I feel asleep before it began (long, exhausting day). I hear it had its moments...
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, in by far their testiest encounter of the campaign, tangled Thursday night over the role of money in politics and the philosophical underpinnings of the Democratic Party in their first one-on-one debate.
The candidates scowled, frowned, and cut each other off as they traded attacks that had before been launched from the less personal remove of press releases and tweets.
Sanders said Clinton’s speaking fees and campaign finance donations from Wall Street would hinder her from bringing sweeping changes needed to protect the middle class.
Clinton accused Sanders’ operation of engaging in a “very artful smear campaign” to make her appear too cozy with Wall Street. Instead, she said, her ties to financial executives give her valuable insights into how they operate.
"I don’t think these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you,’’ Clinton told the Vermont senator. “Enough is enough."
It's been kind of a scold all week from the Clinton side.
Somebody got booed from what I understand. There were also purity tests galore, which to me is the most important distinction. I have laughed until I cried for months now at Hillary's supporters' attempt to fit her square peg into that round hole. (Now don't construe that as sexist; it's a common figure of speech and you are smart enough to be aware of it.)
It was by far Sanders’ strongest and smoothest performance.
For a senator with limited experience on the national stage, he was finally able to go toe-to-toe with one of the most skillful debaters in the party —toggling between his signature anger and the occasional joke.
This was the last time New Hampshire voters were scheduled to see them on stage together before voting Tuesday’s primary election, and came as the contest has taken a more personal turn.
The candidates debated what it means to be a progressive in the Democratic Party. Sanders said Clinton represents the party establishment and that he represents "ordinary Americans."
“Senator Sanders is the only person to characterize me — the first woman running to be the first woman president, as part of the establishment,” Clinton said. “It’s really quite amusing to me.”
She doesn't sound all that amused, does she? Did she sound amused when she said it? She played the "lady" card too quickly again too. Did that work?
Did anybody use the word 'pragmatic' or 'pragmatism'?
About halfway through the debate, the pair returned to a fight that broke out via social media this week, when Sanders unleashed a Twitter offensive over Clinton’s progressive credentials.
“You can be a moderate,” Sanders wrote. “You can be a progressive. But you cannot be a moderate and a progressive.”
During the debate, Clinton confronted Sanders, calling him “the self-proclaimed gatekeeper of progressivism.”
“I am a progressive who gets things done,” Clinton said. “The root word of the word progressive is progress.”
She said that by Sanders’ definition, President Obama wouldn’t be considered a liberal because he took campaign donations from Wall Street.
“Do I think President Obama is a progressive?” Sanders said. “Yeah. I do.”
Bernie is wrong about Obama, and Predator drones, Trans-Pacific Trade Partnerships, and not fighting for a public option when he had a Democratic Congress are just a few of the reasons why Sanders is in the hunt for the White House ... and of course why he's almost winning. But the establishment is simply not going to be denied again.
Since I didn't watch, I missed all of the negativity but Oliver Knox seems to think they ended the evening in harmony.
Democratic presidential rivals Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton knocked each other around Thursday in their first one-on-one debate of the 2016 season, but ultimately closed ranks behind the notion of keeping the White House in their party’s hands.
Sanders spent much of the evening arguing that he was the true standard-bearer for the Democratic Party, hammering the former secretary of state over her ties to Wall Street and vote in favor of the war in Iraq. Clinton focused her energies largely on defending her progressive bonafides, while arguing that the Vermont independent was putting ideological purity on a pedestal above pragmatic proposals that could actually become reality.
But by the end of their MSNBC encounter, the two candidates closed ranks.
It started when moderator Chuck Todd asserted that Clinton did not think Sanders could be president. She looked genuinely surprised, and said, “I never said that,” then brushed aside his follow-up about whether she might pick Sanders as a running mate if she wins the party’s nomination.
“Well, I’m certainly going to unite the party, but I’m not getting ahead of myself. I think that would be a little bit presumptuous,” Clinton said. “If I’m so fortunate as to be the nominee, the first person I will call to talk to about where we go and how we get it done will be Sen. Sanders.”
Todd tried the question on Sanders.
“I agree with what the secretary said. We shouldn’t be getting ahead of ourselves,” the Vermont senator replied. ”And as I have said many times, you know, sometimes in these campaigns, things get a little bit out of hand. I happen to respect the secretary very much, I hope it’s mutual. And on our worst days, I think it is fair to say we are 100 times better than any Republican candidate.”
Clinton agreed, declaring “That’s true, that’s true.”
That sounds agreeable. Bernie's already thinking about making sure his people line up behind her about a month or so from now; my revised prediction is shortly after their debate in Flint and the Michigan primary on March 8.
Plan B goes into effect at that time.