If anything for certain can be said about the Tuesday Democratic debate, it is that three of the contenders flopped. Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee needed a home run to gain any significant traction– none of them did, although O’Malley faired the better out of the three. He was also the only one to resort to name calling when he called Donald Trump a “Carnival Barker”. Webb mostly complained about not getting equal time during the debate. Chafee was embarrassingly inept. Between Clinton and Sanders it was a fairly close call as to which one faired better. Clinton, like Rubio on the Republican side, is a polished debater and came off better prepared than Sanders. It was clear that the democratic audience was tired of the email issue that has followed Clinton for the past many months and Sanders came to her rescue when he said enough about the damn email issue. Later though, in a cagy afterthought, he added there is a process for handling the email issue, meaning the FBI investigation. The moderator reminded the candidates that the email controversy was a non-issue in this particular room but not so with the greater general public. Clinton who has taken an extreme anti-gun position, took a cheap shot at one of Sander’s votes in the Senate where he had voted to shield gun makers from tort liability. Sanders explained that he did not think it was fair to hold a gun manufacturer liable for the actions of a crazed gun purchaser. She also made fun of Sander’s reference to health care policies adopted in countries like Denmark by stating “We are not Denmark, we are the United States of America”. Sanders harped on the need to reform Wall Street and narrow the gap between the 1 percent who have the wealth in the country– he called for a revolution where millions of people would bond together to take on this challenge. Clinton, who is among that one percent, was deflated on that issue. In brief Sanders came off as a person who was working for the downtrodden, disenfranchised, the mentally challenged, and those who worked hard but continued to struggle to make ends meet. Clinton came off prepared, disrespectful and spoke about old democratic goals; just like her retorts to Obama’s positions during the last election, she seems to have lost sight of the left wing of her party. She was lucky to avoid questions about her honesty in this democratic friendly room.
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