“On October 13, the Democratic candidates for president faced off for the first time. In this post, John Hudak shares his reactions to the first Democratic debate.”
I believe the debate that we saw last night between the Democrats is exactly what the party should be doing a lot more. Intelligent serious people who all have different ideas and experiences who come together and lay out where they want to take the country and why they should lead. Instead of having 10-15 people up there as if they’re at a WWE Battle Royal or something, who all have things that the Tea Party doesn’t like about them and have issues with Independents as well, who try to make everyone else worse than they do, instead of offering a positive vision for the country. The Democratic Party should have at least 5-6, or more of these things before the end of the year. And show Americans just how much more serious and qualified Democrats are over Republicans.
As far as the winners, Hillary Clinton’s best performance of this campaign season. She did nothing to hurt herself and get her base to worry about her. She was sharp and even funny and came out of her centrist shell which has been dogging her at least since she ran for president the first time and couldn’t admit to what almost everyone else in the country believed which was the Iraq War was a mistake and she shouldn’t have voted for it. She had a great line to the question from Anderson Cooper about is she a Progressive or a Centrist and she answered she’s a Progressive results. Meaning to me anyway that she doesn’t just fight the good fight, but she gets things done and moves the ball forward even if that means working with pragmatic Republicans. There was nothing in this debate to show that she’s not still clearly the favorite.
Bernie Sanders, I don’t think hurt himself here either. Other than losing an opportunity to close the gap between her and Hillary in the national Democratic polls. And he was caught on the defensive on issues like gun control and I don’t believe he sounded like a strong Commander-In-Chief last night. Which is the most important part of the job. If anything he came out finished 5-5 on national security and foreign policy issues. Even losing to Martin O’Malley who has never served in Congress, or in the military, or in the foreign service before. But he didn’t lose any support with his Far-Left Democratic Socialist base. And perhaps even picked up some votes from the Green Party that otherwise would vote for Jill Stein if they bother to vote at all.
Martin O’Malley, good night for him. I wish Anderson Cooper had let the Governor answer the marijuana question. Because as Governor of Maryland he decriminalized marijuana and he could have shared some of the experiences that Maryland has had with marijuana. I don’t think O’Malley did anything to boost his national poll standing, or boost his numbers in Iowa, or New Hampshire, but he showed that he’s ready for the Major Leagues and deserves to be on the same stage as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, at least.
Jim Webb, impressed me at least in the sense that I could easily see him as the next Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, National Security Director, for President Hillary Clinton. Because I believe by far has the best grasp and experience when it comes national security and foreign policy issues really on anyone running for president right now, especially with Vice President Joe Biden being in the race yet. And he did make some good points about criminal justice and education for returning veterans and the work he did on those issues. But I don’t see him with much of a base and even reason for running for president in the Democratic Party.
Lincoln Chafee, I think he’s a hell of a Democrat on the issues and is very likable and perhaps should have been a Democrat all along. But he blew the Glass-Steagall question and essentially answered that he voted for something without understanding it and not bothering to read the legislation first. But similar to Jim Webb he didn’t have much of a reason and case for running for president in the first place. We now have a three person presidential race in the Democratic Party. Perhaps 2 and a half. Martin O’Malley showed that he belongs here, the question is can he build on that and gain support and financing. And we’ll see where the Democrats go from here.