems Scientist
There is so much to unpack after watching this spirited debate. Compared to the previous debate, which included Martin O’Malley and his “What about me, guys?” look, this debate took on a whole new personality. And for the first time this campaign season, the Democrats had themselves a winner. With that said, let’s get to it. Here are my winners and losers for the 2016 Democratic debate in New Hampshire.
As I said, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party won this debate. Considering the previous monstrosities that took on the appearance of a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s where the birthday participants were IRS accountants and electrical engineers, the DNC finally won. For the first time during this presidential debate season, they didn’t lay an egg.
Hillary Clinton is my other winner. “What the…, Matt? You gotta be kidding me?” Nope. I’m not kidding you. Look I don’t like it anymore than you do, but the fact of the matter is she’s much more polished and seasoned than Sanders. She knows how to play the game.
There were a couple of moments when she directly called out Bernie (I’ll get to this point in the next section when I call Bernie a loser). In addition, she was really good at giving the democrats the answers they wanted to hear. I didn’t say honest answers. I said the answers that the voters supporting her wanted to hear.
For example, when Bernie mentioned Clinton’s association with D.C. special interests, asserting that being a part of the establishment was a Super PAC raising $15 million during the previous quarter and millions of dollars from special interests, she fired back. She asked Sanders what he meant by that comment? She further accused him of “attacks by insinuation” and challenged him to say it to her face. Clinton does not lack guts.
And this is my problem with Sanders. He doesn’t want to play dirty and he doesn’t want to get in her face. But politics is a dirty game and Clinton is really good at it. She went full politician during the entire debate. She met Sander’s at every point. But am I the only one who smells the disingenuous scent that is her political perfume?
To Bernie’s credit, he’s honest and genuine in his convictions. He’s also consistent, but these characteristics won’t win him the nomination. It never has for any candidate. Indeed, these characteristics will only help him. But in this environment that is politics, they don’t mean dick, and certainly not against Clinton. He just doesn’t have the audaciousness and fortitude to defeat Clinton.
Clinton laid out several soft balls for Sanders and he didn’t swing. For example, she said she fought for racial justice; she said she fought for Obamacare before it was Obamacare; and she said that her positions have always been her positions. There are several other things she said during the debate, but I can’t seem to get away from that perfume smell. God, that stuff is strong.
Look, Sanders has no Super PAC supporting him; his campaign has raised 3 and half million individual campaign contributions averaging $27 each; and according to him, he’s pulling 25,000 to 30,000 people per rally. And all of that may be true, but the Clinton machine knows how to play this game. And in this debate, he struck out and struck out big and it may hurt his campaign in the long run, if the perfume doesn’t get him first.
For more articles about Bernie Sanders and politics in general, you are welcome to explore 2016 Presidential Race: Bernie Sanders with Katie Couric and General Thoughts on the 2016 Republican Iowa Debate.
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