Did you watch the Democrat presidential primary candidate debate? If so, who did you feel were the winners and losers?
Paul Bremmer – Wash D.C., St. Bonaventure University 2012 Graduate, Bio – After watching the first Democratic debate, I understand why Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner for the nomination and why so many pundits have treated her as the inevitable nominee since early 2013.
As shady as she is, she was clearly the best debater on that stage. I thought she mopped the floor with the four men standing beside her. She appeared to have the most knowledge and the most gravitas of anyone on the stage; and therefore, she looked the most presidential.
Hillary is also good at spinning out of tough questions, which is a skill that anyone with her amount of baggage needs to have in order to survive a presidential campaign.
I suppose we could consider the other four guys the losers of the debate. I thought the biggest loser was Lincoln Chafee. He showed why he’s been running consistently below 1 percent in the polls: the man has no charisma. His answer on why he voted for the repeal of Glass-Steagall may have been honest, but it was embarrassing and politically unsound. Chafee apparently knew he lost the debate, too, because he has already dropped out of the race.
Arianna Mendez – FL, Florida International University 2014 Masters Degree, Bio – The October Democrat Presidential Debate proved there are only two legitimate contenders for the Democratic nomination: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Although Bernie Sanders is attractive to bleeding heart liberals, he is still far from being a serious threat to Hillary Clinton’s front-runner status.
Sanders’ challenge will eventually force Hillary to take more leftist positions on economic and foreign policy issues however. The question is whether Sanders’ liberal litmus test will push Hillary too far left.
Clinton’s objective in this debate was to seem strong, approachable, and warm as she presented her record and experience. Sanders’ public defense of Hillary Clinton against media and conservative attacks on her record on Benghazi and email server controversy was a great moment of party unity.
Clinton and Sanders exchanged barbs, but the exchanges never became personal and were issue and policy focused. Democrats have adopted Reagan’s 11th commandment, “Thou shall not speak ill of any Republican.” Democrats are consistently on message and are careful not to besmirch the reputation of a fellow party member.
The ethnic and demographic makeup of the Democratic field is an interesting point of conversation in today’s world of politics. The Democrats say they are the party of minorities, the young, and women, but their 2016 candidates are elderly white men, with the exception of Hillary Clinton who is a wealthy, white woman.
Republicans are accused of being the party of old white men, but there is so much diversity in the 2016 Republican field. Republicans have a youthful and dynamic field consisting of a woman, an African American, two Hispanics, and an Indian American.
How can the self-purported party of minorities and the young only have Caucasian candidates running for the party’s nomination? Where is the diversity? Where is the youthful appeal? Bernie Sanders, age 74, enjoys significant support from young liberals, but the lack of a young candidate like Obama in 2008 could be an indicator of a long-term issue.
The leadership of the Democrat party is older and still predominately white. There is a clear disconnect between the Democrat voters and party leadership. Democrats will also continue to alienate the white vote with their anti-gun platform. Blue dog Democrats, like Jim Webb, are now outsiders in the party.
It was clear early on in the debate there is no room in the Democrat party of today for people who support 2nd amendment rights. With Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley citing the NRA as their favorite “enemy,” the Democrat party has officially left behind all pro-2nd amendment Democrats. People like Webb are no longer welcome in the Democrat party.
Ultimately, Sanders and Clinton will be the last two Democrats standing. Bernie Sanders has an impressive groundwork in Iowa and New Hampshire that will prove a challenge for Hillary Clinton to overcome. Regardless, I think Hillary Clinton will ultimately be the nominee.
Photo Credit – Brookings